PHOTOS: Rio de Janeiro’s finest flaunt their feathers at Carnival

Samba Parade dancer at Rio de Janeiro Carnival.

If you’ve never been to Rio de Janeiro Carnival (Carnaval), it’s one of the biggest, and gayest, parties you’ve ever seen. These photos will make you feel like you’re in the center of the action–from samba in the streets to cruising on Ipanema Beach.

Rio Carnival’s world-renowned Samba Parade. Photos provided by Rio Carnival.

In the early 18th century, Carnival began as a way to let loose before you practiced abstaining from all the good things in life, like chocolate or junk food, during the Catholic tradition of Lent. Think Mardi Gras, but instead of one day, you have an entire week of revelry. Carrying that tradition to today, Carnival is now the biggest celebration in Rio. However, you won’t be asked to abstain from naughty fun afterward, or during for that matter.


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What’s better than a gay party? A gay block party. Sunkissed, queer, and ready to have a good time best describes the party-goers at Rio Carnival’s block parties.


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Like muscle boys? Look for Carnival Rio’s Circuit Parties, also known as “label parties.” They’re well-known for attracting muscular gorillas. The eye candy is overwhelming so get ready to snap some pics. Two of the most popular are “B.I.T.C.H (Barbies in total control here) and X-Demente Party.


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Some costumes are simple and most are elaborate. What we love most about Carnaval is that everyone can be as free and expressive as they choose. It’s one of the most ideal travel destinations for exhibitionists and voyeurs alike.

Did we mention beaches? The boys at Rio Carnival are seldom shy. On Ipanema Beach, there’s an area called the Farme. It’s a prime cruising spot, so you won’t want to miss it. The Farme holds three parades during Carnaval, featuring drag performances and live music.

If sequence and glitter are your things, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to queer heaven. Everything at Carnaval, sparkles (including your personality, of course). You can even rent your own glittery costume upon arrival.


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We don’t know who this guy is, but we’d like to. Seriously, you could pack or not pack for Carnaval. Skin seems to be the choice of attire.


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The dances and balls are nonstop at Carnival, but the one you don’t want to miss is the Gay Ball, located in downtown Scala. The costumes impress and the drag queens are in all their glory at the Gay Ball.


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You’ll find vendors everywhere, selling trinkets, souvenirs, and plenty of Brazilin food to keep your sexy ass fueled. You’re going to need it.

Save the dates, February 17 – 25, 2023 next year!

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