Best time to visit Brazil

Best time to visit Brazil: Kids playing football on Copacabana beach in Rio (c) Alex Robinson

The best time to visit Brazil is from April to June, and August to October. Business visitors should avoid mid-December to the end of February, when it is hot and people are on holiday. In these months, hotels, beaches and transport tend to be very crowded. July is a school holiday month. If visiting tourist centres like Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and the colonial cities in Minas Gerais in the low season, be aware that some tourist sights may be closed for restoration.

Deciding on the best time to visit Brazil depends a lot on where you are going. In Rio de Janeiro conditions during the winter time (May to September) are like those of a north European summer, including periods of rain and overcast skies, with temperatures from 14°C to the high 20s. It is more like a north European autumn in São Paulo and the southern states and it can get very cold in the far south; warm clothing is required as temperatures can change dramatically and it can get cold on high ground anywhere in Brazil, particularly at night. The heaviest rain is from November to March in Rio and São Paulo, and from April to August around Recife (although irregular rainfall causes severe draughts here). The rainy season in the north and Amazônia can begin in December and is heaviest from March to May, but the time period is getting steadily shorter, possibly as a result of deforestation. Few places get more than 2 m - the coast north of Belém, some of the Amazon Basin, and a small area of the Serra do Mar between Santos and São Paulo, where the downpour has been harnessed to generate electricity. Summer time conditions all over the country are tropical, although temperatures rarely reach 40°C.

The average annual temperature increases steadily from south to north, so the best time to visit Brazil depends also on the latitude of your destination. Even on the equator, in the Amazon Basin, the average temperature is not more than 27°C. The highest recorded was 42°C, in the dry northeastern states. From the latitude of Recife south to Rio, the mean temperature is 23-27°C along the coast, and 18-21°C in the highlands. South of Rio, towards the boundary with Uruguay, the mean temperature is 17-19°C. Humidity is relatively high in Brazil, particularly along the coast. The luminosity is also very high, so you are best advised to wear sunglasses.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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