Category Archives: rio de janeiro

Carnival in Rio 2017 – 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 2017!  Leave your feedback for VamosGay via email, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Sat Feb 4
3PM – 8PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda da 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 Feb 11
3PM – 8PM
Location:
Ipanema
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 Feb 11
3PM – 8PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda da 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.
Sat Feb18
2PM – 8PM
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.
Sun Feb 19
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 19
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.
Sat Feb 24
11PM – 7AM
Location:
Scala Rio
Google Map »
Viemos do Egyto – Masked Ball
Drawing inspiration from ancient Egypt for both their fashion and their decadent approach to celebrations. Tickets and info on Facebook.  Learn more from our guide to GLS blocos.
Fri Feb 24
11:PM
Location:
The Week RJ
Google Map »
Masterbeat Magic at The Week
Carnival opens with a bang as DJs Ana Paula, Brett Henrichsen (Masterbeat-USA) Tommy Love, and more keep the sweaty dance floors moving at The Week.
Fri Feb 24
6PM – 6AM
Location:
Sambadrome
Google Map »
Treta’s Carnival Friday at Sambadrome Sapucaí
Take a break from the street blocos and party inside the exclusive lounge of the Sambadrome, the massive arena which is home to the city’s grand Carnival parade.  Info and tickets on Facebook
Sat Feb 25
3PM – 9PM
Location:
Praia do Flamengo 340
Google Map »
Bloco Toco Xona
By the girls, and for the girls!  This bloco is known for its skilled female Carnival drummers.  Gay guys are welcome to join them for their 10 anniversary.
Sat Feb 25
2:30PM
Location:
Solar de Santa
Google Map »
Joy Party at Solar de Santa – Day One
The “beautiful people” come together in Santa Tereza for a party with awesome DJs.  Solar do Santa is a stunning colonial mansion with great views of Rio.  Partying into the sunset here is highly recommended. Event info
Sat Feb 25
5 :30PM
Location:
Centro
Google Map »
Banda da 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.
Sat Feb 26
11PM
Location:
The Week RJ
Google Map »
Forever Tel Aviv “So Happy” at The Week
Dance until dawn with the circuit boys at The Week on a night featuring an lineup of DJs from across the globe.
Sun Feb 26
2PM
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 26
2:30PM
Location:
Solar de Santa
Google Map »
Joy Party at Solar de Santa – Day Two
The party continues at the gorgeous colonial mansion known as Solar de Santa.  Enjoy the line-up of DJs by the pool and check out the eye candy. Highly recommended! Event info
Sun Feb 26
2:30PM
Location:
Solar de Santa
Google Map »
Sunday Night at 00 (Zero Zero)
Staying in Copacabana or Ipanema?  Take a short cab ride to Gavea for a night at 00 (pronounced “zero zero”)  An attractive, young (yet mature) crowd of straight and gay Brazilians can be found every Sunday in any of 00’s indoor and outdoor spaces.
Mon Feb 27
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 27
4PM
Location:
Ipanema
Google Map »
Banda da Ipanema
Return to Praça General Osório for more samba, good vibes, and boys from Ipanema.
Mon Feb 27
11PM
Location:
Vivo Rio
Google Map »
The Week Presents: Abel at Vivo Rio
DJ Abel headlines a party too big to be contained by The Week.  Head over to the Vivo Rio space for the massive party.  It will be the place to be on Monday night.
Tue Feb 28
2PM – 8PM
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 28
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 28
6PM
Location:
Lapa
Google Map »
Banda das Quengas (TBD)
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 28
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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Carnival, New Year’s, and Gay Pride: Event Calendar for Rio de Janeiro in 2016

What days are best for gay travelers interested in Rio de Janeiro?  All 365 of them are fabulous, but three holidays: New Year’s, Carnival, and Gay Pride.

Scroll down for specific dates in 2016, travel tips, and events in the city.  Outside of the holidays, use the VamosGay Guide to Rio de Janeiro.  It has the best, most up-to-date listings for gay-friendly hotelsbars, restaurants, and adults-only fun in Rio!

