Category Archives: latin america

Gay Guide to Buenos Aires

Legendary nightlife, extraordinary architecture … and porteños (the Spanish word for the men of the port city Buenos Aires.)  These are a few of the many of the reasons why Argentina’s capital city remains a gay travel mecca.  Our 2018 guide to the Buenos Aires’ bars and clubs is an excellent way to find the best of the city.

For gay travelers, the city’s pride parade (the Marcha del Orgullo Gay) often takes place on first Saturday of November (but this year, 28th Annual Pride Parade is scheduled to start at 11am on Saturday November 10, 2018.)  This date is perfectly timed with the start of spring in South America.  Tourists will find warm temperatures, hot guys, and blooming jacaranda trees.

International flights to Buenos Aires are frequent, but not cheap (check for flight deals to EZE airport.)  A few years ago, visitors from certain countries are required to pay a “reciprocity fee” before entering Argentina, but this fee for US citizens has been revoked.

For general tourist information, we still recommend the Lonely Planet: Guide to Buenos Aires.  Combine it with our up-to-date gay guide below and you will fall in love with Buenos Aires!

Bars & Clubs

A to Z listing of every bar, lounge, and club.

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Hotels

Best gay-friendly places to stay in BA.

View all »

Restaurants & Cafes

Use our Google Map to find over a dozen popular places.

View map »

Visit Montevideo

Take a short trip and discover this gay-friendly city.

View all »

Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride 2018

This year, The Official Party of the 23rd LGBTI Pride of Rio de Janeiro will kick off on Saturday, September 29th.  The night full of performances will continue into the sunrise, so keep your energy up for the official parade.

On Sunday, September 30 at 12 o’clock, the LGBTI Pride Parade will begin on Copacabana Beach and run through Avenida Atlantica.  Before the parade, there is a political action scheduled for 9AM.

View the VamosGay Guide to Rio »

Join our VamosGay Rio mailing list and get the latest updates.

Plan your trip now with our guide to the top gay-friendly hotels and places to stay in Rio de Janeiro!  And check back for a full schedule of festivities once pride week events are confirmed.

View the VamosGay Guide to Rio »

New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the best places in the world to ring in the New Year (or, as Brazilians call it Réveillon.)  While the northern hemisphere is freezing, the beaches of Rio are warm … and the men are hot!  This guide for 2019 is split into three sections:  getting there, enjoying New Years Eve on Copacabana beach, and finding the best gay parties.

Getting There / Places to Stay

We recommend that you fly down in late December and spend a week discovering Rio de Janeiro.  (Rates for the high season start on flights departing after December 27.)  To book an international flight to Rio, the best websites are:

Once in Rio, you will need a place to stay.  Ipanema Beach is where the boys are.  Copacabana is amazing as well.  Check out our list of the best LGBT friendly hotels and apartments in gay Rio.

For the plane ride down, pick up a copy of Lonely Planet Rio de Janeiro, the best English language guide to the city.  (United States citizens will also need to apply for a Visa to enter Brazil.  Americans won’t be able to board their flights without it.)

Copacabana Beach

Fabulous and free!  The sands of Copacabana (and neighboring Ipanema) are the place to be this time of year.  The New Year’s Eve tradition is to wear white and pay tribute to Iemanjá, the water goddess at the center of Brazil’s Candomblé religion.  Every year, there is a massive party with live music that fills the sands of Copacabana Beach, however if you stay in Ipanema you will only be 20 to 30 minutes away by foot.  The music starts between 8 and 9PM, and the fireworks begin at the stroke of midnight.

Parties, Parties, and More Parties!

Get every last drop out of 2018 before the year ends.  Rio’s gay bars will be open and ready to party after Christmas Day.  There are three major gay parties which will run from  December 30th through the end of  January 1st.  We will update this guide once the details for each become available.

Bookmark this page for your gay Rio New Years plans, or subscribe to our newsletter below.

São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade 2018

The largest gay pride parade in the world celebrated its 22nd anniversary when the São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade took over the city on Sunday, June 3, 2018Watch the recording of the live webcast.

The theme of the 2018 parade was Elections: Power for the LGBTI+ Our Vote, Our Voice and the objective is to utilize the movement to influence the upcoming Brazilian elections.  In 2017, over 3 million people took to the streets of Sao Paulo, according to parade 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.  We will update this page with a full schedule for the 2018 pride parade when it becomes available.

