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Winter 2008 | Southern Exposure Part Two

Winter 2008 | Southern Exposure Part Two

The most beautiful gay beaches below the equator.

6. Nouville Kuendu Beach
Noum?a, New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a far-flung, gay-friendly South Pacific territory of France that draws a fair number of French and Australian tourists to its steamy beaches, sophisticated resorts, and its mellow caf?-lined capital of Noum?a. About 10 minutes from the city center is the pebble-sand Kuendu Beach, adjacent to a resort of the same name with thatch-roofed Polynesian suites built over a crystal lagoon. The palm-fringed sandy bay, surrounded by rolling jungle hills and bright waters, is popular with handfuls of gay locals and tourists who can be seen sunning in skimpy Euro bikinis, or you?ll find them au naturel at the nude beach of the same name next door.

7. Obelisk Beach
Sydney, Australia
Obelisk is the unassuming, in-the-know nude beach among Sydney-siders, and it?s nearly 100% frequented by gay men. The tiny crescent-shaped beach, surrounded by lush bush and smooth sandstone rock formations, is tucked away in a cove on the Middle Head peninsula near the upscale northern suburb of Mosman. You may feel miles from the civilization but not its comforts: A boat comes by selling beverages and ice cream every few hours.

8. Playa Cau-cau
Horc?n, Chile
The queerest beach in Chile is half a day?s drive from the capital of Santiago and about an hour north of tourist-popular Vi?a del Mar. A longtime favorite hippie hangout, Cau-Cau lines a private cove dotted with thatched umbrellas, excellent seafood beach caf?s, and forested cliffs. Enjoy a long sunny day after traversing the log staircase lined by wooden fences that descends to the gorgeous inlet. Gays easily mix with the straights at this easygoing, sociable enclave.

9. Playa Chihuahua
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Punta del Este, about an hour?s drive from Uruguay?s capital of Montevideo, attracts celebrities, hipsters, and the well-to-do to its clubs, casinos, resorts, and golf courses. Tucked away amid all this razzle-dazzle is tranquil, immaculate Chihuahua Beach. A lagoon at one end of the beach serves as a refuge for wild ducks, swans, and storks, who all serenade the sunset each evening. Chihuahua is the gayest beach in Uruguay (a country that recently legalized same-sex unions). You?ll find hundreds of queers chatting around the beach?s snack bar, bodysurfing under the gaze of the lifeguards, or lying about in the nearby dunes.

10. Praia dos Artistas
Salvador, Brazil
The gayest stretch of sand in the northern tropical region of Brazil has many humble charms: a mosaic boardwalk punctuated by palm trees, barracas or huts serving fresh food and drinks day and night, local fishing boats bobbing offshore, and multicolored homes overlooking the urban beach. Young gays, lesbians, and straights gossip while dangling their feet in the water, and the city of Salvador?s famous lighthouse gazes on in the distance. Best of all, unlike gay beaches further south on the globe, Praia dos Artistas is good for soaking in its warm waters year-round, ensuring that summer never ends.

Part One | Part Two

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