New Year’s Day / Reveillon 2016

Thursday, December 31 – Friday, January 1
From the fireworks on Copacabana Beach to the city’s biggest gay after-party … Click here for the VamosGay Guide to New Year’s in Rio

Carnival 2016 in Rio, Salvador, and Florianópolis

Friday, February 5 – Wednesday, February 10
Three of the biggest Carnival destinations in Brazil are also three of the gay-friendliest.  Guides to all three cities are coming soon!  Follow VamosGay on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest news.

Gay Pride 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Every color of the arco-iris shines as the LGBT Pride Parade fills Rio de Janeiro.

Summer Olympics 2016

August 5 – 21, 2016
A guide for the many gay tourists who will be visiting the Cidade Maravilhosa!  Click to visit the VamosGay Guide to Olympics 2016 in Rio.

Gay Bars & Clubs of Rio de Janeiro

First-time visitors to the Latin American paradise known as Rio de Janeiro can follow a simple formula.  Stay at a hotel in zona sul (the southern zone of the city where Ipanema and Copacabana are located.) From zona sul, you can enjoy the beach by day and party hard by night at local bars and clubs.

Rio’s other gay bar crawl can be found in the Lapa neighborhood (with a few spots technically in Centro, but less than 20 minutes away by foot.)  Lapa is not gay per se, but open to anything and everything fun.  On the way to gay parties at Buraco da Lacraia and Sinônimo, you will inevitably be swept up in the rhythms of live music or tempted to stop for a bite of some of Rio’s most mouthwatering restaurants where gays and straights come together.

Outside of these two neighborhoods, the VamosGay list of gay bars and clubs includes gay favorites like 00 (pronounced “zero zero”) which are well worth the trip!  Visit the Rio events page to get the agenda for bars and clubs during special events like Carnival, Gay Pride, and New Years.  (And don’t forget our Google Map of Gay Rio de Janeiro!)

00

Avenida Padre Leonel Franca 240
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
⛔  3/15/2017 — Bad news … 00 has closed its doors after over 10 years of fun.  We’ll update this if/when news becomes available.
Take a short taxi trip to Gávea and pay the pricey cover fee for the perfect way to end your weekend.  The Sunday night party at 00 is highly recommended.  The crowd is hip and young.  The club itself has both an indoor area with a restaurant, and a large stylish outdoor space.

Anexo Lounge

Rua do Rezende 52
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
This Lapa pub has enough great food to be on the lists of both gay-friendly bars and restaurants.  Aside from the dinner menu and drinks, weekends often feature live performances.  The Anexo Facebook page is the best way to know before you go.  Saturdays are particularly good.

Bar 49

Rua Teixeira de Melo 48
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Google map »
Trendy (mostly straight) bar attracts a mix of beautiful people and local artists.
Read our full review of Bar 49 »

Boate 1140

Rua Capitao Menezes, 1140
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Locals love this gay party palace in Jacarepaguá.  Brazilian beats and Brazilian guys and the rock the house every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Check the Boate 1140 website for the occasional Thursday promotion and more info about the club.

Buraco da Lacraia

Rua André Cavalcânti 58
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Google Map »
Escape the gay tourist bubble of Copacabana and Ipanema for a truly unique Brazilian experience.  Every Friday night, pay one cheap cover to enter and have all of the beer (or soft drinks) you can handle.  If you enter around 10:30 you can catch their legendary cabaret show of politics/comedy/performance art.  Take the stairs up to a 2nd dance floor where sexy garçons wearing only an aprons and a bow ties will happily serve you drinks.

Estilo da Lapa

Avenida Mem de Sá 127
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Google Map »
Very small bar with cheap drinks and small plates.  The crowd is almost exclusively gay locals.  Popular with couples.  Worth stopping in on a weeknight for a beer before 11pm.

Fosfobox

Rua Siqueira Campos 143 (loja 23 & 24)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
This long-running gay-friendly Copacabana music venue is named after a type of matchbox and tucked within a small shopping plaza, Fosfobox is a small club with a big focus on music.  On any given night you may encounter techno, house, or neo funk.  View the lineup and get more info on the Fosfobox website.  Fridays tend to be the gayest.

