When to Go to Brazil

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
Ipanema Beach

Brazil by Seasons

Although its large size does mean that there are considerable variations in climate across the country, Brazil is an all-season destination, and experiences warm weather for much of the year. Bisected by both the equator and the tropic of Capricorn, temperatures on any given day can be 40°C in one locale and 15°C in another, with the mountainous regions cooler than the beaches. This renders the official four-season weather pattern somewhat obsolete, and it makes more sense to consider Brazil as having two seasons, a wet and a dry:

Amazon River at low water levels
Dry Season

May to November

Also called winter (except in the Amazon), the dry season brings varied weather across Brazil. Temperatures decrease slightly from the wet season, into the mid- to high twenties. This is a lovely time to visit Rio de Janeiro, as the skies are blue and humidity is lower too, with some refreshing sea breezes. The lack of rain causes the Amazon to recede, exposing its riverside beaches and islands, making it a lovely time for an Amazon River adventure.

Go for:

Easter: Semana Santa (Holy Week), as it’s known in Brazil, is the highlight of the Catholic calendar. Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais is the best place to celebrate – here they create magnificent carpets of flowers in the streets for the processions to walk over.

Gay Pride: May or June, head to São Paulo for the largest LGBT festival in the world. Over five million people attend this giant party, with floats, costumes, music and dance performances too.

Rio Carnival parade
Wet Season

December to April

Also referred to as summer, the wet season is the hottest time to visit Brazil, with average temperatures in the low 30s, although they can rise to 43°C near the equator. Humidity is high too, so your best bet is to head for the beach to cool off. The Amazon region is a special case; here the wet season is called winter, and the likelihood of rain is high, although this makes conditions perfect for birdwatching along the river.

Go for:

Rio Carnival: Brazil’s most famous party takes place in late February, with over two million spectators coming to see the colourful floats and extravagant costumes, many covered in glitter.

New Year’s Eve: ring in the New Year in style on Rio’s Copacabana Beach, where revellers dress all in white and an over-the-top fireworks display fills the night sky.

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