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What is the Best Time to Visit Brazil?
September 2019 | By: Taylor Randolph
Are you planning a trip to Brazil, but you are still unsure of when to go? It all depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. Discover in this article everything you want to know to enjoy your trip.
Brazil is a huge country, and Brazil travel is affected by the fact that the weather, landscape, and culture change as you go from region to region. In addition, these elements can also change drastically according to the time of year. To avoid any unexpected surprises, such as booking your sightseeing trip in the Amazon in the middle of the torrential rain season, or visiting the majestic “Lençóis Maranhenses” when the blue water lagoons have all evaporated, here is your answer to the crucial question when planning a Brazilian adventure:
“What is the best period to visit Brazil?”
Brazil is a continent-sized country of 8.5 million square kilometres (3.2 million square miles). The coastline is 4,655 miles (7,491 km) long. This immensity brings regional weather differences within the country. (Brazil has equatorial, tropical, subtropical, semi-arid and oceanic climates.) The first thing to remember is that in Brazil, seasons are the opposite to those in the Northern hemisphere, in that summer starts in December and ends in March, and winter is from June to September.
In general, the North of Brazil is tropical and the South is more temperate, especially in the mountainous areas; temperatures will be lower. The interior of the country is hot and dry whereas, in the coastal and jungle areas, you will find a wet and humid climate. The hottest part of Brazil is the Northeast where temperatures can rise as high as 38° C (100.4° F) after May. In the south of Rio de Janeiro, especially on higher ground, you will encounter average temperatures between 19° C and 21° C (66° F and 70° F).
If you plan on visiting the Amazon or the city of Manaus, you are safer going from June to October, because from around November to May is the rainy season. At this period, many of the trails in the jungle are underwater and the city experiences heavy rainfall. For Belém and the island of Marajó, it is best to go from July to December. A sunny beach holiday in Northeast Brazil is possible at any time of the year if you are determined to avoid the rain – go outside the period between March and May, especially in the state of Bahia (which includes Salvador).
If you are going wildlife spotting in the Pantanal, you want to go between April and October. During this period, the water levels drop, the mosquitoes are fewer and therefore you have better chances of spotting a jaguar! Rio de Janeiro, one of the most popular tourist destinations is great to visit all year round, the average annual temperature is 24° and the summer runs from December to March. Finally, if you plan on seeing the majestic Iguaçu Falls, it is fine to go at any time of the year, but beware of cold spells in the dry and cool winter (from June to August).
Special Events and Parties in Brazil
The “Big One” when considering when the best time to visit Brazil is, is of course “Carnaval”. In fact, for those fond of festivities, the question is more often, “are you going during the Carnaval or not?” The world-famous party will start on Friday, February 21 and end on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. It is good to keep in mind that Rio de Janeiro is not the only place to enjoy Carnival in Brazil. Although Rio is the most famous and extravagant carnival, Salvador de Bahia is bigger. There, you will dance to the sounds of “Axé” and “Samba – Reggae.” For a more colourful and traditional carnival experience, go to Recife or Olinda where you will experience “Frevo,” “Maracatu” and “Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos” or Night of the Silent Drums when the city of Recife celebrates its African heritage.
Keep in mind that Carnival is the most expensive time of the year in Brazil especially in Rio, and most hotels will have a minimum night stay policy. Even if you only plan on staying one night, you will probably have to pay for more. To cut costs during Carnaval in Rio go to the Sambodrome during practice sessions instead of during the actual parade. Consider as well going to Brazil during “Pre – Carnaval” or “Micareta?” Micareta is an off-season carnival such as the “Fortal” in Fortaleza in July. Pre-Carnaval is the weeks building up to carnival where the cities are starting to vibrate with the feeling of carnival in the air, both options are definitely worth your consideration and could potentially be the best time to visit Brazil. Another huge festivity in Brazil is New Year´s Eve!
Sports in Brazil
After hosting the FIFA World Cup and The Olympic Games, Brazil is on its way to becoming a worldwide famous destination for Sports and adventure holidays. The thousands of kilometres of coastline attract a growing number of excited surfers every year.
In the Northeast, the best time to surf is between September and March when the beaches and reefs catch the Atlantic swells. One of the best and most beautiful spots is Fernando de Noronha, you will not be disappointed by the beauty of the location and the quality of the surf there.
On the east coast, you should go during the winter, the most popular waves are in Rio de Janeiro. The famous Ipanema beach, for example, is great for surfing, especially considering you will find waves up to 10ft.
From April to October, you will find the best and most consistent surf on the Southern coast. If kitesurfing is more your game, head straight to the Northeast coast where year-round trade winds make it one of the best regions in the world for the sport. The Rio de Janeiro Marathon is known as one of the most beautiful in the world in terms of scenery, competitors pass through beaches, mountains, and cityscapes along the 42km route.
In conclusion, the best time to visit Brazil depends on what you want to do and where in Brazil you want to go. Plan your holidays around the weather in the region and the activities you plan to take part in. Also, remember to keep in mind the prices in high season (June – August). If you plan on going to Carnaval in one of the major cities like Rio, you should book your flights and accommodation at least 4 months in advance.
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