Galeria Cafe

Rua Teixeira de Melo 31
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Google Map »
Highly recommended on Friday nights!  First time visitors to Rio are often surprised by the current lack of gay nightclubs in Ipanema.  (Rest in peace, Dama de Ferro.)  However, every Friday, Galeria packs in the young hotties and a few of their straight female BFFs.  Music ranges from “flashbacks” to the 80’s and 90’s to pop divas of today like Rihanna.  Galeria is not very big and gets sweatier (and sexier) as closing time approaches.

Le Boy

Rua Raul Pompéia, 102
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Google Map »
⛔ Closed 4/4/2016 – No info on re-opening ⛔
The legendary Le Boy is a must-visit for any gay tourist visiting Rio.  Located on the edge of Copacabana, within walking distance of Ipanema, Le Boy attracts hordes of tourists, hot local men … and unfortunately a few criminals.  (Watch your wallet, cellphone, and drink.  “Boa Noite Cinderela” is the phenomenon of slipping drugs into stranger’s drinks and robbing them.)  Le Boy stays faithful to the gay nightlife formula of pumped-up go-go boys, fabulous drag queens, club remixes of pop favorites, and strong drinks.  At 3AM, the darkroom section becomes very active.
Read our full review of Le Boy »

La Cueva

Rua Miguel Lemos 51
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Google Map »
The oldest remaining gay bar in Rio de Janeiro is worth a visit if you are staying in Copacabana.  There is often no cover, or the cover includes two free beers.  La Cueva (Spanish for “the cave”) is located below street level and has a cavernous look and feel.  The bar (with a small dance floor) markets itself as a bar for ursos (bears), but it is extremely popular with maduros (older guys) as well.

Papa G

Travessa Almerinda Freitas 42
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Located an hour away from the tourist zone of Copacabana, Papa G rewards gays and lesbians who are up for the trip with big parties Wednesday through Sunday.  Musically, it’s a great place to party to Brazilian beats like pagode and funk from both DJs and live performers.  Strong drinks, and outrageous drag shows, make Papa G a club to remember.

Sinônimo Lapa

Avenida Mem de Sá 118
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Google Map »
With two levels of dance floors and a rooftop, Sinônimo is the biggest gay option in Rio’s bohemian Lapa neighborhood.  The crowd tends to be 60% gay guys, %30 lesbians, and %10 straight boys and girls.  The first floor often features live music.  Fridays are recommended … Maybe after leaving Buraco da Lacraia at 1:30AM semi-wasted on free beer?

TV Bar

Avenida Nossa Sra. de Copacabana 1417
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Google Map »
This relatively small bar with a dance floor is located inside a former TV network facility.  The crowd is young but with enough tourists sprinkled around to make everyone will feel welcome.
Read our full review of TV Bar »

Up Turn Bar & Lounge

Avenida das Américas 2000 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil     Google Map »
Very lively bar on Saturdays for anyone curious to visit the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood.  Get more info and view photos on the Up Turn Facebook page.

The Week

Rua Sacadura Cabral 135
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    Google Map »
The place to be every Saturday.  You will have no complaints about the high cover charge once you see how The Week brings together the best DJs, performers, and boys in Brazil.  Highly recommended!
Read our full review of The Week »

Gay Carnival “Blocos” of Rio de Janeiro

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The massive parades held in Rio de Janeiro’s arena known as the Sambadrome are the most recognized symbols of Brazilian Carnival around the world.

However, visitors and locals alike can tell you Rio’s smaller blocos da rua (street block parties) are much more fun … and much gayer!  Almost every bloco is infused with a small amount of playful sexuality and gender fluidity.  But, a handful of blocos are widely recognized as gay-friendly (or GLS, the Portuguese acronym for gay, lesbian, and sympathizers.)

Bring your camera as pumped up boys and extra-fabulous drag queens are plentiful.  You will also find loads of visual arts, live music, and satirical social commentary.  In 2017, expect to see many costumes satirizing issues that may go over your head as a foreigner (like nation’s new president Michel Temer, or even the pesky mosquito carrying the zika virus.)