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 »

Pride Week 2018 Schedule

Film festivals, art exhibits, nightclub events, and even walks in the park.  The weeks before the actual parade on SundayJune 3rd will have something for everyone.

Thursday  May 31

18th Annual LGBT Cultural Fair @ 10am @ Vale do Anhagabau

Pre-Pride @ 6pm @ Boteco do Massay

Dama da Noite @9pm @ Cabaret da Cecilia

Talent @ 10:30pm @ Thermas Lagoa

Pop Party w/ Freddie Mercury Tribute @ 11pm @ Cantho

Churrasco @ 11pm @ The Week

Bigger @ 11pm @ Club Yacht

Erotika w/ live sex show @ 11pm Danger Dance Club

Friday  June 1

1st Annual Trans Pride March @ 2pm @ Largo do Arouche

“Os Rapazes da Rua Augusta” Play @ 9pm @ Teatro Bibi Ferreira

Bear Underwear Party @ 11pm @ Eagle Sao Paulo

Pre-Pride Strippers and Drag @ 11pm @ Bar Fama

Best Stripper Contest @ 10:30pm @ Thermas Lagoa

Gang Bang @ 11pm @ Wild Thermas

“Bigger” Party @ 11pm @ Blue Space

Maryana Mercury @ 11pm @ Bar Queen

Kevin @ 11 @ Zig

Sexta Destruidora @ 11pm @ Bar Verde

Matinee: Eterna 2018 Party @ 11:30pm  @ The Week

Dando (nude sex party) @ 11pm @ Club 380

Fun! @ 11pm @ Bubu

Freak Chic @ 11:30pm @ D-Edge

Saturday June 2

Free Walk Tour LGBT @ 3pm @ Largo do Arouche

Miss Brazil Gay Universe @ 9pm @ Memorial da America Latina

Milkshake Festival @ 4pm @ Anhembi Arena

We Party Mantra (co-promoted by The Week) @ 5pm @ Clube Aquatico Portuguesa

Ursound Mega Pride @ 11pm @ Audio Club

Main Party @ 11pm @ The Week

Sunday  June 3

22nd Annual LGBT Pride Parade 🏳️‍🌈 @ 10am @ MASP (location on Av. Paulista.)

Fresh Pride @ 3pm @ Hotel Prince Tower

Pool Party @ 4pm @ The Week

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

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 »

Photos from Pride 2018

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*Note for American visitors in 2018:  Travel to Brazil requires a visa.   Get visa info you will need in time for June’s pride parade from the U.S. State Department website.

Gay Guide to Carnival 2019 in Rio de Janeiro

In 2019, Carnival will begin on Friday, Mar 1 and run through a wild extended weekend to Tuesday, March 6.  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 2019

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.  Click below the full calendar of events from Carnival 2018.  It will give you an idea of what to expect in 2019.

View the Carnival 2018 schedule »

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 2019.



Online Resources During Carnival 2019

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!

Carnival in Rio 2018 – Gay Event Schedule

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Festive block parties, chic nightclub events, and over-the-top Samba parades … Carnival in Rio de Janeiro has a multitude of fun experiences for gay travelers.  (And, you can heat things up even more with our listings of Rio de Janeiro’s gay saunas and sex clubs!) Here’s the full list of gay-friendly events for Carnival 2018!  Leave your feedback for VamosGay via email, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.



