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Gay-Friendly Paraty & Villa Harmonia

One of the most popular gay-friendly bed-and-breakfast in Paraty, the charming destination just outside of Rio de Janeiro.

Paraty is best described in the Lonely Planet Guide to Rio de Janeiro as …

… a nature-lover’s paradise, offering some of southeastern Brazil’s prettiest coastal and mountain scenery. Dozens of pristine beaches are easily accessible by boat or bus, while inland, the Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina protects a lush remnant of mata atlântica (Atlantic rainforest).

Throughout the year, Paraty brims with Brazilian and international vacationers. The town’s cosmopolitan flavor is further enhanced by the multitude of artists, writers and chefs, both Brazilian and foreign, who have settled here.

Villa Harmonia is well located within walking distance of Paraty’s main attractions. The well-staffed bed-and-breakfast is very gay friendly, although, expect the over half of the guest to be friendly heteros. For gay couples, we highly recommend booking the “superior room with the garden view. Click below for more info, photos, and to check availability.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Paraty is full all year, but the high season starts in November and continues through March. In 2020, Carnival runs from Friday, February 21 and run through a wild extended weekend to Tuesday, February 26. But, we recommend the week before Carnival in Paraty. And Villa Harmonia is an excellent place to spend it!

Gay Guide to Carnival 2020 in Rio de Janeiro

In 2020, Carnival will begin on Friday, February 21 and run through a wild extended weekend to Tuesday, February 26.  The day after is Ash Wednesday when the parties are over (for the most part) and you will find the streets of Rio de Janeiro quietly getting back to normal. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is considered the world’s largest, hosting approximately two million participants per day. In 2004, Rio’s carnival attracted a record 400,000 foreign visitors.



Getting There & Where to Stay

Purchasing a package of a flight including a hotel stay can be a great way to save money.  (Expedia has some of the cheapest package deals we have found with international flights to Brazil.)  However, for those who want to book flights separately, try Skyscanner.com, Expedia.com, Iberia,  LAN / TAM Airlines,  and CheapFlights.com

Visitors from select countries can now apply online for a tourist visa to Brazil before their trip.

For lodging, Booking.com remains the best, cheapest, way to find both hotels and flats (with Expedia ranking a close 2nd.)  Visit our full list of gay-friendly places to stay in Rio de Janeiro by clicking on the link below.

View all gay-friendly hotels in Rio »

Day-By-Day Schedule to Carnival 2020

Hopefully, you can arrive before Carnival week (and stay after.)  By January, Rio will be in full swing.  Visit any of the gay bars and clubs on our list and you will find a good time.

Like VamosGay on Facebook and/or join our email list below to get the 2020 schedule as soon as it’s available.

Gay Block Parties? LGBT-Friendly Blocos

From the butch, to the femme, and everyone in between, Carnival in Rio offers the perfect excuse to show off your muscles or your glitter.  Here’s our short list of the city’s most  gay-friendly block parties, but you’ll find many of Rio’s blocos are fabulously welcoming.

List of Rio’s LGBT Carnival Blocos »

Travel Tips

To keep this section short, our guide will assume you know how to navigate the dangers of big cities and foreign countries.  Download digital version of Lonely Planet: Rio de Janeiro for the best English-language guide to the city, and a good source for basic travel tips.