To navigate all of these blocos (and find bars, clubs, restaurants, and gay-friendly hotels) use this link to the VamosGay Google Map of Gay Rio 🌎

Banda de Ipanema

The biggest of all of the GLS blocos, Banda de Ipanema is as colorful and gay as the neighborhood they call home.  Founded in 1964, this banda boldly marched at a time when flamboyance was truly dangerous.   Banda de Ipanema blocos are extremely popular, so be prepared to drink and be merry with thousands of other revelers.

Here are their confirmed dates for 2017.  All take place at Praça General Osório, located in the heart of Ipanema.
Sat, Jan 23     5PM – 10PM     Pre-Carnival
Sat, Feb 25       5:30PM start    Carnival
Tue, Feb 28      5:30PM start    Carnival

Bloco da Preta

The daughter of Brazilian music legend Gilberto Gil, and an extremely popular musician in her own right, Preta Gil is the mistress of ceremonies for one of Rio’s biggest pre-Carnival blocos. Preta’s gay following is massive, and months before Bloco da Preta there are pre-bloco parties held at nightclubs across Brazil.  The city of Rio de Janeiro estimates Bloco da Preta will attract nearly 40,000 revelers in 2017.  Expect a large percentage of gays.  The bloco will be downtown at Rua Premeiro do Marco.

Banda das Quengas

In Portugues, quenga means “whore,” although because so much of the sex is free, maybe “slut” would be a better translation.  The dress code for a bloco das quengas draws inspiration from cheap street hookers. Here’s a photo gallery to give you a better idea.  The atmosphere is liberada – free from the rules of society, free from what anyone thinks.

These quengas are fun, but not organized enough to set up a website.  So, we’ll let you know where to find them for Carnival 2017.  Their bloco is scheduled to startson Avenida Mem da Sá in the Lapa district.

Cordão da Bola Preta

This is the best reason to break out of the gay tourist bubble of Ipanema/Copacabana!  This well-established group has a massive presence in Centro (downtown) which is mostly straight, but gays are always welcomed.  Check the Bola Preta website (in Portuguese) for their full agenda of blocos for 2017.   Outside of Carnival, Bola Preta’s feijoada parties with live musicians are a great way to start a Saturday night.

Simpatia é Quase Amor

Back in the heart of Ipanema, the group Simpatia é Quase Amor has more of a hippy vibe where gays are part of a gigantic rainbow where everyone is has a good time.  In 2017, the start times for both events is 2PM, but expect to hang out and drink before the parade actually starts moving.  Join Simpatia é Quase Amor before Carnival, and during Carnival week. Both events take place in Ipanema’s Praça General Osório.

Bloco Toco Xona

By the girls, and for the girls … Bloco Toco Xona is famous for its female bateristas (Carnival drummers.)  Gay boys are welcome too!  For 2017, catch their pre-Carnival show will start at Praça Joia Valansi in the Botofogo district.

Bunytos de Corpo

This  is a very camp, humorous, performance art group whose aesthetics are based on physical fitness craze of the 1980’s.  Leotards, leg warmers, headbands, athletic shorts, and more!  Get physical with Bunytos de Corpo as they run (and drink) through Praça Tiradentes.

Viemos do Egyto

Drawing inspiration from ancient Egypt for both their fashion and their decadent approach to celebrations.  Viemos do Egyto gets little press outside of Brazil, but you will recognize them (and their devotees) when you see them in downtown Rio on the final night of Carnival.  Dressed in black and gold, they express their art through music and dance, drawing in everyone who passes by.  Start time is still TBD.  More background on the Viemos do Egyto (in Portuguese) via O Globo.

Bars & Clubs

Aside from the blocos in the street, there are more formal bailes (balls.)  The official baile is the Scala Rio Gay Ball.

One last cheap-and-easy option to just drop by any gay bar during Carnival.  Use our list of gay bars and clubs of Rio to find the right one for you.  And, if you haven’t booked your room for Rio yet (hurry up!) and use our list of the city’s gay-friendly hotels.

