Rio de Janeiro is a 5,5 million people city and the main travel attraction in Brazil.
Land distances: 266 miles /429 Km away from Sao Paulo, 2716 miles/4374 Km away from Manaus (Amazon), 1700 miles/2800 Km away from Fortaleza (Northeast) and 964 miles/1553 Km away from Porto Alegre (biggest southern city).
Rio de Janeiro is famous for its beach life (windsurfing, swimming, sailing, diving...) in beaches such as such Barra, Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon. Golf, shopping, fun, nightlife are popular in big tourist icons like Corcovado and Sugar Loaf.
Best time to visit Rio de Janeiro
Rio's weather is typically hot and subtropical in the summer (Nov to Feb), but there are significant differences among the months, and nearby towns and beaches can have significantly differences in their weather patterns. Inland weather can be much cooler and temperate and various beaches a few dozen miles north of Rio (Cabo Frio, for instance) have much lower temperatures. Choosing the best time to go to Rio depends a lot on your interests.
Visiting Rio in the summer months: November to February
November to February are hot and humid. Average temperatures are around 77-80ºF/25-27ºC, but maximum temperatures may increase to 100ºF/40ºC (especially in the December-February period).
Expect also sea water temperatures of 77ºF/25ºC; and average humidity levels around 80% or more.
High humidity combined with cold fronts is a common cause of sudden and heavy rainfalls. These months are also the rainiest (see graphs below), but precipitation doesn't last long. Beach going is not significantly impacted by rainfalls.
This is also Carnival time (late February or first days of March), a reason why accommodation fetches its highest prices. Beach activity is at its highest, and expect crowds.
Visiting Rio de Janeiro in March, April, May
March is still a hot and rainy month, but typically not as hot or as humid as the previous months. From a weather perspective, March is one of the best months to visit Rio. You can enjoy the beach and many of the attractions of the city without the downsides of the Brazilian summer.
April and May are also great for visitors. Days are a little cooler, on average, but still great for beach life and to travel (Easter week is a especially busy time of the year)
Visiting Rio in June, July and August
These are the Brazilian winter months. Temperatures are mostly around 70?F/22?C (average), but occasionally they may drop a bit more. Seawater temperatures use to drop to 70?F/22?C (average).
That?s also the season with the least rain. For those who dislike very warm weather and humidity, and are not looking for tropical splendor and beach going, it may be a good time. But contrary to what you may expect that's not an inexpensive season. Many Europeans and North Americans come to Rio in this period and accommodation becomes more expensive. The fact that Brazilian schools take a winter break in July is also a factor to consider.
On the other hand, for those looking for entertainment and the exuberant spirit of Rio, that?s not the best time to visit the city ? all the more that cold and rainy days aren't exactly uncommon.
Visiting Rio de Janeiro in September and October (or November)
September and October are transitional months, and may be a good time to visit Rio and the tourist spots around the city. It doesn't rain significantly and air temperatures are typically pleasant.
For clues on Rio's weather, see graphs below.
Average air temperatures (Celsius): Rio de Janeiro
Source: INMET.gov.br, Gráficos climatológicos (1961-1990)
Humidity levels (average): Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro: average monthly rainfall levels (mm)
Rio de Janeiro & Google Map
More information on Rio de Janeiro
Travel attractions nearby
Buzios, Angra dos Reis and Cabo Frio (beach resorts); Corcovado, Sugar Loaf, Petropolis, ecological places such as Tijuca forest, Botanical Gardens, Paquet Island...
There are dozens of hotels in Rio de Janeiro, in all categories, in downtown or near beaches as Copacabana, Barra da Tijuca, Leblon, Ipanema.
Galeao Intl airport (or Carlos Jobim Intl airport) (GIG), located 11 miles/18 km away from Rio downtown. Santos Dumont airport (SDU), located in an island close to downtown (for internal flights involving Sao Paulo, Brazilia, Belo Horizonte, Porto Seguro...)
Transfers to/from Rio de Janeiro:
The transfers to Rio are made by taxi or buses.
For detailed travel information involving Rio (and Corcovado, Sugar Loaf, downtown monuments, and Ipanema, Barra, Leblon and Copacana) and its surroundings, see:
Beaches, Entertainment and Nightlife in Rio de Janeiro and around
Tours involving Rio, Buzios, Angra dos Reis
Sport fishing in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil
Golf in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil