Rio Gay Guide

lgbt carnival in riothere's much more to do than you ever thought!

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Pre-Carnival festivities start two weeks ahead
Arrive early, have loads of fun and save!

We are serious. The first parade of Banda de Ipanema happens on Saturday two weeks before Carnival Saturday. Party promoters do not miss out on that. You can go to a samba school rehearsal or enjoy the dinner show at Cidade do Samba. One week ahead of Carnival it's Banda Simpatia é Quase Amor that takes over Ipanema Beach.

Generic booking tools are wrong! There are rooms.
During Carnival hotels offer rooms in packages

We always get the same remarks. I tried a booking tool, and it shows all hotels as fully booked. Is it true? No. Maybe they haven't received rates yet, or maybe their allotment of rooms is sold out. We usually know of good options until about one or two weeks before Carnival. But don't push your luck...

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Street Carnival Fun - it's Free!
Wear your fun costumes outdoors

There are dozens of street bands in Rio. As we are very partial to Ipanema we included two of our favorites. We also go to other areas to enjoy street fun. Learn your way around, and choose your Bandas with this guide and map.

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Special Group Samba Schools
The Samba Parade at the Sambodrome

Yes, you can think of it as the Greatest Show on Earth. A live opera performed by 60 thousand people on Carnival Sunday and Monday. Tickets are expensive, though, and there are parties happening on the same night. At least learn a little about what you may be missing out - or not.

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Access Group Parade
Samba schools trying to make it back to the big league

If you don't want to pay the high prices of the main nights, consider going on Friday to watch the Access Group Samba Schools. They are not as rich as the big-leaguers. They do not have access to the facilities at Cidade do Samba. Yet they bring together communities. The enthusiasm of dancers is guaranteed. The champion will be upgraded to the Major Group. Tickets cost half as much.

Visit our gallery of carnival photos or videos

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Off-Carnival - Circuit Parties
Special Parties at Clubs & More

The best DJ's in the world come to Rio. Why wouldn't they. Summer in Rio is great. The city is loaded with people willing to celebrate. Promoters and producers go out of their way to bring the best attractions. We have e-flyers to all the major parties and to the best events. Confirm your presence early to get discounts and special deals from party promoters.

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Only in Rio: Gala Gay Costume Ball
Are you man or woman enough to do the Gay Costume Ball?

This event is broadcast live to the whole country! It is really not that intimitating. There's a runway with spotlights, and hundreds of people around cheering. The most interesting people in costumes are interviewed at the door. The whole country stops to watch, it is broadcast live. If you are shy, there's a shortcut next to the main entrance. Last party we sent a reporter in a Ms. Piggy costume.

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
AprÉs-Carnival suggestion
Enjoy the parties and pay less

Carnival mood only ends after the encore of the Samba Parade. The six Samba Schools that were best-placed march on the following Saturday. The Winner's Samba Parade tickets are lower-priced. After this, life goes back to normal in Rio. Cariocas feel that the year only starts after Carnival.

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