Gay-Friendly Hot Spots Rio de Janeiro

According to various knowledgeable sources, there are many, many gay-friendly vacation hotspots in the world.  Rio de Janerio in Brazil is one of them.  In fact, Rio scored a slot on Orbitz’ Jason Heidemann’s official “10 Hottest Gay Destinations of 2016” list.  

Rio de Janeiro, (Portuguese for River of January) or Rio for short, is located on the far western section of the Atlantic coast of Brazil near the famous Tropic of Capricorn.  It was founded in 156 by the Portuguese.  In fact, the now second-most populous municipality in Brazil was originally the official seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro.  

Rio de Janeiro is also the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro.  Still, before you pack, it’s best to know something about the weather there.  Rio de Janeiro has a tropical savanna climate.  

The weather often includes marked periods of significant rain which starts in December and ends in March.  The strong rain showers can actually cause landslides and floods.  The inland sections of the metropolis have temperatures as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer although they don’t last long.  

On a monthly basis, however, temperatures can often be as high as 81 degrees Fahrenheit.  All along the coast, however, a breeze blowing both onshore and offshore, actually moderates the temperature.

The city is Brazil’s main tourist attraction.  It is also the main resort.  Out of all the citie in South America Rio has the most tourists with a total of 2.8 million visitors annually.  

Rio boasts world-class, gay friendly accommodations, theatres, almost 80 kilometers of beaches and such noteworthy tourist attractions as the well-known Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountains.  A total of 1 million members of the LGBT community travel to RIo de Janeiro every year making the metropolis an undisputed “important global LGBT destination.”  Many go to the Rua Farme de Amoedo in the famous South Zone neighborhood of Rio.

They enjoy both the street and the beach nearby.  The LGBT crowd, like many of the other tourists from different countries, enjoy Carnaval too.  (Carnaval is the yearly celebration of the old Roman Catholic tradition which permits the eating of red meat and general merrymaking prior to the seriously sobering 40 days of Lent which ends with Easter or what some call Passion or Holy Week.)  A big favorite of the LGBT crowd is the most traditional Carnaval in Ipanema.

It’s known as Banda de Ipanema.  For that reason it attracts a broad range of tourists including not only the LGBT and self-labeled “Queer” population (complete with drag queens) but also heterosexuals and even families.  Also worth mentioning is that a specific area of RIo has been declared a World Heritage Site.  UNESCO named it named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea" and declared it a Cultural Landscape in the summer of 2012.

Heidemann confirms that the government of Rio has put in a lot of time and work to prep for the current 2016 Olympic Summer Games. While cleaning up some of the more rundown areas have caused a small amount of controversy, tourists to this gay-friendly oceanside mecca will now experience a more “spiffed up city.”  He adds, however, that with all the attractive men and women there, also known as the Cariocas, strutting their stuff on the Copacobana, Leblon and Ipanema beaches one might not be able to really look at anything else.  While he confirms that you do need to watch yourself with so many people there he concludes that you’re not going to get robbed “if all you’re wearing is a [brief] sunga.”

(All images are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated.)


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