Best Time To Visit Brazil

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

While Spain colonised much of South America, there is an argument that it was the Portuguese who originally got the continent’s jewel, Brazil. It is a vast country that includes the Amazon and the largest equatorial forest in the world. Much is still unexplored and even more is remote. It was the coastal strip that the Portuguese colonised, and the majority of the population still live there.

Brazil achieved independence almost two centuries ago. And in the middle of the last century, the government decided to build the nation’s capital from scratch in the interior. Now, Brasilia is a city of 2.5 million people. Brazil’s population exceeds 200 million, with Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador of significant size. Indigenous tribes live within the interior as well, while the largest city at the gateway to the lower stretches of the Amazon and its tributaries, Manaus on the Negro River, has a population exceeding 2 million.

The best time to visit Brazil does not relate to climate. You can expect warm weather at worst anyway. Its riches vary from the lovely beaches on the South Atlantic to the wild interior where you will need guides, but where you will get memorable experiences. Be prepared to fly if you want to get around in Brazil, sometimes on long flights.

Best Time To Visit Brazil

Brazil in Winter

best time to visit brazil
Looking for the best time to visit Brazil? The climate is always warm, so look for festivals and other events.

These months form part of the low season in Brazil. However, in countries where the main school holidays fall in July and August, families take their main annual break then. As a result, some families have little choice but to travel in the middle of the year, and Brazil will not disappoint. There may even be discounts and cheaper accommodation available.

There will be rain, and temperatures are at their lowest, but why should that spoil time in such a stunning city as Rio? The answer is it doesn’t. You can avoid the crowds on popular beaches because the locals can access them for 12 months a year. Away from the beaches, enjoy the cities and seek shelter in a friendly bar or caf√© if the rain gets too heavy.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • June (Sunrise 0630, Sunset 1750, Average Low Temperature 20C (68F), Average High Temperature Average High 25C (78F))
  • July (Sunrise 0640, Sunset 1800, Average Low Temperature 19C (66F), Average High Temperature 25C (78F)
  • August (Sunrise 0630, Sunset 1800, Average Low Temperature 19C (66F), Average High Temperature 25C (78F)

Five Things to Do in Brazil in Winter

1- Visit Rio de Janeiro
best time to visit brazil rio de janeiro
One of the best times to visit Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is in winter, when the crowds are smaller. You must go to the Christ the Redeemer monument.

There is no doubt that visiting Rio de Janeiro is on the “bucket list” of many travellers, and few who get to visit leave with regrets other than they could not stay longer.

Copacabana Beach is iconic with Ipanema Beach made famous by the famous world hit sung by Astrud Gilberto in 1963, years before Barry Manilow sang of the former.

Christ the Redeemer towers over the city, as does Sugarloaf Mountain.

There is so much to see and do that a day will never be remotely enough.

2- Explore Salvador
when is the best time to visit brazil
The best time to visit Brazil for a beach vacation is in winter. Pictured here is Barra beach in Salvador in Bahia state.

Salvador is a large city on Brazil’s northern coast. The subtropical climate means its waters and beaches are popular all year around.

It was an important city in colonial times, and one of the features you will recognise immediately you are is the colonial architecture.

Cobbled streets, large squares and famous churches are all reasons to take time away from the beach to explore.

3- Go Hiking In Chapada Diamantina National Park

Chapada Diamantina National Park in Bahia in Eastern Brazil can be accessed via Salvador.

This national park is an excellent choice to enjoy hiking through valleys and over plateaus.

There are caves to explore and no shortage of panoramic views and colour.

4- See Marine Life Around The Cagarras Islands

The Cagarras Islands are offshore from Rio and offer the opportunity for sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling or just relaxing.

They are uninhabited and attract birdlife that nests on the rugged rocks, especially boobies and frigate birds.

The waters contain turtles, angelfish, butterfly fish, octopuses, and other marine life.

5- Explore Natal’s Portuguese Past

Natal in the extreme northeast dates back to early Portuguese times when they saw its defensive value.

Today you will be greeted by sand dunes, the old fortress at the mouth of the river, an inland lagoon and long stretches of sand.

Top tips:

best time of year to visit brazil
The best time to see Brazil’s Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo is at night when the water fountains are magical.
  • Brazil’s cities do not have a good crime record, so keep valuables safe and don’t walk around with documentation you don’t need on that particular day.
  • Discounts may be available because this is the low season when crowds are at their thinnest.
  • Be prepared for a shower by packing some light waterproof jackets.

Brazil in Spring

what's the best time to visit brazil
The best time to visit Brasila, the capital of Brazil, is during the evening when it’s cooler and the buildings are lit up like a fairyland.

Spring is the shoulder season and a great time for exploring Brazil when nights might remain chilly, but daytime temperatures are pleasant and comfortable. You can still avoid the crowds most of the time, although locals will likely spend weekends on the beach as the weather improves.

