Take a break from the concrete jungle of São Paulo and ride to the sands of LGBT-friendly Santos, Guarujá, and São Vicente.
⚕️ Updated September 2020: Beaches have officially reopened following months of COVID-19 quarantine. Nightclubs and saunas remain closed, but gay-friendly beach stands like Quiosque da Cris are open for drinks on the sand.
The VamosGay Guide to São Paulo’s southern coast will show you how to get there, where to stay, and what to explore. Scroll down for our updated list of bars, clubs, attractions, and saunas. And, you can mark your calendar for the following 2020 LGBT events:
🍾 New Years’ Eve / Réveillon – Tue Dec 31, 2019
🥳 Carnival – Fri Feb 21 – Wed Feb 26, 2020
The following events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but we hope to update when dates for 2021 have been confirmed.
✝️ Good Friday / Sexta-Feira Santa – Fri Apr 10, 2020 🏳️🌈 Praia Grande SP Pride – Sun Sep 20, 2020 🏳️🌈 Santos SP Pride – Sun Sep 27, 2020 🏳️🌈 São Vicente Pride – Sun Nov 8, 2020
For most foreigners, the trip to São Paulo’s coast comes after they have already landed in Brazil. (Check out our list of airlines for tips and cheap international fares.) From downtown São Paulo, it takes approximately 1.5 hours by car. Be aware that coastal cities are very popular during holiday weekends. Check this calendar of Brazilian national holidays before you plan your trip. One last tip for gringos, the seasons are opposite from what you expect in North America and Europe, so prepare to freeze in your Speedo if you go in July.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting there by bus:
- Various bus companies service São Paulo’s coast and clickbus.com.br makes it easy to reserve a ticket via Cometa (the most popular,) Brasil Rapido, or Ultra. Use Google Translate to navigate and buy your tickets via credit card or PayPal. (Tickets may also be purchased in person at Jabaquara Terminal)
- Take the Metro to Jabaquara station. It’s the terminal of the blue line.
- Once you depart the subway at Metro Jabaquara, look for the rodoviaro signs and head to the bilheteria to pick up your ticket using the confirmation code and your passport. Make a note of your poltrona, that is the number of your seat.
- Check the hora de chegada on your ticket to find out exactly when your bus will arrive. Your bus may make additional stops and you don’t want to get off to early. You can also show the address to your driver and ask that he signal when your stop is ready. Drivers are friendly, but do not speak English.
- If you’re staying a distance away from a pre-designated stop, you may have to take an EMTU bus. (Or, pay over R$20 for a taxi at the rodoviario. )
Guide to São Vicente
By far the most popular gay destination of São Paulo’s coastal cities, São Vincente has an LGBT-friendly section of beach known as Praia Itararé which extends to Ilha Porchat. The small cluster of beach stands, or quiosques, is anchored by Quiosque da Cris and it is where you can find sunbathing gay guys and lesbians having beers, or a bit further down, exercising on the sand.
Ilha Porchat is a bit of an uphill climb, but is worth it for the Niemeyer Monument. It has open-air panoramic views of Sao Vicente’s green landscape by day, and comes to life with parties at The Club International at night.
Hotels in São Vicente
When looking for a place to stay in the gay sections of São Vicente, your options are easy: Itararé Beach and Porchat Island. Both sections are also less than 30 minutes away from each other by foot.
Great location! Individual apartment style rooms with a hotel infrastructure for a great stay. Very popular, so click below for availability and photos.
One of the newest hotels in the centre of São Vicente, just 300 m from Itararé Beach. It offers stylish apartments with many amenities, and some have a private hot tub in the room. Daily breakfast and wi-fi. Solo travelers particularly like the location — they rated it 8.9 for a one-person stay.
Very well-run, inexpensive, and 15 minutes by foot from Praia Itararé, Hotel Mont Rey is popular with both gay groups and straight families. (The Sunday morning breakfast buffet is always interesting and delicious.)
Make sure you select a room with a sea view to soak up the sun overlooking the stunning vista of Ilha Porchat. Click below for photos and booking info.
Sparkling clean “love motel” for couples who want to “get a room.” Suites have various themes and special romantic touches. The Logus is also a recommended option for solo travelers looking for a good deal and a unique experience.
Beaches, Bars, and Saunas
The list of specifically gay spots is small, but most of the region is gay-friendly. Try our Google Map of the gay Sao Paulo’s southern coast to find each location.
All of the boys love Cris, the super-friendly lesbian owner of Quiosque da Cris (Cris’ Kiosk) and her spot on the beach is the place to go for a beer with friends and lots of eye-candy. Gay guys and lesbians create a friendly mix. The section of beach serviced by Cris and her staff gets full during the summer. Feel free to check out adjacent gay-friendly kiosks, but remember, Cris is number one. (Bonus tip: the New Year’s Eve party on the beach at Quiosque da Cris is legendary!)
There’s nothing better than taking a break the energy of a sweaty dance floor to have a cocktail by the pool or on the terrace overlooking sea. The Club International is a guaranteed night to remember. Check out the TCI Facebook page for weekly event info.
For those who can remember the sleazy good times of Dick Bar in downtown Sao Paulo, the former owner has resurfaced in a multi-floor space on Ilha Porchat which at times feels like a haunted house. In between strip shows, the dancers/hustlers keep customers entertained. Get the latest event info on the Dick Bar Litoral FB page.
Santos nightclub in the former space of Capital Disco hosts monthly weekend parties. The crowd tends to be very young (18 to 25) but loves to have fun. Event info on the Liquid Love Facebook page.
Gay sauna in Santos that specializes more in professional services, massage, and hydrotherapy. Popular with “straight” married men and their fans.
The biggest and best LGBT club on the Santos end of the coast closed in 2018. There was hope that it would re-open, but the founder and owner recently announced his retirement and the permanent closure of Tribal Club.
The recently renamed Thermas 1087 is a gay sauna frequented by locals. In need of renovation and almost impossible to guarantee the best time to go. But, take a chance early in the evening (from 6 to 9pm) and you’ll give it a thumbs up.
Well established gay sauna in Guarujá. Thermas Oasis has mixed, but mostly positive reviews. Find it on our map below and try it for yourself!
Explore Even More of Gay São Paulo
After your fun in the sun, come back to the city and explore the VamosGay guide to São Paulo.