Rio de Janeiro Named Hottest Gay Destination

By: Joe Thompson

Who knew? Not us, but it turns out that a contest sponsored by and MTV named Rio de Janeiro the hottest gay destination in the world for a second year. The Brazilian city got 48% of the votes, beating out Madrid, Spain; Portland, Oregon; St. Tropez, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Stockholm, Sweden. According to the press release, "The candidate cities were chosen by a group of writers and journalists specializing in global travel."

Why they put Portland, Oregon on that list isn't clear. Perhaps they were straight writers. No offense to Portland, because it's an amazing city for food and music and beer, but it's not usually the first U.S. city you think of when discussing hot gay hubs. New York, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles—maybe. Portland? Not so much.

Regardless, Gay Carnival certainly helped Rio get propelled to the top, as did Rio's beaches and nightclubs. Top spots include:

The Week Rio
Located in the historical center of Rio de Janeiro, the club boasts national and international DJs, two dance floors, a state-of-the-art sound system, VIP area, lounge and outdoor pool area.

Le Boy
The most famous nightclub in Rio, Le Boy includes a dance club, gay baths (dirty) and an outdoor bar.

W Club
Located in Ipanema (as in "The Girl From"), W Club is a sophisticated but intimate nightclub that holds around 300 people. They host parties week long.

Ipanema Beach
Near Ipanema Beach, off a street called Farme de Amoedo, is the most famous gay beach spot in Rio (pictured here). It is very easy to identify, as beach vendors keep rainbow flags as a tribute to their faithful clientele. In the summer, this area is extremely popular.

Copacabana Beach
A Rio de Janeiro icon, it's called “the princess of the sea” for its warmth, charm and beauty. Copacabana Beach (yes, from the Barry Manilow song) is internationally recognized for Rio’s New Year’s Eve party that welcomes millions of visitors from around the world. The sidewalk is made up of Portuguese stones in the shape of waves to symbolize the continuation of the sea.

So is Rio for you? If you like gorgeous weather, sexy men, sultry days and festive nights then it very well could be. Visit Out Traveler's Vacation Packages to search for airline and hotel deals from your city. You can also find more club, beach, hotel and dining information on Rio Gay Guide.