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Brazil Seasons & Climate

Covering nearly 3.3 million square miles of the South American Continent, Brazil does not lack in diverse landscapes, ecosystems and climates. Generally speaking, Brazil is a tropical country with seasons that follow the opposite of the northern hemisphere; cooler weather is typically found during the winter months of May-September and warmer weather from December-March, Brazil’s summer. However, within the country are 5 distinct climactic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical. Rainfall varies greatly throughout the year and has a significant effect on what time of year is best for travel to the Brazil’s different regions. We’ve provided a breakdown of when to travel to some of the most popular destinations based on the season and climate:

 

Rio de Janeiro & Surrounding Coastal Rainforest (Paratay, Costa Verde, Saco do Mamanguá)

Temperatures stay consistently between the mid 70-mid 80s from May-August. September & October are typically the hottest months (average high of 90+) and also some of the driest. The ‘rainy season’ picks up again in November and lasts through May when it dramatically lessens. Rainiest months are December – February with highs in the mid to high 80s. Summers in Rio, Sao Paulo and along the Rainforest Coast are hot and humid. Best time to visit: February around Carnaval is the liveliest time and also one of the most expensive. September-November is a good bet as is mid-March –May to take advantage of decent weather (still in the 80s and sunny, but not too humid, particularly September & October) and avoid the high-season prices. The Brazil winter months of June-August can be surprisingly chilly if you are expecting a tropical getaway.

 

Pantanal

The Pantanal has two distinct seasons; wet and dry, each with unique particulars in regards to wildlife viewing. You can explore the Pantanal year-round as the temperature varies little, staying on average in the mid 70s-low 80s year round (though it can occasionally creep into the 90s during the height of summer) and excursions are tailored to the rain and flooding cycle. The rainy season begins in October and lasts through March with February and March being the wettest months. During this time of year, the plains flood and the savannah turns into a series of shallow pools. Rainfall rarely lasts longer than a few hours. If you visit the Pantanal during the rainy season, you explore primarily by small boat, canoe and horseback and can expect to encounter large numbers of migratory fishing birds. Land mammals are concentrated to higher ground. Average temperature is in the mid 70 with highs

The dry season is from April-September. As the waters recede, mammals begin to congregate around rivers and the deepest pools, making them easier to spot and photograph. The savannah can remain dry and un-flooded from July-December, allowing travelers to hike, bike and explore by 4x4 with greater ease than during the rainy season.  Best time to travel to the Pantanal? March-October is best for serious bird watchers. Conditions for all around wildlife viewing and photography are best from May/June-October.

 

Brazilian Amazon (Coastal vs. Inland)

Manaus (Inland):

Largest city in the Amazon, Manaus is the starting point of every Brazilian Amazon River Cruise and is the access city for most of the quality Amazon Rainforest lodges. Humidity and tropical temperatures abound all year, with averages between 80-90° year round. Rainfall is consistent throughout the year but June-September are typically the driest times.

 

Belem/Ilja de Marajo (Coastal):

A major port along the north coast of Brazil and a lush, rainforest covered island at the mouth of the Amazon River, these two coastal Amazon areas are just slightly below the equator, meaning that they are hot (90°F), humid and wet pretty much year round. January-May typically have the highest levels of rainfall.

 

Bahia & the Northeast: 

Cool ocean breezes keep Salvador de Bahia, capital of the region, cooler year round than other tropical regions of Brazil. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and winter temperatures rarely drop below the mid 70s. October-March is the best season to visit, with the least amount of rain and lots of cultural activity leading up to Carnaval. March, September, October and early November are good times to visit nearby Chapada Diamantina National Park in central Brazil, about 5 hours from Salvador de Bahia. With spectacular gorges, hidden canyons, deep caves and turquoise pools of water, this is Brazil’s best region for trekking and hiking.