As the world re-opens for post-COVID travel, hopes are high for Latin America. Brazil continues to race towards vaccinating its population, and projections a great for the next Carnival.
In 2022, Carnival will begin on Friday, February 25 and run through a wild extended weekend to Tuesday, March 1. The day after is Ash Wednesday when the parties are officially 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 2019, Rio’s carnival attracted a record 1.62 million 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.) Fortunately, many airlines are offering flexible cancellation policies to encourage post-COVID travel. For great deals, try searching Skyscanner.com, Expedia.com, Iberia, LAN / TAM Airlines, and CheapFlights.com
Will you need a visa to enter Brazil? In 2019, citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan received visa-free access to Brazil for tourism. Get the full list of nationalities and visa requirements from the consulate of Brazil.
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 2022
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.
Like VamosGay on Facebook and/or join our email list below to get the 2021 schedule as soon as it’s available.
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 »
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 5 in your drawer is perfect for navigating the city with apps. Phone theft is rampant in blocos and nightclubs. A second phone can also hold your new Brazilian SIM card.
- Google Maps – pre-plan your route (by foot, bus, or subway) 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 mosquitoes – The zika virus crisis has subsided, but not disappeared. 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) The safest bet for hookups is to go to one of Rio’s many gay saunas.
- Wear shoes – Yes, your new Havaiana flip flops are cute, but don’t be one of gringoes who goes home on crutches.
- Don’t sweat every little expense – The club that wants to charge a cover of R$50 … That’s about US$9.25 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 2023.
Online Resources During Carnival 2022
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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!