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Jet De la Isla: A Visionary Entrepreneur

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As An ‘Artist of Business’, Jet Sees The World As A Blank Canvas, Ready for His Brush

Photos by Gustavo Silva

[This article originally appeared in our summer print issue as one of our feature cover stories. You can view the PDF of our summer print issue here.]

Jet De la Isla's Naked Boat Tours team members. Photo by Gustavo Silva
Jet De la Isla’s Naked Boat Tours team members. Photo by Gustavo Silva

In Puerto Vallarta, where the ocean meets the jungle, Jet De la Isla stands out as a pioneering force in the LGBTQ+ tourism industry. With a diverse portfolio of businesses that include a clothing-optional beach, the highest rated LGBT+ boat charter company on TripAdvisor, Mexico’s first gay youth hostel, founder of the largest online gay community Facebook group, a new mezcal beach bar, and as a board of director for the new LGBTQ+ community center, Jet has carved a niche for himself in this tropical paradise.

He’s a busy man – both professionally and personally. His mind never stops working on the next idea, and he’s excited about growing the Vallarta LGBTQ+ community. 

O&APV wanted to know who Jet De La Isla is and what motivates him? He was kind enough to find time in his exhausting schedule to give us insight into his life.

With a diverse portfolio of businesses that include a clothing-optional beach, the highest rated LGBT+ boat charter company on TripAdvisor, Mexico’s first gay youth hostel, founder of the largest online gay community Facebook group, a new mezcal beach bar, and as a board of director for the new LGBTQ+ community center, Jet De La Isla has carved a niche for himself in this tropical paradise. Photo by Gustavo Silva
With a diverse portfolio of businesses that include a clothing-optional beach, the highest rated LGBT+ boat charter company on TripAdvisor, Mexico’s first gay youth hostel, founder of the largest online gay community Facebook group, a new mezcal beach bar, and as a board of director for the new LGBTQ+ community center, Jet De La Isla has carved a niche for himself in this tropical paradise. Photo by Gustavo Silva

Q: Jet, you’ve become a well-known figure in Vallarta’s LGBTQ+ community. What motivates you everyday? What advice would you give to those young queer entrepreneurs?

A: What excites me and gets me going is being in a creative space. I always wanted to be an artist growing up and now I see myself as an artist of business. With the world as my canvas. I like to put up ideas and see what sticks. I have a lot of crazy ideas in my head and it’s fun to see how people react and support my ideas. For the young queer community I would tell them to do the same. As in, throw your creativity out there for the world to see.  If it’s something that brings out fear for rejection or judgment. Then you’re on the right track. Try something new. You’ve got nothing to lose. 

Q: How do you manage your time? You have a lot going on.

A: It’s funny because I ask myself this pretty often. I don’t happen to find the time of day needed to finish my work. I used to reject the idea of working all day and all night but lately it’s been something I have really gotten leaned into. I find things I love to do and do them literally all day doing them. I even dream of my work. Jaja –  I know that’s not for everyone but I really enjoy the things I do and I put all my energy behind it. And when I really need a break I love traveling for breaks even if that’s to somewhere near like Yelapa or to an exotic destination across the world.

Q: You love to travel. What is the most favorite place in the world that you’ve been to?

A: Lately I’ve loved exploring Latin america. Colombia, Brazil and hopefully Venezuela eventually. It’s honestly where my favorite men come from and it’s been an enriching experience to make friends, taste the local food and check out the sites in my favorite parts of the world. I, like many, used to be afraid of traveling in Latin America because of the rumors but it’s been a very safe and fun experience. Contrary to popular belief. 

But favorites – favorites I would say: Kenya, Japan, Nepal, Italy, Colombia and Mexico of course. 

Q: What’s your management style? You seem to be a very “hands on” manager.

A: I have been very lucky to find like minded friends to help me with my businesses. I find they are an extension of myself in terms of ethics, talent, dedication and have the heart to do what we do.

I have a principle that has guided me from the start. That our guides and teammates are first vs. the customer first principle. I learned early on that if I was happy my customers were happy. I have consistently made sure our whole team knows that since the start. It’s about them enjoying what they do. The rest follows. 

It’s been very fulfilling for me to see people I care about do what they are passionate about. 

Jet says that he has inspired by his moms moral compass and his dads entrepreneurial spirit. Photo by Gustavo Silva
Jet says that he has inspired by his moms moral compass and his dads entrepreneurial spirit. Photo by Gustavo Silva

Q: Who is Jet De La Isla? How do you see yourself? 

A: I see myself as a person who is operating at their full potential and fully realized. I’m very happy to say that all the dreams I had when I was younger I have fully experienced and materialized. I am who I wanted to be when I was younger. I have shaped myself by my wildest dreams and wishes. I have been inspired by my moms moral compass and my dads entrepreneurial spirit. Moved by generations before me to help each other. To be an example to those who think it’s not possible. But I’m here today to say that it is possible. I love being who I want to be and have fun doing it. Plus I see myself as a loving dad of two cats who loves adventures with my partner and friends. 

Q: What inspired you to start your first company in Puerto Vallarta?

A: I arrived in PV in 2016. Remember when people threatened to leave the US if Trump won? I was one of those who actually left. I needed a break from my life in the US and traveling around the world. When I started my first tour guide gig, tourists would often ask what I did on my days off. I would show them pictures of me snorkeling. They would ask me to take them there on my day off. It turned out to be the best days for me, and at the end, they gave me a tip! I was amazed that I was making money doing what I loved. 

