About Us

In 1996, we launched our parent website, ipanema.com. The Carioca Guide to Rio, born and raised in Ipanema, was an instant hit. Our tips for gay and lesbian travelers ranked among our most popular pages. We decided they deserved their own domain, and this is how riogayguide.com was born.

About riogayguide.com

For perspective, riogayguide.com went online before Google (1998) or Facebook (2004). Altavista crawled the web. Yahoo! was already a big player, with editors cataloging the best websites by topic and region. Excite Reviews provided a similar service.

Our efforts were noticed. With favorable reviews from the most prestigious directories, we started attracting the attention of international publications, TV channels, and even museums. Along with thousands of visitors, of course.

We have created content for prestigious publications, including the Lonely Planet Guide to Rio. Spartacus, the international gay guide published in Berlin, invited us to provide tips and select featured venues in Rio de Janeiro. This partnership lasted for several years.

Our website results from decades of professional experience in the travel business and an earnest commitment to gay and lesbian travelers. We feature original content, including photos and videos.

Professional Experience

In 1997, we joined IGLTA, the International Gay and Travel Association. We opened our brick-and-mortar full-service travel agency in the heart of Ipanema. For two decades, we provided premium travel assistance to Brazilians and international visitors coming to Rio.

Our central location on the main street near Praça da Paz was so convenient that many of our clients showed up to say hi! Making travel arrangements in a professional capacity is a very personal deal. Putting a face behind a name was always a big pleasure.

We ran into an untapped market besides USA and UK visitors. Travelers from Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa discovered affordable hotels in good areas. The same happened to Eastern Europeans, now free from the restraints of the Iron Curtain (don’t ask).

We developed our booking system from scratch, offering rates previously only available to the domestic market. This new approach would eventually consolidate the booking giants we see today.

Iguazu Falls, at the border of Brazil and Argentina

We did a lot of footwork on our end. We have visited and reviewed countless hotels and, in many cases, created their first presence online. We hand-picked premium tour operators to offer all sorts of experiences in the city and beyond.

Rio de Janeiro is considered the front door to Brazil, the fifth largest country on earth. The incredible biodiversity and geography offer a dazzling number of choices, from the Iguazu Falls down South to the Amazon rainforest up North. If you have a chance, consider the possibilities.

About Travel Services

Traveling abroad was once a mysterious adventure, and you needed the assistance of a specialized travel agency. Today, we have access to everything online. You can book air tickets and accommodation and make friends on social apps.

We are admittedly biased and opinionated. Our website will help you make more educated choices, get acquainted with the city and its ways, avoid the pitfalls, and anticipate the good times ahead. Hopefully, this is just the start of a long love affair with Rio and our culture.

Count on the help of tools offered by apps such as Google Maps for reviews on venues such as nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and even gay baths. They keep up to date with what has opened and closed and should give at least an idea of what to expect.

We provide links to travel services offered by selected operators. Services suggested are rendered by third parties. Read their terms of service before making any commitments. We may receive a small commission when you use our affiliate links, with no markups to your total.