Nature lovers keen on the Pantanal, especially with the hope of seeing a jaguar, should look to September and October as ideal for their trip. The dry climate draws prey to the rivers, and the jaguar knows that. Soon afterwards, rains mean the prey disperses elsewhere in the Pantanal, and sightings go down.

Later in the spring, visitor numbers increase as the warmer weather arrives and rain is likely in some parts, which improves the lush appearance of vegetation. As in neighbouring Argentina, a beer festival takes place for almost two weeks in October. Blumenau in Santa Catarina in the south is host as it has been since 1984.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • September (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1810, Average Low Temperature 20C (68F), Average High Temperature Average High 26C (80F))
  • October (Sunrise 0535, Sunset 1810, Average Low Temperature 21C (70F), Average High Temperature 27C (82F)
  • November (Sunrise 0530, Sunset 1820, Average Low Temperature 22C (72F), Average High Temperature 28C (84F)

Five Things to do in Brazil in Spring

1- Marvel At The Wonder Of Iguazu Falls
best time to visit brazil and argentina
Spring is the best time to visit Brazil for a trip to Iguazu Falls.

The famous Iguazu Falls sit on the border of Brazil and Argentina.

Although the Argentinian side has plenty of walking trails, you will still enjoy the cascading water from within Brazil.

There are over 270 cataracts, and unlike some other waterfalls in the world, Iguazu’s latitude means there is never a time when the amount of water drops significantly.

2- Explore Manaus
best time to visit the amazon in brazil
Exploring the Amazon city of Manaus is an adventure in Brazil.

Manaus is now a huge city, developed for commercial reasons relating to logging and rubber along a tributary of the Amazon, the Negro River.

A settlement has been here since the 17th century, initially a defensive fort, but the rubber industry put it on the map.

That industry has faded, but its prosperity continues as a free trade zone for over half a century.

3- Go Jaguar Spotting In The Pantanal
what is the best time of year to visit brazil
The best time to visit Brazil is you’re keen on spotting jaguars is from July to October in the Pantanal.

Jaguar spotting in the Pantanal is best done when the dry season means its prey must go to the rivers and water channels to drink.

Spring is the best time to do this with a great chance of seeing the largest cat in the Americas.

It will not be cheap to organise a trip, and you will need to be patient, but experienced tour companies report very successful sightings at the right time of year.

4- Wander The Streets Of Sao Paulo
best time of the year to visit brazil
Estaiada Bridge and the Pinheiros River in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sao Paulo is Brazil’s largest city with a few things worth seeing and doing before heading out, including its old streets and alleys, a sharp contrast with the modern buildings.

It is the best place for international visitors heading to the Pantanal to look for intercontinental flights.

5- Visit Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre is in the deep south of Brazil and has a population of 1.5 million.

Among its highlights is the Metropolitan Cathedral in the main square.

Visitors often arrive in the city before heading off to Aparados da Serra National Park, a protected area home to deep canyons and interesting fauna such as howler monkeys and ocelots.

Top tips:

  • Avoid walking around at night in dark, quiet places.
  • Take binoculars with you whenever you might have the chance to see wildlife and a camera, of course.
  • If you intend to sunbathe, get protection from the sun’s rays, and wear a hat when blue skies are around.

Brazil in Summer

best time to visit rio de janeiro brazil
Aerial view of famous Copacabana Beach and Ipanema beaches in Rio de Janeiro. Anytime is the best time to visit Brazil to see this famous beach.

When cold weather hits the northern hemisphere, Brazil is hot and festive, celebrating Christmas and Carnival. This is peak season in the country, which means the year’s highest prices and the largest crowds. Beaches fill up all along the coastline where there is any infrastructure at all. You may struggle to book accommodation for a night or two as many hotels insist on a minimum stay of four nights.

Rio is especially busy, so perhaps you should look elsewhere? After all, the coastline is extensive, so there is plenty of choices. Where you want to combine the beach with history and the natural environment, do your research well in advance and remember to make your bookings in advance. There are good alternatives up in the northeast.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • December (Sunrise 0535, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 23C (74F), Average High Temperature Average High 30C (82F))
  • January (Sunrise 0550, Sunset 1850, Average Low Temperature 24C (76F), Average High Temperature 30C (82F)
  • February (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 24C (76F), Average High Temperature 31C (84F)

Five Things to do in Brazil in Summer

1- Admire UNESCO World Heritage Olinda
best time to visit amazon rainforest brazil
The port of Recife seen from the north city of Olinda.

Olinda and Recife in the northeast are places where the Portuguese made quite an impact.

There is plenty of colonial architecture, mostly dating from the 16th and 18th centuries, including churches, monasteries and houses painted in various colours.

Olinda is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Either city is also an excellent base for exploring the beautiful beaches.

2- Celebrate Carnival

Carnival in Rio takes place in February.

