When is the best time to visit Brazil? Best season to travelby | January 25, 2024
From the iconic Amazon rainforest to the sun-kissed beaches. Brazil is a captivating destination year-round. In this guide, we unravel when is the best time to visit Brazil, allowing you to tailor your experience and make the most of this enchanting country's cultural richness, natural wonders, and lively festivities.
To get to this paradise on earth, you will need a visa for Brazil and to follow a series of entry requirements. You can get all the information about visas, and the Brazil visa requirements with Visagov.
General weather of Brazil
Before delving into what is the best time to visit Brazil, you should know some of the basics of the general weather of Brazil. Since Brazil is so big, there are different types of climates for all its regions. The weather varies from north to south, although it is largely tropical. We can talk about 5 climates: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical.
In the northeast, from northern Bahia to the coast between Natal and São Luís, there is a semi-arid climate with low rainfall and high temperatures. In this region there can be droughts and during the summer months there can be 40º Celsius. The only humid, hot and sticky area is the Amazon Rainforest in the north of Brazil.
In the Amazon rainforest region, there is heavy and persistent rainfall from November to April and temperatures usually between 25º and 32º Celsius.
The central-western region is known for its tropical savanna climate with different seasons. The dry season lasts from May to September, and temperatures range from 18º to 32º Celsius. The rainy season lasts from October to April, but temperatures are only slightly higher then.
The south of Brazil has a humid subtropical climate with mild temperatures and rainfall year-round. Winters are rarely cold, but in the highlands there are occasional snowfalls and temperatures below freezing, while Summers are warm and humid with temperatures ranging from 20 to 28º Celcius.
The interior of Brazil is hot and dry. The Atlantic coastal regions have a tropical climate with high humidity and year-round precipitation.
Brazil is located in the Southern Hemisphere, which means seasons here are the opposite of in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter season starts in June and lasts till September and it experiences the least amount of rainfall with temperatures ranging from 5º to 20º. Summer is from December to March when temperatures range from 20º to 30º. Lastly, you should keep in mind that it tends to be hotter the further north you are.
What is the best time to visit Brazil?
Although Brazil is a year-round destination, the best time to visit Brazil is considered between December and March. These are the warmest months across the country, with temperatures between 27°C and 33°C and the time to go to the beach and celebrate New Year and Carnival.
In Brazil, December and January mark the heart of the summer season, coinciding with the Christmas holidays and elevated temperatures, leading to increased prices. The Rio carnival in February or early March, witnesses the highest influx of crowds and prices. On the contrary, September and October emerge as optimal months for a visit, particularly for spotting jaguars in the Pantanal. During this period, one can sidestep peak holiday periods, ensuring a less crowded experience and benefiting from more budget-friendly prices.
The weather depends on the region you visit. For example, the Amazon is going to always be hot and sticky, while other regions experience bigger changes in weather.
If you are planning to go to northern Brazil and visit the Amazon or some of the beaches such as Porto de Galinhas, and Jericoacoara, the best time is between June and September.
If you are planning to visit the northeast of Brazil (areas like Salvador de Bahía, Recife and Natal in Rio Grande del Norte ), you should think of traveling there during September and November. These are the best months, if you want to avoid the heat. Nevertheless, this is a region that can be visited all year-round.
If you want to travel to southern Brazil, you should consider going during the winter months, from June to August. These are the best months to avoid the hottest temperatures and visit Río de Janeiro, São Paulo or Porto Alegre.
Central and eastern Brazil are best visited, between April and September. Then, you will avoid the rain. Brasilia and the Mato Grosso region are waiting for you during those months.
Best festivals and events in Brazil
Brazil is known for its music, dances and celebrations. Here are some of the main festivals and events in Brazil that you should definitely see:
- Carnival. During February or March takes place one of the most famous celebrations in Brazil: the carnival. This is a week of colorful samba parades of elaborate floats and bejeweled dancers are the main event. One month before the Carnival, clubs hold glitzy parties and street parties (blocos) with their own theme. Two of the most popular ones are Cordão do Bolo Preto and ‘Sargento Pimenta. There are some post-carnival parties weeks after.
- Semana Santa (Easter). This is the most important Catholic event of the year. If you attend Semana Santa, you will be able to see some of the most spectacular and colorful processions and decorations of your life. The best place to see Semana Santa is Ouro Preto in the Minas Gerais region where you will see attractive colonial houses, cobbled streets, baroque churches, and beautiful sawdust carpets.
- The Parintins Folklore Festival. This festival is the second-largest celebration in Brazil following Carnival, and it unfolds in the city of Parintins in Amazonas. This vibrant event pays homage to the local legend of Boi-Bumbá, depicting the magical resurrection of an ox that was initially slaughtered to appease a pregnant woman's desire for beef tongue. Two competing teams bring the myth to life, engaging in a spirited competition featuring extravagant song and dance performances, vivid costumes, and impressive floats. It is celebrated at the end of June.
- Festival de Cachaça o Festival de Pinga. This festival is held in Paraty, and is dedicated to cachaça, the national liquor made from sugar cane. The Festival of Cachaça is celebrated over a long weekend in August, where there are shows of samba, forró and reggae, food trucks, handicrafts and samplings of cachaca.
- Festa Junina or Festa de Sao João. This is a festival that takes place each June to celebrate saint John the Baptist. It celebrates rural life with typical clothes like checkered shirts and straw hats with painted freckles on the face. It is celebrated all over Brazil, but celebrations are bigger in the countryside where rural fairs are a must-visit. There you will be able to enjoy delicious food (canjica, corn, pé-de-moleque, cake and mulled cachaça and wine), play games, listen to forró and dance the quadrilha.
- Oktoberfest. Although it is a well-known German tradition, due to the significant influx of German immigrants to Brazil, Oktoberfest is celebrated in the country. In the city of Blumenau in the state of Santa Catarina, there is the world's second-largest Oktoberfest. You can enjoy typical German food, indulge in plenty of beer, and experience traditional folk costumes, along with a lot of singing, dancing, and street parties.
What to pack and tips for Brazil
- When packing for Brazil, you should consider the region and time of year you are traveling to. Nevertheless, the best is to pack light and to preferably take a light backpack or suitcase.
- Some of the most vital objects to take to Brazil are: insect repellent, first-aid kit with antidiarrheal, analgesic, bandage, cotton gauze, tissues, plasters, toothbrush and sunscreen.
- You should always take with you a rain jacket and light and breathable clothing like cotton t-shirts and shorts. If you are planning to visit some religious places, you should wear modest clothing like long trousers and shirts.
- Keep in mind that you will be walking a lot, so you should pack comfortable shoes. A pair of sneakers or sandals are also ideal.
- Pack an adapter, if you don’t have one for type C and N plug sockets.
- If you need to have internet connections, you should consider getting a SIM card for Brazil.
- You will most likely need a swimsuit. Enjoying the beaches in Brazil is one of the main things to do there.
- What language is spoken in Brazil? Familiarize yourself with Portuguese since the vast majority speak only this language and not English. Learn a few key phrases before you travel to Brazil.