I remember my small private trips were different (gay, local, friendly) than the other large or gay boat companies, which were all mostly straight-operated. I was just doing it for a little extra cash at the time to feed my cat that I had rescued from la Isla Cuale. But luckily, I soon had a large following online, and it became a full-time gig.

At the time, pangas and boats weren’t accepting cards or listed online. With my programming background, it was easy to set up a website with card payments, online reviews, and fast customer service. It was revolutionary for Vallarta at the time.

My trips were perfect for couples wanting a private boat trip around the coast with cute guides wanting to have cute conversations. At the time, there were only big gay boat cruises, which wasn’t really my style. So, Jet’s Private Boat Tours was launched, and within a year, I shot up to #3 on TripAdvisor out of 250 companies.

Jet having fun with his partner Beto.
Jet having fun with his partner Beto.

Q: Your tours have received top ratings and awards. What do you think sets them apart?

A: I think what sets us apart is the fact that I consider each of my teammates a friend. By that, I mean I have a lot in common with my friends, who happen to be our teammates. I feel they are an extension of myself when it comes to adventure; they are outgoing, adaptable, helpful, and honest people that I can count on professionally and personally. They are not just knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna but also skilled at creating a fun and respectful atmosphere. I have personally trained our guides and teammates to adapt to our guests. I love being around our team because they are friendly, cute, fun, and really my best friends in town. 

The experiences we provide are based on a fusion of local traditions and culture mixed with my favorite travel experiences from over 50 countries. And most people don’t know this, but our trips are for couples, singles, families, grandparents, kids, etc. Our private trips are for everyone, not just the gay community. So, bring your grandma and grandkids along—they’ll love us!

Q: You also own a gay youth hostel. How does that fit into your overall vision?

A: As a young backpacker I would travel the world to different hostels. My favorite one was a gay youth hostel in Berlin. I remember when I first walked in I saw guys in their underwear, dancing to Britney with vodka in their hand. It was paradise! A huge breath of fresh air compared to the hundreds of other hostels I stayed at where I had to constantly come out to straight guys. 

The hostel is located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta with memory foam beds, rain shower heads, privacy curtains and more. Comfort for gay youth backpackers in a safe space with like minded travelers. Plus very budget friendly with a 50% off our naked beach for example. 

Jet De La Isla Cover of the 2024 Summer Issue of Out & About PV Magazine
Jet De La Isla is one of the featured cover stories for our Summer 2024 issue.

Q: And what about your new mezcal bar? 

A: As a tour guide, our highlights usually include visiting Trini in Yelapa for ‘Raicilla.’ It’s a type of mezcal moonshine that predates the Spanish arrival. It’s a favorite of mine and even my mom’s favorite, for example, haha. The new herb-infused raicilla bar, located on Jet’s Naked Beach, is a celebration of my Mexican culture and my favorite memories as a guide. It’s a place where guests can taste the local culture in the nude. Some of the finest mezcal in the world is grown right above our naked beach.

Fun fact: Building it myself has been a lot of fun. I love carpentry and getting all hot, oily, and sweaty with my sexy chacal boyfriend. It’s been a really fulfilling experience to see it materialize. 

Q: The town is abuzz in regards to the new community center providing access to LGBTQ+ health needs. You helped lead  the grassroots effort to get this going, along with other leaders in town, can you tell us more about that?

A: Growing up in a household where we couldn’t always afford everything we needed, the opportunities I’ve had since coming to Vallarta have inspired me to give back. Our community, which we refer to with the term ‘gay+’, is made up of many diverse elements. For example, it includes queer friends, trans people, sex workers, seniors, visitors from all over the world, and local people, to name a few. We can have so much power if we join together.

Our vision for the community center is about empowering us to take care of each other. We want to grow beyond providing free medical services. We’re looking to identify the biggest needs of our community. We will start by conducting listening sessions with community members in the form of focus groups. If anyone wants to participate in one, please contact us.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned while getting the Vallarta Gay+ Community Center off the ground? 

A: I’ve honestly been surprised to learn about DoxyPEP and its wonders. The stats show it has lowered syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia infections, and the results are very promising. I have personally used DoxyPEP and have seen amazing results. It really works! I look forward to creating awareness campaigns for DoxyPEP and providing access for our community.

Another surprise is the high HIV rates. Jalisco has some of the highest HIV rates in the country, which reminds me that we have a lot of work ahead of us. I think if we educate our partners and friends on the importance of testing, we can take a big step forward together to fight the rise in infections. The fight is not over.

Jet De La Isla. Photo by Gustavo Silva

Q: Finally, I know you always have something extra up your sleeve?

Well it’s not so much of a secret how sex positive I or our naked beach is. I’m wanting to launch an adult film production company. It’s still in the works but you can currently follow me on OnlyFans.com/JetDeLaIsla. You’ll find content from my personal life and behind the scenes on our naked beach, our naked team and more! Check out why I won best onlyfans of the year! Plus I’m looking to expand the hospitality and boating area of the business and looking for investors.

Information to know:

JetsPrivateBoatTours.com
JetsGayYouthHostel.com
JetsNakedBeach.com
facebook.com/groups/puertovallartagays

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