« Return to Carnival 2017 Home

View full day-to-day schedule »

Gay Couple Ejected By Homophobic Driver in Rio

A 36 year-old businessman will file a claim with the organization “Rio Without Homophobia” against a driver hailed using the 99taxis app (a popular alternative to Uber in Latin America.)

The plaintiff and his boyfriend were ejected from the car in the dead of the night on Avenida Almirante Barroso in downtown Rio.  The reason for expelling the couple?  One boyfriend fell asleep during the ride resting his head on the other’s shoulder.

They claim the driver informed them “I think you better leave.  I don’t want perversion in my car.”  as reported by Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

The couple had just left the popular Carnival bloco “Bunytos de Corpo” at 2AM.

The story of the homophobic 99taxis driver sparked a firestorm on Brazilian social media.  Shortly thereafter, 99taxis issued a statement in a follow up story by O Globo announcing that the driver in question had been dismissed.

View Our Gay Guide to Rio de Janeiro »

Gay Guide to Carnival 2018 in Rio de Janeiro

In 2018, Carnival will begin on Friday, February 9 and run through a wild extended weekend to Tuesday, February 13.  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 the following.

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 2018

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 for the past list of gay blocos, nightclub events, and parades from 2017.  It will give you an idea of what to expect in 2018.  (We’ll update this listing as soon as detailed info on 2018 becomes available.)

View full gay Carnival schedule »

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 “offline” maps.  Download our Google Map now.
  • Bring your drivers license to nightclubs.  ID is required on occasion.  Dragging around your passport is not necessary.
  • 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.   Splurge!
  • 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 2018.

Online Resources During Carnival 2018

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!

Gay Saunas, Cinemas, and Sex Clubs of Rio de Janeiro

Do gay men really need a guide to getting laid in Rio de Janeiro?  It is a city with several gay clubs and an open culture where a stroll along the beach can lead to a sexual conquest.  Combined with mobile apps like Grindr, Scruff, and Tinder (all very popular in Brazil) sex is almost too easy in Rio.  (Also, don’t forget,  prostitution is legal in Brazil.)

However, in Portuguese they say  o que é bom pode ser melhor (what is good can be better.)  The following list of Rio de Janeiro’s saunas, cinemas, and sex clubs will definitely make a hot time even hotter!  Most of the locations are tourist friendly, but use caution.  And try the VamosGay Google Map to Gay Rio de Janeiro to navigate the city.

Cine Iris

Rua da Carioca 49
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Mon – Sat 10AM – 9PM
Sunday 12PM – 9PM
Creepy former cinema palace in downtown Rio.  There are three floors where action takes place in the shadows while porn is projected onto the main screen.  At the box office there is a schedule of live strip shows, however the performers are female.  Location is also popular with transsexual prostitutes.

Cine Rex

Alvaro Alvim 33
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Mon – Fri 11AM – 8PM
Sat and Sun 2PM – 8PM
Another one of Rio’s former grand movie theaters in the Cinelândia neighborhood.  Cine Rex has fallen into disrepair and become a XXX theater.  By day, there are patrons from the nearby offices of Rio’s bustling business district.  For the most part, the clientele is not-so-hot.

Club 117

Rua Cândido Mendes 117
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Tue – Sun 3PM -1AM
Closed on Mondays
Best little whorehouse in Rio!  This sauna where muscular escorts solicit clients is also home to some of the city’s most popular drag and stripper performances.

Kabalk Sauna

Rua Santa Luíza 459
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Everyday 3PM – 11PM
Sauna offers massage and an outdoor area.

Klub Meetings

Praça Tiradentes, Rua Pedro I  num 7 sala 903
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Open Sunday through Tuesday morning.  Text for specific hours.
Invitation-only private club in downtown Rio with selective membership for in-shape and well-hung men.  Not a sauna but more of a private grand party house.  Send a WhatsApp message to get on the list +55 (21) 98367-8172

Le Boy Fitness

Rua Raul Pompéia 102
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Tue – Sun 3PM – 5AM
Closed Mondays
The most well known gay club in Rio, Le Boy closed it’s lesbian sister club Le Girl and now hosts a an expanded sauna with stripper shows in what is known as Le Boy Fitness.

