January is a high season month, in Brazil. That's a great time to visit most coastal and beach destinations. Downsides: higher hotel prices and crowds.
Where to go in January:
That's the best time for those looking for entertainment, festivals, events, fun (January is a crowded time, with many Brazilians and Argentinians in holidays - local summer school holidays goes from December to the end of January or early February).
January is the best time to visit beach destinations in the South, or to visit Rio de Janeiro and beach resorts around Sao Paulo; that's also an excellent time to go to Bahia (Salvador), Pernambuco (Recife) and Ceará (Fortaleza), and to experience their many city events and festivals. Also a good time to visit the Iguassu Falls (though not the best).
Where not to go in January
Though January is a popular month to visit the Amazon, it's not the ideal time to go. January is a rainy month, which may affect your visit. And the same can be said about visiting the Pantanal, or the historic cities of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, Mariana), or Sao Paulo (it's a hot and humid month).
February is also a high season month, and a great time to visit coastal and beach destinations. Expect high hotel prices and crowds. Summer school holidays are over, but there are still many people winding up their holidays, .
The spirit of Carnival is in the air, even in the years when Carnival falls in March.
Where to go or not to go in February
February is an excellent month to experience festivals, music, events, fun and to go to beaches and enjoy sea sports.
It's the best time to visit beach destinations in the South of Brazil, or to travel to Rio de Janeiro and the beaches near Sao Paulo; it's also an excellent month to go to Bahia (Salvador and dozens of other beach resorts in Bahia).
Though it's still high season in Recife (Pernambuco state) and Fortaleza (Ceará state), February may not be such a good month as January to travel to these cities and beaches: it rains a lot more than in January.
See Visiting Brazil in January, for more details about visiting the Amazon, the Pantanal, Iguassu or Sao Paulo in February (tips are the same).
March is still high season, in Brazil. Music, festivals, events and fun are still in the air, in key travel destinations. March is excellent for beach going and sea sports.
It rains a lot more in the North and Northeast coast of Brazil (Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza and the dozens of beach resorts of this part of Brazil) than in the previous months, which is a disadvantage to consider. These places are year-round beach destinations, but rain and humidity are factors that should be considered.
March is not also a good time to go to the Amazon, the Pantanal or the historical cities of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, Mariana) - though it is a good month to visit the south of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo (it rains less than in the previous months, while air and seawater temperatures remain high).
March is also an excellent month to visit the Iguassu Falls and not a bad time to visit places such as Brasilia.
April is a transitional month in many parts of Brazil. It's not summer anymore in the large coastal cities, but you will still find music, festivals, events and fun. It's a good month for beach going and sea sports in Rio Janeiro and south Brazilian beaches (including those closer to Sao Paulo).
It's not the best time to go to the north and northeastern tropical beaches (Bahia, Fortaleza-Ceará, Recife-Pernambuco); it's a wet month with high humidity and heavy rainfalls.
That's a special good time to go to Rio, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais (and its historical cities), but it's not yet the best time to go to the Amazon (it's still the rain season) or the Pantanal.
April is also a very good time to go to the Iguassu Falls (if you want to avoid crowds, do not go in the Easter week).
May is typically a low season month, in Brazil, with the pros and cons of the low season. There is few festivals, and less fun and music events in the cities; on the other hand, there is also fewer crowds, traffic jams, and prices are lower.
From a weather perspective, May can be a very good month to go to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and to the nearby beaches. It's also a good time to visit Brasilia, or the historic cities of Minas Gerais (Mariana, Ouro Preto, Belo Horizonte).
It's not yet the ideal time to visit the Amazon, but it's a much better time than the previous months. It rains a lot less.
May is an excellent time to visit the Pantanal - the biggest concentration of wildlife in America, and the last good month - before the winter - to go to the south of Brazil.
In rainy years, May is also a good time to visit the Iguassu Falls (the problem with visiting the Iguassu Falls in May is that in dry years the falls may be in low-flow conditions).
May isn't the best time to visit the tropical beaches of the North and Northeast of Brazil, but it's not a bad time either. Seawater temperatures will be high, and on average it rains a lot less than in the previous months.
May is a transitional month in the North of Brazil, and in most years it's a good time to visit Lencois Maranhenses, a great natural phenomenon (an immense set of green lagoons and gorgeous sand beaches near Sao Luis do Maranhao and the mouth of the Amazon river).
June is not high season; it hasn't the entertainment, festivals and the exuberance that you can experience in the big cities during the first months of the year.
Anyway, contrary to the first months of the year, June is a great time to visit the Amazon, the Pantanal and the Lencois Maranhenses. It's a relatively dry month, with pleasant temperatures in the tropical areas.
It can also be a good month to visit inland cities in Minas Gerais (the historic cities) and Brasilia.
And it's also a good time to visit Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, if you aren't interested in beach going and sea sports, or to experience the music and the summer events. If you are just looking for a dry month, with pleasant temperatures in the Rio and Sao Paulo region, then June is a great time.
Typically June also brings blue skies and pleasant temperatures, and fewer visitors, in Iguassu Falls. It's a good month to visit the Falls, though the water levels may be low.