  • Mobile data – research the international data packages provided by your carrier.  In Brazil, SIM cards with data plans are cheap and easy to activate.  As a foreigner, you can activate and use SIM cards from TIM, Claro, and Oi.  We recommend Claro. Read our guide to SIM cards and mobile plans for foreigners visiting Brazil.
  • Bring a 2nd phone.  That iPhone 4S in your drawer is perfect for navigating the city with apps.  Phone theft is rampant in blocos and nightclubs.  It can also hold your new Brazilian SIM card.
  • Google Maps – pre-plan your route (by foot or Metro) and save them as “offline” maps.  Download our Google Map now.
  • Bring your drivers license to nightclubs.  Dragging around your passport is not necessary; a driver’s license / photo ID is fine.
  • Avoid mosquitos  – Aside from dengue fever, many mosquitos in Brazil are now carrying the zika virus.  Bring your own DEET mosquito repellent .  Pharmacies in Rio sell the cheap stuff.
  • Debit/credit cards – Highly recommend one with a “chip.”  Credit card cloning is still a problem in South America.  A pre-paid Visa for small purchases and hotel guarantees is a good idea.
  • Ask your front desk – All of the hotels on our list of gay-friendly places to stay in Rio know the city and are happy to help.  Use them!
  • Watch your drink! – Criminals who drug tourists usually target women, but in Brazil gay men are often targets.
  • Be careful who you bring back to your hotel – At some hotels, you can walk directly to your elevator, some may ask for ID from your guest(s)  When in doubt, you can always go to one of Rio’s many gay saunas.
  • Wear shoes – Yes, your new Havaiana flip flops are cute, but the streets will be come a muddy mess of spilled beer and urine.
  • Don’t sweat every little expense – The club that wants to charge a cover of R$20 … That’s about US$6.50 right now.
  • Be OK with the fact you won’t see it all – Don’t overload your agenda.  Make a note of what you would like to come back for in 2020.



Online Resources During Carnival 2020

Get info and ask questions by following VamosGay on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Or, leave a comment below!

Sign-up for Gay Carnival in Rio Newsletter


We’ve got all of the inside info, but we love to share it with our friends. Like VamosGay on Facebook and/or join our email list.

This gay guide to Carnival in Rio will give you everything you need to plan your trip before you go, and all of the information you need during Carnival week.  Bookmark vamosgay.com/carnival-rio on web and mobile!

Bars & Clubs of Gay Buenos Aires

Navigating nightlife in BsAs (the shorthand code for one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world) is easy.  Each of the neighborhoods is walkable, or accessible by a short metro or cab ride.  Recoleta and Palermo are have the most options.  Pick any of the gay-friendly hotels of Buenos Aires from our list and you will be in the center of almost everything.  (There are even options for gay tango!)

Nightlife starts late with many places opening doors at 11:30PM.  Early birds should try bars like Sitges, Peuteo, and Flux Bar before hitting big clubs like Glam and Amerika (pictured above.)  Restaurants also stay up late and can be great pre-club options.  Use the VamosGay Google Map to Gay Buenos Aires to find over a dozen popular places to eat and navigate your night of bar crawling.

And, don’t forget … our list of gay friendly hotels and places to stay in Buenos Aires will give you the best perfect spots to rest between parties.  In 2019, Gay Pride will take place on Saturday, November 2nd starting at 11am at the Plaza de Mayo and ending at 6pm at Plaza Congreso.

Amerika

Size matters! And it doesn’t get much bigger than Amerika.
Full review & details for Amerika »

Bach Bar

Simple bar with a local following.  Gay men and lesbians, but much more popular with the ladies.
Visit Bach Bar on Facebook »

Chupitos Bar

Festive place with a wild menu of specialty shots, and bartenders that keep the party rolling.
Full review & details for Chupitos Bar »

Contramano

Daddies, and Hustlers, and Bears … Oh My!  Experience one of Buenos Aires’ oldest gay bars.
Full review & details for Contramano »

Euphoria

Relatively new addition to the row of gay and gay-friendly bars on Gurruchaga street.  During the week, it’s one of the few options open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well as the weekend.
More info and updates on the EuphoriaBA Instagram

Furiosa

Weekend parties (mostly at Club Niceto on Saturdays)
More info and events on the Furiosa Facebook

Fiesta Puerca

Saturday night dance party (mostly held at Teatro Vorterix) with a young mixed crowd.
More info and events on the Fiesta Puerca Facebook

Fiesta Jolie

Young and fun!  Every Wednesday.
Full review & details for Fiesta Jolie »

Flux Bar

The best happy hour cocktail.
Full review & details for Flux Bar »

