Tuesday, December 28, 2010

President Mourned

Today the Dominican Republic laid to rest former president Salvador Jorge Blanco. Blanco died following a hospitalization after falling from his bed November 20th. The 84 year old statesman was released from the hospital after having been removed from life support and was breathing on his own. He died at his Santo Domingo home on Sunday.
He is survived by his children, Orlando Jorge Mera and Dilla Leticia Jorge Mera. Orlando is the Secretary General of the Dominican Revolutionary Party. Salvador Jorge Blanco was president from 1982-86. He says he was fascinated by the politics of Rafael Trujillo. In 1991 He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly spending government funds, but the conviction was overturned and he was released after spending 6 months in jail.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Spicy Holiday

The spice isle of Grenada is my holiday gift to my readers.

Grenada is an island nation that includes the southern Greandines in the southeastern caribbean sea. As in most caribbean destinations, homosexual relations remain illegal. However, after questioning whether to allow entry to gay cruise ships in 2007 the tourist ministry has said "we will continue to welcome all visitors and we will work, along with our population, to ensure that their time and ours will be enjoyable. Grenada respects the rights of all persons of all persuasions and lifestyles." While attitudes are slowly changing it is best to keep things discreet if you're traveling with your lover. Be careful about public displays of affection.

Patrick Levine, owner of Patrick's Restaurant in the quaint capitol of St. georges, seems to be the "go to" guy for information in addition to the delectable island cuisine he prepares in the kitchen of his home-based eatery. He notes that the "down-low" is alive and well on the island. "The life in Grenada is very discreet. People usually want to do their thing, but they keep it between their private selves." Levine is happy to serve as a "gay hotline" for tourists. He will find someone decent for you to hang out with.

There are no gay bars or clubs, but most regular clubs are gay-friendly. The island isn't overrun with Sandals Resots and large "themed" restaurants.

The spice trade is very significant to Grenada. That's why it is known as the "Spice Island Of The Caribbean." The island has beautiful beaches, lush rainforests and breathtaking waterfalls, particularly Concord Falls. You may want to tour the Dougaldston Estate to see how various spices are processed and packaged.

Accomodations are top rate. The Spice Island Beach Resort (473-444-4258) offers luxurious bungalows with private pools. You'll be steps away from the beach, plus you'll have internet access and a full-scale spa.

The newly opened Bel Air Plantation (473-444-6305) offers furnished villas overlooking a picturesque cove, where many yachts anchor. The latuna Resort (866-4-LALUNA) is a favorite among young Hollywood types who appreciate the discreet management. The resorts guests cottages lie uphill from a scheduled beach. Both Laluna and Bel Air say they are welcoming of gay & lesbian clientele.

If you want upscale dining you can visit Belmont Estate in St. Patrick for an eclectic buffet and gorgeous view of tropical forests; also take the guided tour of the plantation museum and gardens. For a five-course dinner and indigenous seafood you should visit LaBelle Creole at Grand Anse Beach.

Out Traveler has more information on this exciting destination.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Caribbean Cruise

Great special rates are available now through December 15th on the Ultimate Halloween Caribbean Cruise scheduled for October 2011. Prices may be much higher after this deadline. Place your deposit now to reserve your spot!

This is the ultimate cruise for the LGBT and friends. It is promoted by Nubian Dreams, Ego Tropz, JSMG VIP SELECT and ZenBiz Travel.

Cruise aboard the Carnival Victory to St. Thomas, USVI- Barbados- St. Lucia- St. Kitts and St. Maarten. This 7 night cruise departs San Juan, Puerto Rico on October 30th. You may opt for the Pre-cruise package in Old San Juan to make the most of your visit there.

Join other LGBT on this fantastic voyage to enjoy unlimited food choices and beverages (alcoholic & non-alcoholic), on-board entertainment, parties, casinos and new friendships.

More information and reservations HERE.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Festival Of Santo Domingo

El Festival De Santo Domingo will feature famed latin music performers and popular local artists on five stages on the Malecon. They will sing merengue, bachata, pop, reggaetton and more. There will be 15 MC's from Santo Domingo, Santiago, La Vega and Bonao. Watch the live broadcast this afternoon and evening courtesy of Teleuniverso. Enjoy!
Do you enjoy this sort of event post on the blog? Please leave a message in the comment section or in the chat box.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sexy Greeting Cards

Are you looking for something a bit naughty to send to your friends this holiday season? I have said that John Gress is one of my favorite photographers. He is offering several greeting cards for purchase HERE.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cultural Diversity Applauded

I am quite thrilled to be made aware of this event considering the attitudes of many Dominicans toward the darker brother.

