Rio Carnival

The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival in the world, it as also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most interesting artistic events on the Globe. Almost everyone has heard of the Rio Carnaval. Foreign visitors to it alone number over 1 million every year.

  • Event Dates

    Carnival in Rio de Janeiro 2018 will begin on Friday, February 9 and ends on Wednesday, February 14.

  • Key Highlights

    Don’t miss the Block Parties that take place on Banda de Ipanema, amazing and electric atmosphere. Circuit boys should check out B.I.T.C.H at The Week, the legendary Rio Club.

  • Plan Ahead!

    Prices surge from late December until early March in Rio and go even higher for key events so the earlier you book your hotel, the better the rate! Stay in Ipanema and you will be close to all the events and the gay scene.

Rio Carnival – The Greatest party on Earth!

Although Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. .

Rio Carnival is a wild 4 day celebration, 40 days before Easter. It officially starts on Saturday and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday after which one is supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures. Carnival with all its excesses, celebrated as a profane event, can be considered an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh. It usually happens in February/early March, the hottest months in the Southern Hemisphere, when the Rio summer is at its peak.

The Gay Carnival

Rio Carnival’s gay celebrations start way before anything official even begins. Take a tour and stop by Mangueira samba school, where teams are always rehearsing, and LGBTQ pride reigns supreme!

Blocos da rua (street block parties) are 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.) During Carnaval, be prepared for drag queens, overly indulgent and colorful parades along with an “anything goes attitude” .Check out the gay-themed parades such as Bonitos do Corpo (“beautiful bodies”), a tribute to Brazilian beauty and the human form.

Hit the streets at Banda de Ipanema (Farme de Amoedo Street) for some fabulously gay street parties. Several street bands and groups stop the traffic at strategic points of the city and some of them constitute the “official” Gay Carnival in Rio. The Banda de Ipanema opens the Carnival festivities two weeks before the official date, organizing three parades during this great Brazilian event. This street band attracts a large number of drag queens who personify different images, from the most classical ones, such as Carmen Miranda, to the most bizarre or grotesque ones, which certainly guarantees the funniest moments with much art as well.

Most of the samba schools make tributes to gay icons as they parade through the streets. In fact, many attendees—LGBTQ or otherwise—hit up this parade with the singular intention of kissing as many people as possible. If you want to take part of the street festivities, you have one more reason to do it: they are all for free!

These parades are highly organized, fierce competitions between clubs who develop their own themes. Young and old, hundreds of Brazilians in official Sumba clubs compete and spend millions on elaborate costumes, entertainers and music. Clubs are complete with drag queens in fabulous outfits.

Carnival ends with this Saturday night’s Champion’s Parade—essentially the best of Carnival. In addition to the Rio Samba Parade in the Sambodromo, there are 456 blocks parties and parades and several official Balls—including an LGBT Ball—around town.

Scala Rio Gay Ball

For those who prefer private parties, there are the classic gay carnival balls. Gala Gay at Scala, situated in Leblon, is on Carnival Tuesday and it is the most traditional one. It concentrates the most exotic personalities with the most luxurious costumes. We think it is important to warn that Scala Gay is televised, so if you don’t want to be caught, don’t forget to take your mask!

Both floors at the Scala are packed with revelers with masks and costumes dancing to the samba beats provided by live bands dressed in full costume. All you need to have is an open mind and be prepared to dress to impress for an unforgettable experience at one of Rio’s biggest events.

Circuit Parties

The very famous B.I.T.C.H party, from which abbreviation (Barbies in Total Control Here)is on the Sunday of Carnival in conjunction with The Week Party. Dama de Ferro, in Ipanema (Vinicius de Moraes Street) is an alternative/gay friendly disco which promotes thematic parties with the most remarkable national DJ’s and international guests playing live.

Sambadrome

Don’t forget to try at least one night in the Sambadrome, the epicenter of Carnaval celebrations. Here, samba schools compete during the one of the biggest open-air festivals in the world. (Tickets are essential)

Save on Hotels

Stay in the Ipanema district and you will be close to all gay bars and clubs and a short taxi ride from the other gay neighbourhoods.

Gay Map of Rio

Find the perfect hotel in your preferred location. We have selected the most convenient hotels with the best ratings from our readers located close to Rio’s busiest gaybourhoods, Copacabana and Ipanema.

Video Of Rio Carnival

Highlights of previous Carnival Festivities in Rio.

Booking.com

Other Events in Rio

Bearnation

BearNation

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Bear Nation is the de facto home for Bears and their admirers in Rio.

BoHo

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A monthly party without a fixed address, Boho is one of the trendiest of the Rio nightlife.
V de Viadão

V de Viadão

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V de Viadão is one of Rio's hottest alternative gay parties taking place across the city.

Drag-se

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Drag-se is one of the city´s most memorable and fashionable gay parties!

Recommended Hotels in Rio de Janeiro

Rio has long been a gay-friendly destination for tourists. The best hotels are close to Rio’s gay nightlife and popular beaches “where the boys are.” Stay close to Ipanema Beach gayest section Praia da Farme.

Arpoador Inn Hotel
Great Breakfast

Arpoador Inn Hotel

A long-time favorite for the following reasons: friendly front desk, amazing breakfast  with a boardwalk view of Arpoador Beach.

Hotel Fasano
5 Star Luxury

Hotel Fasano

One of the best hotels in Brazil, the Fasano brings world class luxury to gay Ipanema.  offers luxurious beachfront accommodations.

Golden Tulip Ipanema
Great Location

Golden Tulip Ipanema Plaza

Very popular  hotel is often booked out early for season. It gives you access to guests-only rooftop views at gayest section Praia da Farme.

Sol Ipanema
Readers Choice

Sol Ipanema

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

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