Tag Archives: news

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.)


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.


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.


“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.)


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.


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.


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 »

São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade 2017

The largest gay pride parade in the world will celebrate its 21st anniversary when the São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade takes over the city on Sunday, June 18 2017.   Event organizers announced the focus of this year’s parade will be the fight for a secular state (estado laico.)  The separation of church and state is particularly relevant at a time when right-wing religious leaders are rising to power at all levels of Brazilian politics.

Here’s a gallery of the highlights from 2016.  (Scroll down for travel info for the São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade 2017.)

In 2015, Brazilian broadcaster Globo indicated the city authorities had spent nearly $500,000 on helping to organize the event but expected to net around 40 times as much as tourists flocked to join in the fun.  (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 2017 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 in Sao Paulo.  Europeans, Americans, and visitors who are  already in South America have a number of inexpensive options.

View airfare deals »

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 »

Where to Party / Pride Agenda 2017

Saturday June 17

2ª Mostra Diversa (2nd Annual Diversity Show)
New exposition featuring 17 artists with a Q&A
@10am @ Museu da Diversidade Sexual $ Free

Madame Satã
Spectacular play based on the true story of the legendary criminal, proud homosexual, and cabaret star whose story was made famous in the film of the same name Madame Satã
@ 7:15am @ Caixa Cultural São Paulo

Meninos Também Amam (Boys Also Love)
Avant guard play celebrating the gay love and combating homophobia.  Performance features nudity.
@9pm @ Espaço Cia. da Revista $ Free

Nossa História (Our History)
Inspired by a Lady Gaga song, this musical tackles themes of homophobia and acceptance.
@9pm @Amadododito Fábrica de Arte 21h. BRL$40

Festival Pré-Parada – #NãoRecomendados
Grupo recebe Johnny Hooker, Karina Buhr, Linn da Quebrada e Alma Negrot.
Teatro Mars 22h. R$ 60 inteira (pista) e R$ 100 inteira (camarote) no Ticket Brasil; R$ 70 inteira (pista) e R$ 110 inteira (camarote) na porta.Veja detalhes

Leather Men Night – Pride
A special edition where leathermen and cowboys take over the Eagle for a pre-Pride night of fun.
@11pm @ Eagle São Paulo 23h.
Prices (dress code)
BRL$25 entrance or BRL$50 entrance including drinks
Prices (casual dress)
BRL$35 entrance or BRL$70 entrance including drinks