New Meio Mundo

Rua Teófilo Otoní 18
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Mondays and Fridays 3PM – 12AM
Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sat 3PM – 11PM
Sauna located downtown is popular with the after-work crowd. Stripper and drag shows on the weekend.  Reasonably-priced guys make it popular with locals.

Praia do Abricó / Abrico Nude Beach

Near Grumari Beach
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Open ever day
How many nude beaches does Rio officially have?  Only one!  Yes, one of the world’s sexiest cities actually had zero clothing-optional beaches until the government approved Abrico Beach in 2014.  The crowd is mixed and respectful.

Praia da Farme / Posto 9

Rua Farme de Amoedo & Avenida Viera Souto
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google  Map »
Open everyday
Look for the rainbow flag and the buff bronze lifeguards to find the gayest section of Ipanema Beach.  Enjoy the sun and watch the natives play volleyball.  No sex here, but flirt all you want.

Point 202

Rua Siqueira Campos 202
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google  Map »
Tue – Thur 3PM – 11PM
Wednesdays 3PM – 12AM
Sauna for escorts and clients in Copacabana has gone down over the years, but is still worth a visit for those looking spends some cash for a good time.

Rio G Spa

Rua Teixeira de Melo 16
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Everday 3PM to 12AM
Very popular destination after a day on Ipanema Beach.  Few to zero hustlers.  Almost always a crowd of in-shape men after 5PM.

Sauna Copacabana

Rua Dias da Rocha 83
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Everday from 12PM to 12AM
For older daddies and their fans.   No escorts.

Sauna Carioca

Rua de Guaratiba 20
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Everyday from 3PM to 12AM
Sauna with a relaxed social vibe.

Seven Cruising Bar

Praça da República 141
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Mon – Sat 10AM – 11PM
Sundays 7AM – 10PM
Bar with cabins and other areas to play.
Click below for our review and event listings for Carnival 2017!
Read our full review of Seven Cruising Bar

Sex Rose

Rua Álvaro Alvim, 37
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Mon – Thur 9AM – 11PM
Saturdays 9AM – 10PM
Sundays 1PM – 10PM
Enter what appears to be a simple adult bookstore with condoms, videos, and toys … then pay the entrance fee and continue upstairs to a very hot crowd of 20, 30, and 40 year-olds.  There’s even a small bar and club music!  This hidden gem is highly recommended.

Termas Catete

Rua Corrêa Dutra 34
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Sun – Thur 1PM – 12AM
Fridays and Saturdays 1PM – 6AM
Escort-free sauna for the average Jose.

Termas Leblon

Rua Barrão da Torre 522
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Google Map »
Mon – Wed 12PM – 12AM
Thur – Sun 12PM – 6AM
Great facilities for the over 40 crowd.

« Return to Gay Guide to Rio

Gay-Friendly Hotels and Places to Stay in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s hotel industry is very aware of the power of the “pink” dollar and hotels in large tourist destinations are gay-friendly.   The list below are the best, and most popular, places to stay.  Most of them are near clusters of Rio’s gay nightlife and popular beaches “where the boys are.”

Altos de Santa Teresa

This chic, yet informal, guesthouse built in the heights (altos) of the Santa Teresa neighborhood.  Spectacular panoramic views include the Christ the Redeemer statue and the Sugarloaf mountain range.  Friendly staff and great amenities make all 9 spacious rooms in high demand.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Hotel Atlântico Copacabana

Great option in Copacabana near the Siquero Campos Metro station.  Located a few blocks further from the beach makes the prices consistently lower.  Relaxed guest policy has made this a favorite with gay travelers since the 1990s.