June can also be a great time to visit and enjoy some parts of the North and Northeast tropical beaches, namely Bahia. It rains a lot less in June than in the previous months (though not in Recife/Pernambuco), and the weather conditions are excellent for beach life. June is low season, with the pros and cons of a low season month.
July is an excellent time to go to the Amazon. It's one of the best months to explore the river and the rainforest. It's also a good time to go to the Pantanal (for wildlife watching) or to travel to the tropical beaches of the North or Northeast of Brazil. July is still a rainy month in Recife, but in Bahia or Fortaleza precipitation levels are now low, and the air and seawater temperatures are pleasant.
More to the south, it's winter in Rio and Sao Paulo - July isn't a good month for beach going.
In the south, July can be a good or reasonable time to go to the Iguassu Falls, or to visit city spots (it doesn't rain much), but weather is not warm enough for beach holidays. It doesn't rain significantly, and cold spells are very rare, but it's winter in the South Hemisphere, and the south of Brazil is far from the northern tropical beaches.
Like July, August is an excellent time to go to the Amazon - one of the best months to visit the rainforest and the river - or to go to Sao Luís to Maranhão and to see and enjoy the green lagoons of Lencois Maranhenses). And the same goes for visits to the Pantanal (for wildlife watching).
August is also a good time to visit brazilian tropical beaches. It rains a lot less than in first half of the year, and though August is low season, air and seawater temperatures are warm and pleasant - and there are many Europeans and North Americans visitors in these resorts.
Anyway - from a weather perspective - things are rather different in the southern cities and resorts. It's a good time to visit the Iguassu Falls, but it's winter in Rio, Sao Paulo and further south, and beach life and sea sports - and fun and entertainment - are at a low point.
See also: Visiting Rio de Janeiro in August 2016
September is a very good time to visit the Amazon (and the last good month of the year to visit Lencois Maranhenses, near the mouth of the Amazon); it's a relatively dry month, one of the best to visit the rainforest. And it's also a good month to go to the Pantanal, before the rains transforming the region into an immense lake.
September is also an a good time to go to Recife, Bahia, Fortaleza and the coastal beaches around. Precipitation is at their lowest and air and seawater temperatures are warm without being unpleasant. that's low season, and there isn't much fun and music around, but it's a very good option for those who prefer a quieter time and want to benefit from lower prices.
September is a transitional month in the south of Brazil, namely in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo regions. It's an excellent time to go to the Iguassu Falls, and though it isn't the best time for those looking for beach life and sea sports, most days are pleasant enough to allow the practice of sea sports and swimming. Further south the winter is still present.
October is a transitional month in almost all Brazilian climate zones. It's not yet the high season, but temperatures are now warmer and precipitation levels are increasing in most places.
Air and seawater temperatures are now warm, allowing pleasant beach activity and sea sports. If you don't want to wait for the summer months and aren't interested in the summer events - and the music and festivals associated to local events and holidays - that's a very good time to visit Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo.
And it's also a good time to visit the Iguassu Falls, or the tropical beaches in the Northeast and the North.
Rain begins to be a problem in some regions, namely in the Pantanal. It's not a good idea to go to the Pantanal in October - or to visit Lencois Maranhenses, in the far North. And that's probably the last good (or reasonable) month to go to the Amazon (or the historic cities of Minas Gerais). The following months will be too rainy, and definitively not the best time to visit the Amazon.
From a weather perspective, November is a great month to visit the south of Brazil, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and the tropical beaches of the Northeast and the North.
November is not a summer month, and it hasn't all the fun, entertainments and events of the summer (December to March); but in terms of temperature and humidity levels it's a better time.
Being a "low season" month, hotel prices are lower and there is fewer crowds than in the summer months.
Anyway, November is not a good time to visit the Amazon, the Pantanal or Sao Luis do Maranhao. It's a rainy month in the Amazon basin, and though there is many people visiting the Amazon in November (and in the summer months) that's not the best time to visit the region.
On the other hand, the lagoons in Sao Luis do Maranhao are now largely dry, and the Pantanal is mostly flooded.
December is a high season month, in Brazil- which means more fun and entertainment, more festivals, music and events - at least from mid-December on, in the main coastal cities.
From a weather perspective, temperatures are high all over the Brazilian coast - Florianopolis, Santos-Sao Paulo, Ilhabela, Rio-Buzios, Bahia-Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza and so on - and though it rains quite a bit more than in the previous months, precipitation is still moderate.
In some sense that's a better time to visit the coastal cities than the following months (besides being a better time than the following months in terms of hotel prices and crowds).
That's a wonderful time for beach going, swimming and sea sports.
On the other hand, December is not a really good time to visit the Amazon (it's a rainy month in the Amazon basin), or the historic cities of Minas Gerais, or Brasilia; and it's a really bad time to go the Pantanal (bird and wildlife watching) or the Lençois Maranhenses (inland lagoons in the dunes).
It's common to consider four brazilian seasons:
Spring: 22nd September - 21st December
Summer: 22nd December - 21st March
Autumn: 22nd March - 21st June
Winter: 22nd June - 21st September
But this 4 season pattern is meaningless except in the south of Brazil. See, for more information: Brazilian climate zones and weather tables
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