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What'sNew in...
São Paulo

by Mark Chesnut

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Not only is Brazil’s economic hub the largest city in South America, it’s also the third-largest city in the world. Especially noteworthy for LGBT travelers is the fact that São Paulo hosts the biggest gay pride celebration on the planet. In 2008 the parade (which is called the Parada do Orgulho GLBT de São Paulo) attracted some 3.5 million revelers, and organizers predict at least the same number for 2009. The parade takes place in May every year, but the date changes so make sure to visit www.paradasp.org.br for details.

Gay and lesbian tourism is big business in Brazil, and São Paulo is no exception. Embratur, the government tourism organization, partnered for the first time in 2006 with ABRAT-GLS, an LGBT organization, to promote the São Paulo pride event with a new website and financial support. In 2007, Embratur worked for the first time with a gay tour operator, G Brazil, to bring international journalists to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Cabo Frio, and Búzios, with the goal of showing off what these destinations offer gay travelers. Clearly, the Brazilian government wants our business.

“For the future, we intend to create a GLBT bureau that will receive investments from the Ministry of Tourism and work to make the experience [for gay and lesbian visitors] in Brazil something they will never forget,” said Geraldo Bentes, marketing director at Embratur.

In the meantime, ABRAT-GLS has introduced a gay guide to Brazil’s largest destinations on its website (www.abratgls.com.br).

Other popular events for LGBT travelers include Mix Brasil (www.mixbrasil.org.br), a movie festival in November that features works dealing with sexual diversity; and São Paulo Fashion Week (www.spfw.com.br), which brings the nation’s hottest designers to the runways and shops of Brazil’s largest city.

Even if you can’t make it for one of São Paulo’s big events, don’t worry. Corporate travelers may be responsible for about half of the city’s visitors, but São Paulo offers plenty of leisure activities and attractions, including some 87 museums, 66 shopping malls, 12,500 restaurants, and plenty of nightlife. The upscale Jardins district is among the most popular neighborhoods with the gay community and offers many dining and drinking options. Among the most gay-popular places is L’Open (Alameda Itu 1466. Tel: 11-3060-9013. www.lopen.com.br), an elegant, gay-owned Italian restaurant with a second-floor art gallery, and Ritz (Alameda Franca 1088. Tel: 11-3088-6808), a casual gay-owned restaurant that packs in diners for its tasty daily specials.

Gay life is visible in many parts of São Paulo, including the city center and at giant dance clubs like The Week (Rua Guaicurus 324, Lapa. Tel: 11-3872-9966. www.theweek.com.br), where muscle-bound guys take to the dance floor. For a more alternative scene, check out A Loca (Rua Frei Caneca 916. Tel: 11-3159-8889. www.aloca.com.br), where gay men and women (and some hip straight people) dance and imbibe.

Various publications highlight the city’s weekly parties and activities, and hotel concierges are surprisingly well versed on the ins and outs of gay nightlife. You can also check out Junior (www.editorasapucaia.com.br), a glossy gay men’s lifestyle magazine in Portuguese with beautiful photography and art.

Getting to São Paulo is decidedly not a quick trip from North America, but since it’s in the same hemisphere, the time change is much less daunting than a trip to Europe or Asia, and there are more options than ever for arriving. TAM (www.tamairlines.com), the gay-friendly Brazilian airline, has stepped up to the plate with increased service both domestically and abroad. In 2007 alone, TAM launched nonstop service from São Paulo to Caracas, Milan, Frankfurt, Montevideo, and Madrid, complementing its existing flights to London, Paris, and the United States. “With four daily flights linking the US (from Miami and New York) our presence has increased from our original daily flight from Miami nine years ago,” noted José Sampol, TAM’s general manager for North America.

Continued
Facebook Twitter Bookmark What's New in Sao Paulo Brazil at del.icio.us Google Bookmarks Digg What's New in Sao Paulo Brazil Mixx What's New in Sao Paulo Brazil Bookmark What's New in Sao Paulo Brazil at YahooMyWeb Bookmark using any bookmark manager! Print this article! E-mail this story to a friend!

Thanks Mark, this is an incredible article about our city. Just to confirm next "agenda" for you to join great moments like: Carnival Week < 20 to 24 FEB 09 - Anywhere in Brazil. GAY PRIDE PARADE SP < next 14TH JUNE09 FULL WEEK PROGRAM BEIJOS,CLOVIS
- clovis casemiro , SAO PAULO / SP/ BRAZIL


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