If you are looking for a gay friendly foreign vacation where the nights are hot and the guys hotter, Rio de Janeiro may be the place for you.
The American Dollar goes a long way here and the Cariocas, as the locals call themselves, are very welcoming to gay and transgendered people from around the world. In recent years, the US Dollar has become weaker and the Real has become strong and often times this translates into much higher costs for travelers. It is best to really research the best place to stay and how to save money on your trip.
Of course, the main attraction here are the local men, who tend to be tall, dark and in shape – which you have to be if you are going to spend as much time on the beach as these people do.
There is so much going on at the beaches and in the plethora of gay nightspots that you will want to spend at least a week or two in Rio – a city of more than 7 million people!
The term you will probably hear most as a gay man in Rio de Janeiro is “Barbie.” That is what the locals call gay men who spend a good deal of time in the gym (think Chelsea boys.)
Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak that can be spotted from all around Rio. It rises almost 1300 feet over the city and offers great views of the city and if you go up at dusk, the sunsets are phenomenal. In order to get to the mountain, you will take the cable cars. They depart on a regular basis and take you up to see this great landmark. A trip to Rio is not complete without a trek up Sugarloaf as the views from the top really are breathtaking. We suggest that you get up there around 4:30 PM as you will get great light, be able to see the marvelous sunsets and you will be able to take some incredible photos.
Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redento)
This is a statue of Jesus Christ and is perhaps one of the most famous statues in the entire world. It is an art deco structure that is 130 feet tall. It is at the top of Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.
We suggest trying to go on a day that is not cloudy as you will be able to have fabulous views of the entire city and the time you spend here will be something you remember for the rest of your life. On a clear day, you will simply be blown away by the view and then can go down and get blown away by the sauna boys!
During the day you will want to lay out in the sand – particularly if you have spent the night partying at any of the number of bars and discos that rock late into the night.
The hottest people in the coolest fashions can be found at the Praia de Ipanema beach where you can rent a beach chair and chill out with hotties from around the world.
If you get turned on, head on over to the section by Rua Farme de Amoedo where the cruising is competitive and intense.
On all sections of the beach you can buy cold drinks including beer, and souvenir hawkers will be constantly milling about – but will leave you alone if you ask them to.
The Copacabana Beach is a hot meat market both day and night – with tons of hot international studs for your eye candy. There is a constant stream of cute roller bladders and sunbathers to make your fantasies come alive.
A lot of the guys here – particularly the younger, attractive ones – are really rent boys, so be sure you know what you are getting into before you take anyone home. On the other hand, there are plenty of studly tourists here as well. The prime cruising spot on the Copacabana is in front of the Copacabana Plaza.
The 18 kilometer Barra da Tijuca is where you can find some of the rougher waters for windsurfing and body boarding. It’s not as gay as some of the other beaches – but you can’t cruise every day can you? It is the longest beach in the city and has a lot of kiosks for snacks.
Most of the clubs in Rio don’t open or get interesting until midnight or much later. So, if you are looking to mingle once the sun goes down, your best bet will be to check out the gay bar scene.
The locals don’t eat dinner until around 8 or 9 p.m. so figure that even the pubs won’t get that busy until 10 or so. In all the bars, the beer is good and you should try a caipirinha, the most popular local drink.
One thing that disappoints some American gays is the lack of fetish, leather or other kink specific bars and clubs. Because the local people believe in inclusion, they have yet to set up the culture to accommodate specific desires in specific bars. Therefore, each bar you go to is apt to have a mix of bears, twinks, leather boys, and so on.
You just have to keep your eye out for what you are looking for and you will find it!
The hottest concentration of gay bars and clubs is at Rua Teixeira de Melo near the Farme gay beach cruising area. Like the beach, the competition for men is very intense – you need to dress your best unless you are ready to go home all by yourself.
Bofetada, on Farme itself, is one of the bars that starts getting busy early on, almost as soon as people start getting off the beach. This is a great place to go if you are looking to hook up before dinner, or if you are new to the area and want to meet other guys to cruise with during your vacation.
If you spent your day around the Copacabana, you might want to visit the bars in that area. Check the Boytoy forum for the latest bar and club scene information.
The nearby Copa has hot waiters, but no sign on the door. Instead look for velvet red curtains and a hostess, and you will be on your way. This place is very trendy, so you need to look cool if you want to be taken seriously by anyone inside – or even manage to get a drink! Just look at the signs (and the people walking inside) to make sure you have not arrived on lesbian night!
Across the street from the Copacabana is the Rainbow, which has drag shows and karaoke at night – it can be a little silly, but if you like it that way, give it a shot!
The subtly named Gay Kiosk Rainbow is easy to find because it sits underneath a giant rainbow flag. Sometimes the owners are in drag; sometimes they are not!
If it’s getting close to midnight and you haven’t gotten laid yet, it’s time to hit the dance floor and shake your booty with the brown Brazilian boy toys!
The hottest place to go is right inside the Copacabana, Posto 6. It’s built in a renovated movie theater and has drag shows, DJs from around the world, theme nights and pretty much anything else you can imagine. They can pack in more than a 1,000 people ready to party and cruise until dawn!
Once you score in Rio de Janeiro you will need some place to take your new playmate. Because there is a great deal of poverty in Rio, there are a lot of hustlers and thieves, so it’s not a great idea to take your date back to your own hotel room and put your valuables at risk.
That’s why there are many “sex hotels” throughout the city where men can take there dates for a few hours after they hit the bars or clubs. We recommend using them unless you have a good reason to trust your new found friend.
Finding a gay friendly sex hotel is not difficult – most of them are so obvious as to be embarrassing. They surround nearly every gay bar in the city and rent rooms for six hours or less.
Most of the “in the know” tourists seek out the ones around Av. Gomes Freire or the Copacabana.
Saunas, Bath Houses, and Rent Boys
Saunas and bathhouses are as common in Rio as they are in any gay friendly large city. As you would expect, a good number of the local clients are married men looking for a little extra curricular fun. There is also a fair share of rent boys to be found, so as you would on the beach, make sure you understand what you are getting into before you get started.
For the most part you can expect to spend between $35 and $70 for an encounter with male escort at any of the bathhouses you find.
Meio Mundo on Rua Teófilo Otona is known to have some of the best escorts at any of the bathhouses around.
And for Boytoy’s all time favorite is Club 117 in the Gloria area of Rio. Here you will find a much younger group of boys that you find in Pointe.
No matter what you do in Rio de Janeiro, always practice safe sex. If anything, this is truer in Rio than it is in North America, as the sheer number of hustlers around have made sex riskier here than in many other places you may visit.
In Rio you should also be careful if a stranger hands you a drink. It is somewhat common here for thieves to slip drugs into a tourist’s beer and then rob him. In general it is a good idea to not wear your expensive jewelry (including your watch) when you go out at night – do you really need to know what time it is when you go on vacation?
You should also avoid drugs at all costs when you are in Brazil. The penalties are harsh and the American Embassy might not be able to give you that much help if you are busted.
That said, if you are careful, Rio de Janeiro could end up becoming one of the hottest vacations you ever take.
You can cruise the clubs and bars all night and then sleep off your sex induced hangover on any number of sandy beaches!
We can wait to see you!
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Special thanks to Tomcal and all the posters at Boytoy for all their trips and tips over the years for Rio. The Gay Brazil Forums on their site are the best place to find up to date information on Gay Rio and Gay Brazil!