high season in brazil lasts from the week before christmas until carnival (which falls in february or early march, depending on the year). flights and accommodation are more expensive and more likely to be fully booked during this period. book early for lodging during the new year and carnival. this is the most fun time to travel: cities and resorts are full of people as many Brazilians take their summer vacations, the weather is warm, and the new year and carnival are fabulously entertaining. If you want to spend New Years in Brazil, it is best to arrive after Christmas. the 25th is truly a family affair, and most restaurants and shops will be closed.
Other busy times of the year include Easter and the months of July, when Brazilian schools and universities take their winter break, and August, when most Europeans and North Americans visit for the summer holidays. this is probably the worst time of year to travel; Prices go up significantly and, except in the north and parts of the northeast, the weather can be iffy and downright cold from Rio de Janeiro south. One year in Rio, I suffered 4 straight weeks of rain, and temperatures as low as 5-10 degrees Celsius (40-50 degrees Fahrenheit) are not unheard of in the south. If you want to take advantage of the best deals and still have great weather, consider visiting Brazil in September or October. spring weather means warm days in são paulo, iguaçu and rio, and tropical heat in the rest; In the Amazon and Pantanal, you will be there just before the rainy season starts. As a bonus, in Rio you can attend some of the samba school’s rehearsals as they prepare for Carnival (yes, they start 4 months early). another good period for a visit is after carnival (early to mid-March, depending on the dates) until May, when you can take advantage of low-season prices, especially in hotels, while enjoying the good weather.
Because Brazil is located in the southern hemisphere, its seasons are exactly the opposite of what residents of the northern hemisphere are used to: summer is from December to March and winter is June to September. Within the country the climate varies considerably from one region to another. in most of brazil the summers are very hot. temperatures can rise to 110°f (43°c) with high humidity. The northeast (from northern Salvador) is warm all year round, often with a nice breeze coming off the ocean. temperatures range between 20 and 30 degrees centigrade (80 and 90 degrees fahrenheit). the winter months (June-July) are a little wetter, but even then the amount of rain is limited: a quick shower that cools things down briefly before giving way to more sun.
As befits a tropical forest, the Amazon is also hot and humid throughout the year, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius (between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit). The dry season lasts from June to December and is often called “summer” by locals as it is hot and sunny. as the rivers recede, beaches and islands reappear. the rainy season normally runs from December to May and is known as “winter”. the humidity is greater in the rainy season, accumulating throughout the day to produce a strong fall almost every afternoon. even then, however, mornings and early afternoons can be clear and sunny.
The pantanal is very hot in the rainy season, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (100 °F). most of the rain falls from December to March. the driest time of the year is from May to October. In these winter months things cool down considerably, although night temperatures rarely drop below 20°C (68°F). rio has very hot and humid summers – 38°c (100°f) and 98% humidity are not uncommon. River winters are quite mild, with nighttime temperatures dropping to 66°F (19°C) and daytime temperatures rising to a balmy, sunny 86°F (30°C). Cariocas themselves find this lack of warmth appalling and often put on a thick coat or sweater when the temperature drops below 70°F (21°C). In his defense, I must point out that most houses and apartments are unheated, and many restaurants and shops lack windows or doors, so it can feel quite cool.
são paulo has a river-like climate, hot in summer and mild in winter. As São Paulo sits on a plateau at approximately 700 m (2,300 ft) in elevation, it can sometimes be very cold, with daytime lows from June to September sometimes reaching 12 °C (54 °F). South of São Paulo, things get even colder in the winter. In Florianopolis, many restaurants and even some hotels and inns close during the winter season. furthermore, in the mountain resort of petrópolis and in the historic cities of ouro preto and tiradentes, it is often so cold that it leaves you without breath (5°c/41°f) in autumn and winter, and Brazilians will travel here to experience winter.
The following holidays are observed in Brazil: New Year’s Day (January 1); carnival (March 5-8, 2011, February 18-21, 2012); Holy Week (April 4, 2010 and April 24, 2011); Tiradentes Day (Apr 21); Labor Day (May 1); Corpus Christi (June 3, 2010 and June 23, 2011); independence day (September 7); Our Lady of the Apparition (Oct 12); All Souls’ Day (November 2); proclamation of the republic (November 15); and Christmas (December 25). On these days, banks, schools, and government institutions will be closed, and some stores may also be closed.
the most important festivities in brazil are the new year and carnival). Holy Week is also a big celebration in several cities in the country, particularly in the historic cities of Minas Gerais and Novo Jerusalem on the outskirts of Recife. reservations are recommended for those planning to attend these events.
Note: This information was accurate when published, but is subject to change without notice. be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.