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Best and Worst Months to Visit Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral
Rio de Janeiro Cathedral is much less crowded in off season; source: Wikimedia Commons
With its beautiful beaches, famous Amazon rainforest, amazing prowess in football, as well as its warm and inviting people, Brazil is one of the most interesting countries in the world.

For the luxury traveller, this is especially true. In fact, Brazil forsakes traditional luxury for a new definition of luxury where the sights and new and wondrous, where the ambience is heavenly and where the quests are truly rare experiences that are valued for a lifetime.

For those looking forward to spending some time experiencing such modern luxury in one of South America’s best destinations, here are a few tips about the ideal time to book a cruise or a flight to the paradise that is Brazil.

High Season


High season in Brazil typically lasts from the week before Christmas until sometime in February or early March when Carnival takes place -- it may be a bit later or earlier depending on the activities of the year. During the high season, flights and accommodations are more expensive and more likely to be full during this period, as one would expect.

Of course, the high season is the most fun time to travel to Brazil. At this time, towns and resorts are bustling as many Brazilians take their summer vacations due to the warm weather. As such, for those who really want to go around this period or must go for whatever reason, it’s critical that flights are booked well ahead of time for accommodations.

This is particularly important during the climax of New Year's and Carnival. For those looking to spend New Year's in Brazil, it's best to arrive after Christmas as the 25th is really a family affair, and most restaurants and shops will be closed.

When Not To Go


Other busy times of the year include Easter week and the months of July, when Brazilian schools and universities take their winter break. During the period June to August, there is normally a large influx of Europeans and North Americans who arrive in Brazil as part of their summer vacation.

The summer months are possibly the worst time to travel as prices go up significantly. Moreover, though most of the country will be hot, the weather tends to get a bit chilly for those in the south.

Weather


Brazil is a large country, and as such, the weather varies considerably from region to region. In most of Brazil, the summers are very hot except for the southern regions. For those looking to escape the cold, this is possibly a good time to travel. Just avoid places from southern Rio downward.

The wet season typically runs from December to May and is referred to as "winter." The humidity is higher in the rainy season, building up over the course of the day to produce a heavy downfall almost every afternoon.

Except for in the south, Rio has very hot and humid summers -- 38°C (100°F) and 98% humidity are not uncommon. On the other hand, Rio winters are quite mild, with night-time temperatures dropping as low as 19°C (66°F), and daytime temperatures climbing to the pleasant and sunny 30°C (86°F).

São Paulo has a similar climate to Rio's -- hot in the summer and mild in winter. Nevertheless, South of São Paulo, things get even colder in the winter. In Florianópolis, many restaurants and even some hotels and pousadas shut down for the winter season. 

Holidays


If travelling to Brazil for a short period, such as two to three days, it’s important to note that some holidays are family centred rather than purely recreational.

Other than Easter (Apr 4, 2010, and Apr 24, 2011), Christmas Day (Dec 25), and Corpus Christi (sometime in June), the other holidays are not necessarily family oriented, but banks, schools, and government institutions will be closed, and some stores may be closed as well.

The others are New Year's Day (Jan 1), Carnival (Mar 5-8, 2011, Feb 18-21, 2012), Tiradentes Day (Apr 21), Labour Day (May 1), Independence Day (Sept 7), Our Lady of Apparition (Oct 12), All Souls' Day (Nov 2), and Proclamation of the Republic (Nov 15).

Still, Brazil's largest holidays are New Year's and Carnival. Reservations are recommended for those planning to attend events around these times

Get The Best of Both Worlds


Finally, for those looking to take advantage of the best deals and still experience good weather, consider visiting Brazil in September or October. The spring weather means warm days in São Paulo, Iguaçu, and Rio, and tropical heat everywhere else, in the Amazon and the Pantanal. The best part is, prices are normal and this period is just before the wet season starts.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Best Times to Go   Brazil   

November 05, 2013
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