Happy New Year! I hope you have the travel bug because there are so many great places for LGBTQ women to enjoy nowadays! While the United States is feeling the cold the southern hemisphere is just getting started with their summer season! One of our favorite places to travel to with Ladies Touch Travel is Brazil and specifically Rio de Janeiro around late February.
One of the largest events in Brazil is Carnival, but a little inside info, there are so many great festivals, block, and beach parties around Rio two weeks before the actual Carnival that are free or super low cost that it doesn't make much sense to go during Carnival to spend double the price on everything! So if you go right before Carnival make sure you don't miss out these spots:
1. Ipanema Beach- Between Posto 8 and 9 is the infamous Farme Gay strip. You will see the pride flags and many gay and lesbian folks enjoying the scenery and music. This area is a ton of fun especially if you are with cool people. We have literally partied to sundown with the Ladies Touch Travel group not even realizing everyone had left the beach!! Good times indeed! Keep in mind in Brazil women typically wear thongs or Brazilian cut bikinis and men wear speedo type bathing suits so don't be alarmed, go with the flow and enjoy the beauty!
2- Bloco Ceu na Terra- One of our favorite block parties in Rio de Janeiro happens in Santa Teresa at guess what time? 7AM!! You would think who wants to party at 7AM but thousands fill up the narrow cobble stone old town streets of Santa Teresa for an energetic party. You'll see sheroes, villains, drag queens, clowns, you name it but after all the craziness you can't help to say "this was an amazing experience"!
3- Samba School Rehearsals- There is something about the drums beating live that make your hairs on your body stand at attention and even if you don't know how to dance, you just start pumping your hips...welcome to a samba school rehearsal! Carnival is when all the samba schools in Rio get together to compete on music, dancers, and costumes so experiencing a rehearsal beforehand is a one of a kind party. We had the pleasure of visiting Comuna Que Pariu in the Lapa District and it was a blast and not to miss!
4- Lapa District- Lapa is filled with bars, clubs, and parties that go til the wee hours so drink a redbull and experience the nightlife! Rio de Janeiro is very mixed as far as the patrons. You'll find that many parties have the queer and straight people all in the same room having a ball. Nobody cares! There are definitely gay clubs but for the most part in Lapa everyone parties together.
These are just a few things to do while in Rio de Janeiro especially right before the actual Carnival. Make sure you have a Caipirinha and Pao de Queijo when out and about in Rio. The Cariocas (Brazilian Natives) are warm people, love to have fun, and offer great hospitality. As with most places you travel to, always travel safely! If you want to learn more about our travel group and upcoming destinations email us at email@example.com for more details.