Sat Jan 13
3PM – 8PM
Location:
Centro
Google Map »
Bloco Toco Xona: Pre-Carnival
One of the the most popular blocos for girls-who-like-girls, Bloco Toco Xona welcomes gay boys too!  This year, Toco Xona will celebrate their 10 year anniversary.  Learn more from our guide to LGBT blocos.
Sat Jan 20
3PM – 8PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda de Ipanema
In the heart of gay Ipanema, this banda is biggest of all of the gay-friendly blocos.  Learn more from our guide to LGBT-friendly blocos.
Sat Jan 27
3PM – 8PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda de Ipanema
One more pre-Carnival bloco which is sure to pack the streets around Ipanema beach.  After the street party winds down, catch the sunset on the beach, have a shower, and try dinner at Felice.
Date TBD
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Simpatia é Quase Amor
Get in the spirit with this pre-Carnival bloco from the free-spirited Simpatia e Quase Amor.  Learn more about them from our guide to LGBT-friendly blocos. So far, this bloco has not provided a date and time for 2018, but we hope to have an update soon.
Sun Feb 4
9:30A-1:30P
Location:
Centro
Google Map »
Bloco Fogo e Paixão
This bloco of “fire and passion” is very queer friendly … and a great place to warm-up your party muscles before Bloco da Preta.  Event info, and video of a past Fogo e Paixao block party.
Sun Feb 4
8AM- 1PM
Location:
Centro
Google Map »
Bloco da Preta
The biggest gay-friendly pre-Carnival bloco featuring singer Preta Gil.  Carnival organizers estimate attendance of 400,00!  The warm-up starts at 8am, but the parade will “launch” at 10am.
Fri Feb 9
11:PM
Location:
The Week RJ
Google Map »
Carnaval at The Week
Carnival opens with a bang at Rio’s biggest and best gay nightclub.  DJs keep the sweaty dance floors moving at The Week.
Sat Feb 10
3PM – 9PM
Location:
TBD
Google Map »
Bloco Toco Xona (unconfirmed)
By the girls, and for the girls!  This bloco is known for its skilled female Carnival drummers.  Gay guys are always welcome to join in on the fun.
Sat Feb 10
5 :30PM
Location:
Centro
Google Map »
Banda de Ipanema
The first of three Carnival week blocos from the biggest GLS/LGBT-friendly banda in Rio.  Catch them again on Monday and Tuesday. Learn more about Banda da Ipanema from our guide to GLS blocos.
Date TBD
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Simpatia é Quase Amor
Get a second shot of peace-and-love, as this gay-friendly bloco returns to Ipanema.  The start time is 2pm, but this laid-back Sunday parade will start … whenever it starts.
Sun Feb 11
1PM – 1AM
Location:
Mansão Carioca
Google Map »
Joy Party at Mansão Carioca
The party continues at the gorgeous mansion known as Mansao Carioca.  Enjoy the line-up of DJs by the pool and check out the eye candy. Highly recommended!
Event info & tickets
Mon Feb 12
Time TBD
Location:
Centro
Google Map »
Bloco Bunytos de Corpo (TBD)
Jazzercize your way down to Praça Tiradentes for a bizarre (yet fun) gay-friendly bloco celebrating the fitness craze of the ’80s.  (Note: Bunytos de Corpo has not officially announced anything for 2017, but they do enjoy surprises.  We’ll update this listing ASAP.)
Mon Feb 12
4PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda de Ipanema
Return to Praça General Osório for more samba, good vibes.  This Monday edition will be kid-friendly
Date TBD
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Simpatia é Quase Amor
Free-spirited bloco brings everyone together to parade through Praça General Osório.  Check our guide to LGBT-friendly blocos for more on Simpatia é Quase Amor.
Tue Feb 13
5:30PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda da Ipanema
Carnival Tuesdays can to be slow.  Spend a relaxing day on the beach, find a gay friendly restaurant for lunch then hang out in Ipanema for one last party with the Banda.
Tue Feb 13
6PM
Location:
Lapa
Google Map »
Banda das Quengas
What’s more fun than a slut-walk?  A block party of whores!  (That’s the literal translation of this bloco‘s name.)  Your excuse to dress like a five dollar hooker and get drunk in the streets has arrived.  (Start time not confirmed yet.  Will update this listing when it’s official.)
Tue Feb 13
11PM
Location:
Scala Rio
Google Map »
Scala Gay Ball
The grande finale of Carnival!  Located in the Scala nightclub with three sections, DJs, live samba, food and drinks.  Doors open before midnight, but 1AM is a better time to arrive.  Learn more info on the Scala Rio Gay Ball.
Tue Feb 28
All-Night
Location:
Everywhere
Google Map »
Hit the Bars!
Every gay bar in Rio will be running some sort of promotion.  If you choose to skip the Scala, you can still have a fun time.  (And don’t forget, the gay saunas will be open for those looking for a different kind of fun before Ash Wednesday when Carnival is officially over.)

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