San Cristobal is bring together African heritage groups from 13 provinces nationwide for a tribute to the beat of the drums, inherited from the African slaves brought to the island in the 15th century. In its 35th year, it honors late Dominican singer and composer Luis Dias. Dias incorporated many of the original rhythms of these grassroots groups into his compositions.

The festival takes place November 26-28. It is a weekend of songs, dance, workshops, arts & crafts, gastronomy and Dominican folklore.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Airport Transfer

I was furious! The flight had been delayed in Boston due to a horrible snow storm. I had originally scheduled myself to be in Santo Domingo a day ahead of my presentation so I could relax and familiarize myself with the new clothing factory we just completed there.

To add to my frustration the driver was 30 minutes late. When he finally pulled the limo to the curbside to greet me he had a sheepish grin on his face and was mumbling in spanish. I saw nothing in the situation that would cause him to be smiling unless he had lost his mind.

I gave him a look that would freeze tap water in Hell and told him to load my bag into the car. As he opened the door for me he said in broken english..."I so sorry I late, but you partner forgot his suit." And there was that grin again. During all the madness I had not thought about Jorge de la Cruz, the Dominican site manager that was to be my shadow during my brief visit. I bent to climb into the rear seat, preparing a simple greeting in my head for Senor Jorge, who I'm sure is the typical 50ish, overweight executive the company is known to have on staff. I lowered my head into the limo to deliver my prepared greeting...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Secure Flight Program

A program began last week which subjects travelers to "behind-the-scenes" passenger watch list matching as an additional safety precaution.

It is the end of a year-long grace period for the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Secure Flight Program.

The biggest change affecting passengers is that it requires airlines to submit to TSA each passengers full name (as it appears on government ID), date of birth, gender and Redress Number (if applicable) at least 72 hours before the trip.

If the information is not submitted three days in advance, a boarding pass will not and cannot be issued. If a traveler has an existing reservation for immediate travel it's strongly advised the traveler contact the airline or booking source prior to going to the airport. Many sources allow you to add the information online, others require you to visit a ticket counter or call the reservations number.

The Program helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have similar names to individuals on the watch lists and better identifies individuals who may pose a threat to aviation. If all reservation identification is listed correctly, TSA estimates that more than 99% of passengers will be cleared to print their boarding passes at home.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Jamaican Joy

These Jamaican cyclists are worth celebrating, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Jazz Festival

The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival will take place November 26-27 at the Cabarete Beach in Puerto Plata. The festival will close November 28 at the Gran Teatro del Cibao in Santiago. Leading jazz performers from the US and caribbean will participate. Visit their website for more information!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Aniversario Quinto

It is almost unfathomable that Tropical Desires has hit this milestone. It was 5 years ago today that the first entry was posted. There was a storm season brewing that would leave havoc in its wake. One of my best friends (he and I had just returned from SDQ) celebrated the blog with me, but would create a storm of his own when he was murdered less than a month later.

The blog, like the world around us, has evolved. It not only shares my personal experiences as it did when we began, but now features input from readers, travel-related news and the occasional hot latin fantasy.

As I reflect on the many changes the Dominican Republic has gone through and the crises experienced all over the caribbean and world, I am proud to be able to bring my readers news, gossip, entertainment, as well as the plethora of beautiful latin men that allow us to forget our troubles and concerns for a brief moment and to celebrate our tropical desires.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bountiful Belize

Belize, located in Central America, is relaxed and free-spirited. Homosexuality was legalized in 1988 according to Lonely Planet, though attitudes continue to be quite conservative. English is the official language in Belize. Check HERE for a testimonial from a gay couple who visited recently.

The modest town of San Pedro offers a place of calm & natural beauty for a community of LGBT residents. (click link to read about them) Ambergris Caye is the perfect venue for the gay and lesbian traveler. Bask in the sun with a delicious cocktail, enjoy a five-star dinner and visit ancient Mayan ruins. With its beauty and amazing underwater world, Ambergris Caye continues to garner acclaim as one of the worlds most romantic destinations.

Pedro's Inn is the most inexpensive accomodation in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Providing an option for the budget-minded traveler who would prefer to spend their money on partying, water activities and sight-seeing. Check gaytravelerbelize.com for accomodations that suit every pocketbook.

