Peru is a strongly conservative, Catholic country. In 2015, the Peruvian Congress rejected a bill for gay and lesbian civil unions, despite the adoption of similar measures in neighboring countries in the Southern Cone. While many Peruvians will tolerate homosexuality on a ‘don’t ask; don’t tell’ level when dealing with foreign travelers, gay rights remain a struggle. As a result, many gays and lesbians in Peru don’t publicly identify as homosexual.
Public displays of affection among homosexual couples is rarely seen. Outside gay clubs, it is advisable to keep a low profile. Lima is the most accepting of gay people, but this is on a relative scale. Beyond that, the tourist towns of Cuzco, Arequipa and Trujillo tend to be more tolerant than the norm. Social media platforms Tinder and Grindr are good places to find out more about the gay scene.
FYI: the rainbow flag seen around Cuzco and in the Andes is not a gay pride flag – it’s the flag of the Inca empire.
Gay Lima (lima.gaycities.com) A handy guide to the latest gay and gay-friendly spots in the capital, along with plenty of links.
Global Gayz (www.globalgayz.com) Excellent, country-specific information about Peru’s gay scene and politics, with links to international resources.
Purpleroofs.com (www.purpleroofs.com) Massive GLBT portal with links to a few tour operators and gay-friendly accommodations in Peru.