Glam

Editor’s Choice 2019: Best Thursday Night Club (Saturday’s are hot too!)
Full review & details for Glam »

Jungle Bar

Show place and cruising bar.
Visit Jungle Bar on Facebook »

KM Zero

Strippers and drag continue to draw tourists to one of Buenos Aires most well known bars.
Full review & details for KM Zero »

Ma.Cho

Catch these parties when you can!  Fun young crowds of locals.  Ma.Cho parties are occasionally in nightclubs like Glam, but sometimes at trendy rooftops, and even pools!  Visit our MaCho gay parties in Buenos Aires page for links to the latest party.  Sometime you can even catch them in Montevideo!
Full review & details for MaCho

New Inside

Lively gay gastropub and a nice option for drinks and a bit to eat before 10pm.  Also, a fun spot on to spend a late Sunday afternoon.
More info and events on the New Inside Facebook

Peuteo

Editor’s Choice: Best Bar Buenos Aires 2019
Full review & details for Peuteo »

Sitges

An easy first stop for tourists visiting Buenos Aires.
Full review & details for Sitges »

Work Bar

On Thursdays and Sundays, drink specials attract a nice selection of men.  DJs are the main attraction on Fridays.
More info and updates on the Work Bar Facebook

Zoom

Have a friendly beer … or a hardcore encounter at this bar/bathhouse hybrid.
Full review & details for Zoom »

Hotels of Gay-Friendly Buenos Aires

From luxurious five-star hotels to charming bed-and-breakfasts, the following short list of gay-friendly places to stay in Buenos Aires is a diverse selection.

Nearly all are located the three biggest gayborhoods of Palermo, Recoleta, and San Telmo.  Many of them a short walk from the gay bars and clubs of Buenos Aires.

Algodon Mansion

Set in the upscale Recoleta neighbourhood, Algodon Mansion offers chic rooms with free Wi-Fi and complimentary wine. Guests can relax in the sauna room and enjoy the rooftop swimming pool and sun deck.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Art Factory Palermo

Chic and lively hostel located in the trendy Palermo district. The walls of Art Factory’s rooms outdoor seating area feature a dazzling array of colorful works from local artists.

View hotel details/lowest rate

BA4U Apartments

Gay-owned and operated apartment service in Buenos Aires.  A good choice for long-term stays in BA for those looking for apartments loaded with amenities.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Be Trimos Hotel (formerly Axel)

The fabulous gay hotel chain Axel Hotels has closed its Buenos Aires location.  But, under new management, the hotel retains its impeccable designer décor, garden views of the trendy San Telmo district.  The hotel’s pool is still popular, but with less eye-candy.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Che Lulu Guesthouse

Fully furnished apartments and rooms with shared bathrooms with touches of designer style.  Full kitchens and private patios.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Faena Hotel

Five-star design hotel offering plush accommodation in upscale Puerto Madero.  The Faena Hotel is also the home of the opulent Tango Rojo.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Home Hotel

Boasting an outdoor swimming pool, spa facilities and a chic garden, Home Hotel is an excellent option (some rooms feature spa baths, private terraces and city views.)

Home Hotel also offers DJ nights in the garden every Friday during the summer season, and guests can chill out with a drink at the cocktail bar before stepping out in Palermo, a neighborhood full of shopping and nightlife options.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Legado Mitico Buenos Aires

Stylish boutique hotel featuring spacious rooms with thematic décor inspired by the Argentinean culture and history.  Click below for more info and a photo gallery of Legado Mitico’s rich interior design.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Lugar Gay Bed & Breakfast

Located in the San Telmo neighborhood, Lugar Gay is a great option near many of Buenos Aires’ architectural landmarks and tango attractions.  Friendly staff are the main attraction.  Private rooms are available as well as dormitory/hostel-style lodging.

View hotel details/lowest rate

São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade 2020

The largest gay pride parade in the world will celebrate its 24th anniversary when the São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade takes over the city on Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Past parades have attracted over 3 million people took to the streets of Sao Paulo, according to estimates.