The largest and most popular nightclub is Jaguars Temple, which happens to be gay-friendly. Feel free to the websites above to see more info or chat with LatinBoy, who may be able to assist you with finding a party.
With its array of beaches, great cuisine, diverse cultures and fascinating history the country beckons us to discover the bounty that is Belize!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vacation Planning 101

Be sure to visit the Travel Info Page for helpful tips when planning your vacation to the Dominican Republic. Click on the ads for great deals!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Beautiful Seduction

One of my favorite sites is the Beautiful blog. They feature absolute hotness of many ethnic groups. They recently posted a photographic exposition by Kevin Slack entitled "The Seduction of Jorge Luis." There is to be a second part posted soon.

This erotic portrayal is quite brilliant and could easily translate into book form.

I say to Kevin- "fabuloso" and "mucho mas, por favor!"

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Calendar Men

Hello blog readers. It is once again time for the ritual of purchasing eye candy to hang on your wall to keep you company throughout the year. As you know, Paul Culver is a fabulous photographer who has done great work in the Dominican Republic and other locales. He has had work featured at Monaga and other internet sites.

Paul has released Latin Men 2011 at a bargain price of only US $14.95

There is another hot calendar, Dick of the Month, available for only $15.95

Please support these talented lensmen to show how much we appreciate their work!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Problems For Puerto Plata

El caribe reports that tourism is in serious difficulties with hotels closing and jobs being lost. Five of 14 hotels in Playa Dorada have closed, the most recent being Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada. Remaining hotels report occupation rates have fallen from 60% to 30%.

At the commercial plaza 15 stores display signs announcing the close of business.

There is much blame going around; high taxes, the cost of fuel and ineffective tourism officials. The high rates of taxis are also blamed for the problem, as the high cost of taxi service discourages tourists from venturing out of resort properties.

Monday, September 20, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Brazil. The frontrunner in our latest poll is made of music. Even the international airport in Rio is named for a musician as opposed to a president or mayor. Few places on earth could ever be more soulful, and none is more achingly beautiful. Aside from the gorgeous sights and sounds is the seemingly irrelevance to race. People and individuals of every conceivable intermediate hue all mix together. In fact, most Cariocas seem to think that race is no big deal.
Brazil has begun to address its long unacknowledged racial problems with affirmative action programs and consciousness-raising campaigns. The ease with which Cariocas of all colors deal with one another on the interpersonal level is no illusion. Just go to the beach.
The famed beaches are at the heart of the city of Rio, not just physically but socially, culturally, psychologically and even politically. Don't wear jewelry to the beach or take any more money than you need for the afternoon. Do wear the smallest bathing suit you can find and an air of total confidence. Every body on the beach isn't lithe and perfect, but people leave their self-consciousness at home. Copacabana is the most democratic of beaches where you find any and every thing. Ipanema, the next beach down, is a bit more upscale.

The Botanical Gardens, Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, statue of Christ and the cable-car ride to the top of Sugarloaf are great daytime activities. Tucked beneath Sugarloaf is a perfect little village called Urca, isolated from the hustle and bustle with heartbreaking views of Botafogo Bay.

And music. The concert halls and clubs of Rio offer unforgettable experiences. As does the young boy or man on the beach strumming his battered guitar on a warm evening.
Of course Rio Carnival is one party not to be missed. And with hundreds of gay parties on at the same time, it's a party paradise! Also consider New Years eve, which has begun to rival the atmosphere of carnival.
Rio gay Guide and Rio gay Life has everything you need to know for enjoying your trip to gay Rio- clubs, beaches, landmarks, bathhouses, accomodations. Also check Brazil gay Scene or Top Gay Hotels. The best time to go may be May through September for less crowds, lower rates and pleasant weather. Money conversion rates can be found HERE. You'll need a passport AND visa so visit the embassy website for info about requirements.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dominicans First?

An upcoming exhibition at the New York Historical Society in collaboration with the Museo del Barrio will break the news that a Dominican, Juan Rodriquez, was the first immigrant in New York's history. The exhibition, New York (1613-1945) will be open from September 17, 2010 to January 9, 2011. It tells of the influence of hispanics in the Big Apple.

It will tell how hispanics, latinos and Spaniards, and other spanish-speaking immigrants from the caribbean have helped shape the history of the city.

The exhibition can be seen at the El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mas Wesley

Wesley has been featured here before. He continues to be one of my favorite fantasy guys.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Mas Merengue

On Sunday, 19 September, the Ruins of San Francisco in Santo Domingo will come alive with an innovative fusion of jazz and merengue. The opening starts at sunset at 6PM on the grounds of the old monastery.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

End Of Summer

Labor Day in the US is the unofficial end to the summer travel season. I hope everyone has enjoyed hot days and steamy nights. Don't worry though, the beaches will be there for you when you need an autumn break!