Jogos da Diversidade de São Paulo
Primeira edição do evento, que faz parte da programação da 21ª Parada LGBT, terá atividades esportivas, shows e intervenções culturais.
Ginásio do Ibirapuera 08h. Gratuito.Veja detalhes
Campeonato Interdrag de Gaymada
Campeonato Interdrag de Gaymada invade o deck do Sesc Pompeia.
Sesc Pompeia 14h. Gratuito.Veja detalhes
Euphoria After Pride 2017
Clube da Bela Vista ferve com famoso after.
Clube Caravaggio 06h30. Gratuito para os 30 primeiros, R$ 30 entr. e R$ 40 cons. até 9h com lista. R$ 40 entr. e R$ 60 cons. até 9h seml lista. R$ 50 entr. e R$ 70 cons. após.Veja detalhes
Festa faz parte do Festival Eterna, que vai de 15 a 18 de junho.
Clube Aquático Portuguesa 17h. Não divulgado.Veja detalhes
Viking Party – Special Pride 2017
Boteco do Massay 19h. R$ 30 entr. ou R$ 70 cons.Veja detalhes
Sábado de Aleluia – Edição Especial Parada Gay 2017
Festa ao som de música pop.
Igrejinha 21h. R$ 10.Veja detalhes
Show com Rully Band
Vermont Itaim 21h. R$ 25.Veja detalhes
Show com Tammy Santos e Banda
Cantora agita a noite que tem rodada dupla de drinks e mesa de bilhar.
S/A Club 21h. Gratuito até 22h30, 20 entr. ou 35 cons. após com lista. R$ 20 entr. ou R$ 50 cons. sem.Veja detalhes
Baile do Vale
Clube promove um esquenta para a Parada LGBT com open bar do drink Glitter, concurso de pole dance e adesivos Love Wins.
1007 Augusta 22h. R$ 30 até 0h e R$ 35 após com lista. R$ 40 sem.Veja detalhes
Cabulosa Pré-Parada
Noite com shots de tequila ao som de pop, funk, black, latino e eletrônica.
Espaço Desmanche 22h. Gratuito para os 100 primeiros, R$ 25 entr. ou R$ 50 cons. com lista. R$ 30 entr. ou R$ 70 cons. sem.Veja detalhes
Iskizita – Especial Pré Parada das Poderosas
Festa integra a programação especial da semana da Parada LGBT com performances de Luckxariny Top Drag e Holly Visage.
A Lôca 22h. R$ 20 entr. ou R$ 50 cons.Veja detalhes
The People Gay Pride
Festa ao som de funk, twerk, pop, trash e eletro. Noite com rodada dupla de bebidas.
Bofetada Club 22h. R$ 10 entr. ou R$ 20 cons. até 23h. R$ 20 entr. ou R4 40 cons. após.Veja detalhes
Festa Fervo Pré-Parada
Festa com performances drag, go-go dancers e capetinhas apimentando a noite.
Bar Queen 22h30. R$ 15.Veja detalhes
ABC Bailão
Clube ferve ao som de hits dos anos 1970 a 2000 e público dos 25 aos 60 anos.
ABC Bailão 23h. R$ 30 (homens acima de 50 anos), R$ 35 (homens) e R$ 40 (mulheres).Veja detalhes
Aff Maria!
Barraca do Beijo, mesa de doces e pipoca free, correio elegante e double drinks ao soar da sirene.
Espaço 555 23h. R$ 20 entr. ou R$ 40 cons. com lista (listadamaria@hotmail.com ou pelo site Lorean) e R$ 40 entr. ou R$ 80 cons.Veja detalhes