View hotel details/lowest rate

Arpoador Inn Hotel

A long-time favorite for the following reasons: friendly front desk, amazing breakfast  with a boardwalk view of Arpoador Beach (the small beach between Copacabana and Ipanema.)  The Arpoador Inn is within a ten minute walk of gay Ipanema and about fifteen minutes from Copacabana nightspots like Le Boy.

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Casa Cool Beans B&B

Gay owned and operated guesthouse.  Informative hosts are full of tips on gay Rio.  Many downtown and Lapa attractions are within a 20 minute walk.  Use the VamosGay Google map to Rio de Janeiro to view all of the nearby bars, restaurant, clubs, and saunas.

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Casa Mosquito

This beachside boutique hotel features a restaurant, a spa and luxurious personalized services.  Within walking distance to attractions in both Ipanema and Copacabana.  Guests rave about the interior design, service, and outstanding breakfast.

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Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

One of the best hotels in Brazil, the Fasano brings world class luxury to gay Ipanema.  Click below for photos and more information.  The Fasano is expensive but worth every penny.

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Golden Tulip Ipanema Plaza

Very popular high-end hotel is often booked to capacity during high season.  However, booking a room at the Golden Tulip not only give you a hotel room; it gives you access to guests-only rooftop and much coveted beach chairs and towels on the prime real estate of Ipanema Beach gayest section Praia da Farme.

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La Maison by Dussol

Like spending your vacation in a high-fashion photo shoot, his luxurious guesthouse sits within a green area in Rio de Janeiro. It offers a contemporary, neo-classic décor and daily in-suite breakfast.  La Maison is in the Gavea neighborhood which is removed from the madness of the touristy section of Rio, but only a 10 minute taxi ride to Ipanema.

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Mar Ipanema Hotel

Great option in Ipanema with a number of shops on the trendy streets opposite the beach.  Rooms during New Years and Carnival are in high demand.  Get more Mar Ipanema info and options to book it below.

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MisterB&B

The gay alternative to AirBnB is now available in Latin America!  Click below to browse gay-hosted apartments across Rio de Janeiro.

Search for apartments

Pestana Rio Atlântica

Five-star beachfront hotel in Copacabana welcomes gay travelers to stay in the lap of luxury.  The rooftop bar is an excellent place to catch the sunset while enjoying a cocktail.  (One sad update, the Top of the Pestana gay party has been discontinued.  Anyone who attended it during Carnival 2015 knows how much it will be missed.)

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Praia Ipanema Hotel

The most serene of the Ipanema Beach hotels, the Praia Ipanema has a quiet rooftop with some of the best views in Rio’s zona sul.

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Sol Ipanema

Superb location on the Ipanema Beach seafront, within a vibrant area of bars and restaurants. It features a sunny terrace with breathtaking coast views.

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Sofitel Rio de Janeiro

Luxury hotel in the heart of Copacabana.  Click below for photos and more info about this five-star hotel.

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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 2018 is split into three sections:  getting there, New Years Eve on Copacabana beach, and the gay after parties.

The biggest gay after-parties start após a virada (after midnight when the fireworks are over.)

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.  Both regions have hotels and apartments in the gay-friendly listings for 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.  It sucks, but, remember, Americans won’t be able to board their flights without it.)

Copacabana Beach

Fabulous and free!  There’s no cover charge to Copacabana Beach. The New Year’s Eve tradition is to wear white and pay tribute to Iemanjá, water goddess at the center of the Candomblé religion.  The massive party with live music 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. The also had a list of the best private and hotel-hosted New Year’s parties.  This will give you an idea of what to expect this year.  We’ll update this as soon as info for 2018 becomes available.

Circuit Parties

In the past, three major parties rocked Rio: one at the legendary gay nightclub Le Boy (which has since closed its doors), another was organized by the Brazilian circuit party group Republik BSB, and the third was at our Editor’s Choice for Best Nightclub The Week.

Plans for Réveillon 2018 have yet to be announced.  Bookmark this page, or subscribe to our newsletter below.

Olympics 2016 Gay Guide to Rio

Over ten thousand athletes from 206 different countries will converge upon Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The biggest sporting event on the planet promises to attract a record number of tourists.  To assist them, the city of Rio has created an English-language guide full of attractions and useful tips.  (Try our guide for getting a mobile data and SIM card in Brazil.)

