Preparatory online research yielded meager results. The one “lesbian” bar – Swing Bar – appears to have had no online presence since 2017, and was disputed to even be a lesbian bar on certain blogs. Places such as Las Vegas, King Bar, XY and La Gruta were mentioned, as well as Mi Cayito, the gay beach near Guanabo.

Unfortunately, contrary to the opening hours posted on its front door, Las Vegas was closed each time we attempted to go (three, to be precise). We still have no idea why…

When we walked by La Gruta, the hostess invited us in to see male strippers. She kept insisting we would love it, despite our clasped hands. This encounter led us to doubt whether La Gruta was, in fact, a gay bar. 

When we strolled up to Swing Bar – the infamous lesbian-non-lesbian bar – we only found a decaying sign on the second story of a house. 

King Bar

We had a fantastic time at King Bar. Once again, don’t be fooled by its operating hours on Google, which indicate it opens at 7 pm; it actually opens at 11 pm – something we fortuitously discovered by chatting with a neighbour. By the time we got there at 11:30 pm, the place was full. We loved grinding among the gays to reggaeton, rumba, salsa and son – all accompanied by a live drummer set up in front of the DJ booth. We also saw a mesmerizing pair of lesbians who had a similar piccolo-grande busty-bustless vibe to us. The grande wore a high thong above her baggy jeans and the piccolo, a floral crop. They drank from a bottle of Black Label in an ice bucket – a trend we saw again at our next gay stop, XY. Both places also projected music videos onto a giant television above the dance floor – specifically, the Halloween-themed Backstreet’s Back video, which we saw at King Bar, at XY, and also in a taxi a few days later. If you get too sweaty on the King Bar dancefloor, you can cool down in the adjacent smoker’s den, an enclosed space with couches and lamps. 

XY (Bar Myxto)

Lesbian art at XY Bar

Our experience at XY (formerly known as Bar Mytxo), was, as its former name indicates, mixed. We were graciously ushered in by a dozen staff only to find ourselves to be the only clients, even though it was past midnight. We were then served the cheapest and most delicious natural daiquiris we tasted in Havana. Not long after, a handful of other people arrived (all gay men) and Black Label buckets multiplied, and soon the Backstreet Boys popped up on screen. Yet despite the meter-long lesbianic photograph next to the TV, we were reprimanded by a bouncer for being indecent (piccolo straddling grande, fully clothed). We chose to leave shortly thereafter. 

Mi Cayito Beach

Boardwalk to Mi Cayito Beach

Mi Cayito was definitely a highlight for us. Due to the presence of garbage cans, it is the cleanest beach around – an oasis of white sand, aquamarine waters and cheery gays with loudspeakers. Out of the forty-ish people there, four were lesbians (excluding us) – a couple from Quebec who we encountered again on the plane home, as well as some middle-aged Cuban lezzies in matching swim trunks. The beach attendants were polite and diligent, bringing us camas de sol, sombrillas and cervecitas without even the slightest creepy comment – a drastic shift from the drone of constant harassment we’d gotten used to. At Mi Cayito, more than anywhere, we felt completely comodas to make out in the sand without anyone batting an eye. We ate a giant lobster which we then drooled about for days. 

As a side note, we also had a great time at the local Tiki-Bar in Guanabo, where we found the staff to be respectful (apart from one tongue licking incident), and the seafood to be beyond sabroso. Don’t be surprised if they run out of limón – supplies are even scarcer in the regions!

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