Black Charm Open Bar- Bad Girl Edition
Festa open bar ao som de black music com rodada dupla de bebidas.
Terraço Club 23h.
DJs Rafael Pesanttos, Fabio Dean, Paula Fayá, JC Hernandes, Katheryn Pier, Leivison Silva e Vagner Muller.
R$ 35 até 0h, R$ 40 1h e R$ 50 após com frase no mural do evento. R$ 60 sem.Veja detalhes
Clube dos Go-Go Boys
Show com go-go boys apimenta a noite no clube.
Danger Dance Club 23h. R$ 25 com flyer, R$ 30 sem ou R$ 50 cons.Veja detalhes
Super Amem – Parada Preta LGBTT
Festa celebra cultura negra e LGBT na véspera da maior parada do Brasil.
Flash Club 23h. R$ 15 doando kit de higiene ou roupa de inverno; R$ 20 inteira pelo Sympla (sem filas) e R$ 20 inteira na porta.Veja detalhes
Festa Junina da Trash
Arraial Mix para celebrar a Semana da Diversidade com quadrilha, casamento, quitutes, bincadeiras e vinho quente para quem chegar cedo.
Trash 80’s 23h. R$ 25 entr. ou R$ 60 cons. com reserva e R$ 35 entr. ou R$ 80 cons. sem.Veja detalhes
Põe Na Pista
Festa em comemoração aos 3 anos do canal Põe Na Roda com camarote youtubers, performances especiais e surpresa.
Hotel Cambridge 23h. R$ 25 promocional, R$ 30 (1º lote) e R$ 40 (2º lote) antecipado. R$ 60 pacote premium.Veja detalhes
Pop Colors
Comedy show com Valenttini e performances de Mary Jane e Lamona Divine.
Tunnel 23h. Gratuito até 0h, R$ 10 até 1h e R$ 60 cons. após com lista. R$ 20 entr. ou R$ 60 cons. sem.Veja detalhes
Pride 2017
Elenco do clube se reúne para celebrar o orgulho LGBT.
Blue Space 23h. R$ 25 (1 cerveja grátis) com flyer. R$ 35 entr. oiu R$ 60 cons. até 1h e R$ 80 sem ou após.Veja detalhes
Make Up
Festa apresentada por Maryana Mercury, com performances de um grande elenco.
Freedom Club 23h. R$ 10 com flyer e R$ 13 sem. R$ 25 cons.Veja detalhes
Ursound Mega Pride – 12 Anos
Dez horas da famosa festa para quem é ou curte ursos ao som de hits clássicos e atualidades.
Audio Club 23h. R$ 35 entr. ou R$ 80 de cons. pista e R$ 50 entr. ou R$ 120 cons. mezanino.Veja detalhes
Chá da Alice
Festa inspirada no universo lúdico da Alice no País das Maravilhas com show da Márcia Freire, ex-vocalista da banda Cheiro de Amor.
Via Matarazzo 23h30. R$ 35 pista (1º lote) e R$ 50 camarote (1º lote) antecipado.Veja detalhes
Festa faz parte do Festival Eterna, que vai de 15 a 18 de junho.
The Week 23h30. Não divulgado.Veja detalhes
No Mercy
Jerome 23h30. R$ 50 entr. ou R$ 110 cons. confirmado no evento e R$ 70 entr. ou R$ 120 cons.Veja detalhes
Shout Pride 2017
Festa em homenagem aos grandes ídolos e divas da música pop, mas sem deixar o house, o deep e o electro de lado.
Club Yacht 23h30. R$ 50 com nome na lista (enviar nomes para: yacht@globo.com – até às 20hs). R$ 100 entr. ou R$ 200 cons. sem lista. Veja detalhes
Flexx Gay Pride 2017
Lorena Simpson agita a festa com um super show. Noite com go-go boys e go-go girls, laser show e decoração especial.
Flexx Club 23h59. Não divulgado.Veja detalhes
Plastika Pré-Parada + Gay Com Orgulho
Noite ao som de muita música pop e com rodada dupla de vodca e catuaba com energético até 1h.
Hot Hot 23h59. R$ 10 entr. ou R$ 20 cons. até 1h e R$ 25 entr. ou R$ 50 cons. após com lista. R$ 30.Veja detalhes
Play – Pride 2017
Festa retorna ao clube ao som dos melhores hits dos anos 1980, 1990 e 2000.
Cantho Dance Club 23h59. Não divulgado.Veja detalhes
Festa para garotas com go-go girl, go-go boy e laser show.
Bubu Lounge 23h59. R$ 45 cons. (mulher) e R$ 60 cons. (homen).Veja detalhes
Fist Club
Noite que celebra a prática do fisting; jock straps, dildos e couro são bem-vindos.
RG Bar 18h. R$ 40.Veja detalhes
Macholokos Pride
Dez ‘macholokos’ fazem show interativo à 0h. Pocket show com sexo ao vivo no bar às 23h.
Upgrade Club 18h. R$ 55.Veja detalhes
Performance com Kylie Hickmann e Paulo Bap. Show com atores strippers e convidadas.
Thermas Lagoa 21h30. R$ 40 dinheiro e R$ 60 cartão.Veja detalhes
Os Putos – A Pegação!
Festa com show interativo a partir de 0h.
Blackout Club 22h. R$ 25 cadastrados. R$ 30 até 23h e R$ 35 após. R$ 45 cons.Veja detalhes
Kevin – Pré-Parada LGBT
Festa em que se pode ficar nu, com parede de nudes, performances e interação.
Zig 23h30. R$ 25 com lista (vemprakevin@gmail.com) ou antecipado.Veja detalhes

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View all Sao Paulo gay bars »

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 all Sao Paulo gay bars »

*Note for American visitors in 2017:  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

⚠️ Update: All of the Brazil’s major mobile carriers have recently rolled out even newer plans.  Bookmark this article and come back for an updated version on July 11, 2016 to get the most up-to-date info and tips. ⚠️

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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