For the many gay tourists who will be visiting the Cidade Maravilhosa, we have created the VamosGay Guide to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  It will build upon our current listings for gay-friendly hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs … and even places to hook up.

The opening ceremonies will take place on August 5 and the Olympic Games will run until the closing ceremony on August 21.

Bookmark vamosgay.com/olympics-2016-rio to view the complete city guide later this year.  And, follow VamosGay on Twitter, and Facebook to get the latest updates for #Rio2016.



Booking.com

Restaurants and Cafes of Gay Friendly Rio

The “gayborhoods” of Rio de Janeiro are blessed with a multitude of places grab a quick bite, sit down for a full meal, or recharge your battery with something caffeinated.   The following is a shortlist of gay and gay-friendly spots in Copacabana, Ipanema, and Lapa.  After you fuel up, continue the night at any of the many gay bars and clubs of Rio de Janiero. Continue reading Restaurants and Cafes of Gay Friendly Rio

Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride 2017 Parade on October 15

Updated July 2017:
Good news for gay travelers!  As previously reported in April, the annual LGBT pride parade for one of the world’s most popular gay destinations was in jeopardy of cancellation as Brazil’s financial crisis continues.  However, we are happy to report that the parade will go on and is now scheduled for Sunday, October 15th.

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 »

Scala Rio Gay Ball

« Return to Carnival 2017 Home

Carnival events in Rio de Janeiro can be placed into one of three categories:

  • blocos da rua – These are block parties originally organized by neighborhood groups.  One of the oldest, Banda de Ipanema, is also a gay-friendly bloco
  • bailes (formal indoor balls) – These cabaret-style balls are a long standing tradition with food, drinks, and amazing live performances.
  • parada / desfile – Huge spectacular parade in which escolas de samba (Samba schools) compete for the grand prize in Rio’s massive Sambadrome arena.

The Scala Rio Gay Ball is a baile (one of its many names is the Baile Gay do Rio Scala.)  During Carnival, many balls are held at the Scala Rio nightclub, but they save the best (and most fabulous for last.)

Getting There / Getting Tickets

In 2017, The Scala Rio Gay Ball will take place on Tuesday, February 28.  Doors open at 11:00PM, but we recommend entering after midnight.  There are many blocos nearby in the Cinelândia neighborhood.  There are various levels of tickets: one is general admission that gives access to an open-bar and snacks (R$118 = US$35), the others are VIP levels that have full dinner and a separate area (prices vary.)

Some websites offer tickets, but we recommend ordering them through the front desk of your hotel.  Any of the hotels on our list of gay-friendly hotels in Rio will be happy to assist!

The Scala Rio nightclub is easily accessible via Metro (the Cinelândia station connects with stops in Copacabana and Ipanema.)  Consult our Google Map of gay Rio.

What to Expect

The Scala Rio Gay Ball began as a costume ball, but over the years the rules have loosened.  Some attendees pull out all the stops with Vegas showgirl style drag, or full S&M leather gear.  Superhero costumes are increasingly popular as well as spooky outfits you might expect for Halloween.  Attendees are free to not wear costumes, so throw on a festive hat and you’ll be welcome to join the fun.

If you enter at midnight, the ball will appear a bit lame.  The fabulous people are still out partying in the streets.  However, if you are with a group, it is a good hour to relax a bit and enjoy the free drinks.  You can also watch the red carpet full of travestis in full drag regalia.  At the entrance of the Scala Rio nightclub, camera crews will be set up to broadcast the over-the-top drag queens.

The main hall has a DJ and the dance floor can get crowded.  Once the live samba band takes the stage, the true feeling of Brazilian carnival takes over.  The atmosphere is very friendly, full of Brazilians and tourists looking to have a good time.

The crowd is a mix of ages, but men over 40 will feel very comfortable.  Gays who are looking for a circuit party where they can dance until dawn with their shirts off will be much happier at The Week.

Share your Carnival experience or get more from VamosGay via email, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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