Tag Archives: news

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

[wdi_feed id=”1″]

*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.

SIM Cards & Mobile Plans for Tourists Visiting Brazil

Millions of foreign tourists visit Brazil every year.  A large percentage come to celebrate Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.  Others take to the streets of Sao Paulo for the world’s largest gay pride parade.

As a tourist, staying connected to essential travel apps like Google Maps, WhatsApp messenger, and (let’s confess … Grindr) can be difficult, because unlike most countries, Brazil remains a difficult place for foreigners to acquire a SIM card with a mobile data plan.  In preparation for World Cup 2014, Brazil’s mobile companies released special packages targeting international visitors.  However, after the World Cup games, these are now almost impossible to find.

To help foreign visitors (gay and straight) find the best options, VamosGay researched all of the pre-paid options (also known as pre-pago) available in Brazil via the nation’s four biggest operators: Claro, Oi, TIM, and Vivo.

Factors for deciding the best option for foreigners included:

  • ability to acquire without a Brazilian national ID number (CPF)
  • availability of short-term plans (daily and weekly, not monthly)
  • ease of recharging credits
  • stores with English-language staff
  • price
  • bonus wi-fi hot spots

Details for each operator is listed below, but the clear winner and the provider that we recommend is Claro.  Read more about all four below and please leave a comment if you have updated information.

Claro

Our first, and most important criterion was the ease of purchasing a SIM card without a CPF (the Brazilian national ID number.)  To acquire a Claro SIM card and mobile data plan, just take your passport to any Claro store.  You will find one at most airports and shopping centers.  Unfortunately, it’s rare to find English-speaking attendants in any of Brazil’s mobile stores. However, Claro and TIM stores located in the tourist centers of the country’s biggest cities are the most likely to have helpful associates who fala inglês.

The Claro team is the friendliest and will most likely direct you to their “Internet Turbinada” plan which delivers 50MB per day for the low  price of R$0.99.  The deal gets event better with data used by WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter being thrown in for free.

Heavy data users can upgrade to daily packages of 65MB for R$1.29 or 85MB for R$1.99.  The SIM card itself from Claro will cost you R$10, but its a powerful 4GMax chip that includes automatic connections to wi-fi hotspots throughout the city.

One downside for tourists: Claro like all Brazilian operators offers no English-language customer support.  With that said … go get a Claro SIM card and get online!  (And remember, newsstands and grocery stores can sell SIM cards and are convenient places to buy credits, but you should make your initial SIM card purchase at a Claro store since only they can activate your line with your passport.

Oi

Beware of the pre-paid plan which does not require a Brazilian national ID … but does require a Brazilian credit card.  That’s a nasty surprise for tourists who sit down at an Oi store and start the paperwork with their passports in hand.

There is such a thing as the “Oi Visitor” package.  For R$40, the user gets a SIM card and R$30 in free credits.  It was a popular option when the World Cup games brought millions of foreigners to Brazil … but now, good luck finding an Oi location which carries it.

Currently, rates for Oi are nearly identical to Claro (R$0.99 per day) but without the perks.  For this reason, Claro remains a better option for foreigners.

Vivo

The only mobile company that didn’t bother targeting World Cup tourists plans to ignore their needs for the Summer Olympics too (as far as we know.)  It’s a shame since Vivo offers great service, and used to be available for foreigners without a CPF number ten years ago.  However, as of today, Vivo is not an option for international visitors.

TIM

Spotty service and shady billing are the hallmarks of one of Brazil’s most popular cellular service companies.  TIM mobile gained a huge market share thanks to advertising and its early success offering unlimited calls and messages between TIM customers.

For foreigners, the company offers TIM Visitor, a special SIM card with 1.5GB of download data.  The package lasts for 7 days and cost R$24.  Like all of the operators listed, add-ons such as international calling and SMS can be added for additional fees.  In the case of TIM, international calls are R$1.00 per minute and SMS is $0.50 per message.  Despite being a partially European company, contacting Europe via TIM does not deliver any special discount.

operadoras-brasileiras-vivo-tim-claro-oi-showmetech

In conclusion, Claro wins.

Load up your phone with our best apps for gay travel in Latin America, get a cheap Claro SIM card, and have a fun (and safe) time in Brazil. And, don’t forget to make sure your apps are not draining your battery and mobile data. Here are a couple of articles with useful tips … Android and iPhone

Best Apps for Gay Travel in Latin America

Planning a trip to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, or Uruguay?  From our travels to all four countries we’ve  created the following list of must-have apps for gay men. (And don’t forget our guide to mobile data and SIM cards.)

Google Maps

Essential!  Google Maps over the years has evolved into one of the best ways to navigate unknown territory.  The latest update provides the best public transportation directions available.  And for walkers, try plugging one earbud in to listen to turn-by-turn audio directions to avoid walking to avoid exposing your mobile phone while barcrawling at night.  (Pre-load our Google Maps for Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, and Sao Paulo for offline browsing.)

One note for Buenos Aires, the Moovit app is a highly recommended supplement to Google Maps with some of the best tips for the city’s public transportation system.

We assume most visitors will be walking, taking the bus/metro, or being driven by taxi, but for visitors who will be driving, the Waze app is essential too.  And after you finish driving, Onde Parar is the best way to find a parking spot (only available in Brazil.)

99Taxis

More popular, and more available, than Uber in Latin America, the 99Taxi app uses both contracted drivers, and the existing pool of yellow and white taxis.  Options like the ability to pay via PayPal are great.  One downside is drivers who accept your request and then cancel if a better option appears.  99Taxis was recently in the news after one of their homophobic drivers expelled a gay couple in Rio during Carnival.  The company quickly terminated the driver from their service.

WhatsApp

This recommendation is mostly for Americans, since the extremely popular WhatsApp is one of the most downloaded mobile apps in the world.  In Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America, everyone already knows the app allows free messaging, photo/video sharing, phone calls over wi-fi, and location sharing.

Grindr

“But, I’m not one of the those types of guys who uses Grindr.” Yes, the world’s most popular mobile app for gay men does have a slutty reputation, but Grindr is what you make it.  You can create a G-rated profile stating that you are only looking to meet new people … Or, create and X-rated profile looking for sex.  Enjoy Grindr and be safe!

Other hook-up apps with sizeable populations in Latin America are Hornet, Scruff, Adam4Adam, and Disponivel (more about that one below.)

Disponivel

What began as a hook-up website whose biggest competitor was ManHunt (remember them?) has since made the leap into the age of mobile apps to be one of the most popular ways to find men in Brazil. The Disponivel app’s interface now has an English option, but often reverts, or has untranslated Portuguese elements.

TripAdvisor

Still on top after all these year!  If you must have one app for general city info and tourism recommendations (in English), TripAdvisor is the way to go.  If your phone has enough storage space, try Foursquare, Yelp, and Vespa.

VamosGay

No, we don’t have a mobile app, but we do have a mobile website! Choose the “Add to Home Screen” option and you’ll see a shiny new icon on your phone which will take you to our listings for restaurants and nightlife whenever you need them.

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 »