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Exclusive | Ask the Travel Expert, April 2007

Exclusive | Ask the Travel Expert, April 2007

Curacao; HIV travel; gay cruises; Puerto Vallarta

Ed Salvato is Corporate Director of Travel Media at PlanetOut Inc.--responsible for Gay.com/Travel, PlanetOut.com/Travel, and the editor-in-chief of the award-winning Out Traveler magazine.

Ed speaks often as a gay-travel expert and is frequently quoted in the press. He writes a monthly syndicated travel column and appears regularly on radio and TV.

Ed knows gay travel, and he proves it by answering your questions.

Looking for the perfect romantic gay honeymoon? How about budget recommendations, gay-friendly guesthouses or the best gay nude beaches on earth? Worried about an unfriendly reception in an anti-American country, or wondering about incidents of gay-bashing or the gay- or lesbian-friendliness of a Caribbean island? Ask Ed! (Note: Depending on the volume, he may not be able to respond to every question.)

Hello, Ed!
My friend from Colombia and I are looking for a quiet place in the Caribbean to get married. Got any ideas?
Charles

Hello, Charles,
For both quiet corners -- and adjacent gay nightlife -- Puerto Rico and Curacao are both hot choices.

Out top-choice hotel in Curacao might interest you. Here's what the article says:

"About 20 minutes' walk from town, Avila Beach Hotel (Penstraat 130; +5999/461-4377 or 800/747-8162, fax +5999/461-1493; www.avilahotel.com; $105-$245, suites $290-$500) offers the perfect combination of quiet escape and urban convenience. Ask for a room in the chic, modern Blues wing or the more traditional Belle Alliance, both offering unbeatable sea views. With two notable restaurants and a gay-friendly, laid-back elegance, it's a prime choice and surprisingly affordable. Gay men and lesbians stay there frequently, often in groups; and commitment ceremonies are welcome. LGBT people mix in the weekend parties where same sex dancing is fine. The Jazz party on the beach is one of the most upbeat activities on the island. There's a tapas dinner right on the beach surrounded by torches where you can watch the dancing and live music."

Hope this helps -- and congratulations!
Ed

Hi, Ed,
I am planning a trip to Italy and purchased a travel guide for some information. I read that Italy tests foreigners for HIV upon entry. Is this true for all visitors or only if you are staying a certain length of time? I looked on several Web sites and it seems that it applies if you are staying for more than 90 days.
Thanks,
Cal

Hello, Cal,
Thanks for your mail!

The AIDS map is a really useful resource for travelers concerned about HIV-related travel regulations. It lists entry regulations for countries from Albania to Zimbabwe.

It states that Italy has no restrictions for people with HIV, unlike the United States, which refuses entry to foreign nationals known to be HIV-positive.

The British organization Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk) may be able to offer some advice, because so many Britons travel to Italy. Hope that helps!

Have a great trip,
Ed

Dear Sir,
I am a 25 year-old single gay man from Saudi Arabia. I don't have friends. I am looking for a solo gay vacation where I can meet a lot of gay single men of my age. I prefer to make trips in Europe, the Middle East, or Asia. Can you please advise?
Roche

Hello, Roche,
Thanks for getting in touch!

There are dozens and dozens of exciting options for solo gay vacations on which to meet other single gay men!

There are some scintillating cruises coming up, including RSVP's Roman Empire Cruise from Rome to Rome in August, and Atlantis' Spain, Italy and Greek Isles Cruise from Barcelona to Athens, also in August.

If you'd prefer to stay on dry land, check out ManAround. Last year they organized a hot, hot, hot vacation for gay men to Turkey.

Whether you choose a cruise or a land-only vacation, you're going to love it!

Best regards,
Ed

'Allo, Ed,
I am French and going to Puerto Vallarta! Do you know a gay beach in PV??
See you,
Alban

Hello, Alban!
The beaches don't get much better than the ones in Puerto Vallarta! Fun and friendly PV has 26 miles of them!

The beach by the Blue and Green Chairs is the best vantage point for those wishing to admire the clientele of the many gyms and day spas that Puerto Vallarta is so well stocked with, and you don't even have to raise yourself out of your deck chair to gaze at passing whales if you're visiting between December and March.

Enjoy the sun!
Ed

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