Catholic countries worldwide hold carnivals on a date in February corresponding with the beginning of Lent, 40 days before Easter.

None of those carnivals can match Rio for its size and colour. The crowds are enormous, and the action never seems to cease.

3- Hit The Beaches Of Florianopolis
what is the best time to visit brazil Boat resting in a nice beach in
Florianopolis in Santa Catarina is ai popular destination in the south of Brazil.

Florianopolis and its beaches offer plenty for visitors, and the high season starts towards the end of the year.

The capital of Santa Catarina is in the south and is famous for its long stretches of sand.

Infrastructure has kept pace with the popularity of the region.

4- Look For Pink Dolphins In The Amazon

Piranhas and pink dolphins are unique to the Amazon and its tributaries.

You will need to arrange a guided tour of the waters to have a good chance of sightings, and Manaus, with its airport, is probably the place to start your river safari.

5 – Celebrate Christmas

Christmas is a massive celebration with its religious meaning getting more attention than in other countries worldwide.

Northern Hemisphere visitors will find it strange to celebrate this religious holiday in hot weather, but that is the reality.

The celebrations include the nativity scenes, Santa, Christmas trees, and turkey dinners.

Top tips:

  • Pack comfortable cotton clothing for hot, humid days.
  • This is the high season, so plan your itinerary and book accommodation in advance.
  • A basic first aid kit is worth packing.

Brazil in Autumn

best time to visit rio brazil
For soccer fans, the best time to visit Brazil is when you can watch a match.

Crowds do tend to dwindle the further you get into autumn, and temperatures remain high, so you do not need any warm clothing, but you will need protection against a shower.

This is the second shoulder season when you may get some bargains as businesses seek revenue before places get noticeably quieter.

Easter falls within these weeks and it is a very important festival in this catholic country. Once it is over, there are weeks when exploring on foot or bicycle is fun, both in cities and in rural areas.

Temperatures are good without being too hot, but take water and wear a hat just in case. Crowds, even in Rio de Janeiro, are not a problem on weekdays but build up at the weekend for the beaches and to visit places like Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • March (Sunrise 0615, Sunset 1830, Average Low Temperature 24C (76F), Average High Temperature Average High 30C (82F))
  • April (Sunrise 0620, Sunset 1805, Average Low Temperature 23C (74F), Average High Temperature 28C (78F)
  • May (Sunrise 0630, Sunset 1750, Average Low Temperature 21C (70F), Average High Temperature 26C (74F)

Five Things to do in Brazil in Autumn

1- Explore Brasilia
best time of year to visit rio de janeiro brazil
The Oscar Niemeyer-designed National Museum and Cathedral in Brasilia is a UNESCO World Heritage site to visit in Brazil.

Brasilia is a modern creation with the government deciding to build a purpose-built city inland, so inevitably Brasilia grew to the size it is today.

You will not see much history here, but there are a few landmarks while in autumn, there is the Festival de Cinema Brasileiro.

2- Attend A Soccer Game

Soccer is a passion in Brazil and Rio’s Maracan√£ Stadium hosted the Football World Cup Final of 2014.

Brazil, which also hosted the 1950 World Cup, has won the FIFA World Cup a record five times.

Tours to watch a club game in the stadium are extremely popular, and even if you are not interested in soccer, the atmosphere is such that it is an experience not to miss.

3- Enjoy The Modern Attractions Of Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte in the southeast is a city surrounded by mountains, a modern planned city with many attractions.

They include multiple parks and reserve areas, art and theatre, and museums.

One nickname that might interest you is “the capital of neighbourhood bars.”

4- Enjoy A Churrascaria
brazil best time to visit juicy beef steak in a black timber tray
Barbecue grilled rump (Brazilian Picanha beef) is a meat-eater’s delight. There’s no best time to visit Brazil to enjoy the food.

If you get an invitation to a churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ), jump at the chance.

Brazilian cuisine includes plenty of meat, and grills are very important.

Food is a combination of influences, including European, African and native.

There are opportunities to attend classes to learn more in places throughout the country.

5- Celebrate Easter
best time to visit brazil weather historic buildings and mountains in background
View of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais.

Easter is a significant holiday in all catholic countries, especially Catholic ones like Brazil.

If you head to Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais in the southeast, you can enjoy its “Holy Week.”

It is a festival involving laying carpets in the streets, a tradition dating back to 1698.

Top tips:

  • Keep your valuables safe, especially if you are mixing in large crowds, as there is significant poverty in Brazil.
  • Plan in advance because tourist numbers are only just starting to fall
  • Rains will become more frequent, so pack accordingly.

Are you itching to travel somewhere but can’t decide where or when to go? These posts might help:

Previous articleBest Time To Visit Argentina
Next article20 Things To Do In Detroit At Night
cropped stephen smith writer.jpg
Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.