AS THE LARGEST METROPOLIS in South America and one of the largest cities in the world, it’s only natural São Paulo offers a diverse array of experiences for travelers. And that goes for LGBTQ travelers as well, thanks to the extensive variety of businesses, events and nightlife that cater to this market segment.
“São Paulo has a very good cultural life, from excellent parks to museums, galleries and theaters, and festivals year-round,” said Clovis Casemiro, Brazil coordinator, International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, of which the São Paulo Convention and Visitors Bureau is a member. “For the gay and lesbian tourist, we offer around 100 gay-friendly places to go, from restaurants to bars, discos, saunas and shops.”
Most LGBTQ activity focuses around two specific neighborhoods: the area around Arouche and República, and the blocks around Paulista Avenue and Frei Caneca Street. Casemiro noted Arouche offers a good neighborhood for bar hopping — the younger crowd often heads to a dance club called Freedom, while “bear” parties provide a lively vibe at Cantho, and ABC Bailão spins classic dance music.
Indeed, it could take several weeks to discover all the nightlife the city has to offer. “São Paulo is home to the best discos in Brazil,” said Casemiro. “The largest and most famous is The Week, where the best DJs and parties are always on. Flexx Club and Bubu Lounge are for the young generation, and on Sunday night go to Blue Space, which has the best drag shows in town.”
Of course, no article about LGBTQ São Paulo would be complete without mentioning the annual gay pride parade, the largest such event on the planet, attracting more than 2 million revelers every May. The celebration actually lasts the entire month, with parties, dance and theater performances, cultural fairs, concerts and other entertainment. Local travel companies like Tibitur Turismo help travelers connect with experiences like this and can also provide details about attractions like the Museu da Diversidade Sexual (Museum of Sexual Diversity), which focuses on the struggle for LGBTQ human rights, and the city’s best hotels — including super-stylish boutique properties like the Emiliano São Paulo, Hotel Unique and Hotel Fasano.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Emirates added Seychelles (SEZ) to its list of recent flight resumptions, including Stockholm (ARN) and beefing up services to the Maldives (MLE). Emirates resumed Seychelles services Aug. 1, alongside the country’s re-opening to international tourists.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Arriving in Singapore is an easy affair as there are plenty of taxis for the 15-minute ride from Changi Airport, with little traffic. Coming into the circular drive of the famed Raffles hotel, you take in the view of this historic 1887 property. The equally famed doormen, dressed in traditional Sikh livery, greet guests and help with any requests.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
The United Arab Emirates announced all inbound travelers are required to carry proof of a negative COVID-19 test to show upon arrival. This requirement will be upheld by all the country’s airports and applies to residents and tourists alike.
Take Five at Saint Lucia’s famed Jade Mountain. The resort’s deal allows guests booking the signature Sky, Star or Moon sanctuary to receive their fifth night free, an offer valued at a savings of more than $1,200. The offer is valid for travel through Dec. 19. Learn more and book.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Looking for a romantic getaway? At Couples Resorts in Jamaica, travelers can earn up to $500 in instant cash credits when booking a stay of five nights or more with the Couples Comeback offer. The offer is valid at all properties for bookings through Sept. 30. Travel by Aug. 31 for $500 in cash credits and Sept. 1–Dec. 24 for $400 in cash credits. Guests who provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result will receive a $100 resort credit. Book online.