Peru is a strongly conservative, Catholic country. While most believe that legalizing same-sex civil unions will happen soon, the initiative has met resistance by the Peruvian Congress in the past, 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, LGBT+ rights remain a struggle. As a result, many Peruvians don’t publicly identify.
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 can connect travelers to 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.
Gay Peru (www.gayperu.pe) A magazine-style website covering news, fashion and events.
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 LGBT portal with links to a few tour operators and gay-friendly accommodations in Peru.
Lima Tours A travel agency that is not exclusively gay, but organizes gay-friendly group trips around the country.