Click to launch our Google Map of the parade route including landmarks of gay Sao Paulo 🗺️

In the days leading up to the parade, São Paulo (already one of the most gay-friendly cities in Latin America) explodes with gay activities.  By day, “gayborhoods” like Frei Caneca and Largo do Arouche fill with couples.  And by night, nightclubs like The Week are packed.

Watch the Replay: Pride Parade 2019

The theme of the 2019 parade was a commemoration of the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 

Getting There

For those searching for air/hotel packages, Expedia offers some of the lowest rates for package deals to São Paulo.  Europeans, Americans, and visitors who are  already in South America have a number of inexpensive options.

View airfare deals »

Hotels & Gay-Friendly Places to Stay

South America’s largest city offers hundreds of great places to stay. Here’s our short list of hotels you can enjoy your stay for pride weekend.

View Gay-Friendly Hotels »

Guide to Bars & Club

There are almost 40 different options!  From hole-in-the-wall bars to multi-floor mega clubs, check out our 2019 guide to São Paulo’s gay (and gay-friendly) places to go.

View List of Bars & Clubs »

Saunas & Sex

Every sex club, cinema, and sauna will be very active for Pride Week. We’ve listed them all on one page. Dive in!

View Sao Paulo saunas and sex clubs »

Sign-up for our mailing list and be the first to know the full agenda!

*Note for American visitors :  Travel to Brazil requires a visa.   Get visa info you will need in time for June’s pride parade.  Click here for Brazilian visa information for tourists.

Gay Guide to Lisbon

The Lonely Planet Guide to Lisbon describes the Portuguese capital as a “city armed with Gothic grit and glamour” and we wholeheartedly agree.  If you have learned a bit of Portuguese from traveling with our guides to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, now is the time to explore Lisbon.

Getting There & 2019 Travel Dates

Skyscanner is one of our favorite places to search for and keep track of deals.  More deals can be found at Iberia.com and AirFrance.com,  For package deals with airfare and hotels, try Expedia.

Upon landing, many Europeans can happily connect their mobile devices, but everyone else can visit Vodafone’s airport kiosk. 
They offer 30 GB of data over 15 days for only €15 (SIM card included.)  Perfect if you have a dual SIM phone for travel and use our Google Map to gay Lisbon to navigate the city.

Lisbon is the 3rd sunniest city in Europe and welcomes visitors all year round.  Here are a few 2019 dates for the LGBT travel calendar.

Lisbon Bear Pride       May 29 – June 3
LGBT Pride March       June  29
Arrail Lisboa Pride       June 22
Queer Lisboa
       September 20 – 28

Hotels & Places to Stay

Some travelers are looking for a stylish suite to make their Instagram followers jealous.  Others, want a charmingly simple flat within walking distance of the city’s attractions.

The Late Birds Lisbon tops our list of gay-friendly places to stay. Click below for the full list of places we highly recommend.

View list of gay friendly hotels of Lisbon »

Bars & Nightclubs

Strip down to your jockstrap and have a Super Bock (a popular Portuguese beer) or dress up and enjoy champagne with your husband.  Lisbon has a wide spectrum of gay nightlife.  Click below for the full list.

View Gay Bars & Clubs of Lisbon »

Restaurants & Cafes

Lisbon is a gastronomic paradise!  We are still working on our full list of gay-friendly recommendations, but until it’s ready, use our Google Map of Gay Lisbon to discover the best food, ambiance, and service.

Saunas, Dark Rooms, and Gay Beaches

Trombeta Bath is the city’s biggest sauna and has the highest number of daily patrons.  But, there are many other places to have a hot time in Lisbon.  You can even hop on a ferry and sail over to Lisbon’s clothing-optional gay beach!  Check out our list of hot spots for 2019 (updated to exclude several that recently closed.)

View the Saunas and Beaches of Lisbon »

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