Vast Brazil is in the southern hemisphere, meaning that the seasons are generally reversed, making it a great time to take a winter break in a tropical climate for those in the northern hemisphere. The generally temperate climate of the country means it is more than possible to travel at any time of the year but some of our itineraries, for example in the Amazon and Pantanal, are best experienced at certain times of the year to maximise wildlife sightings. Other considerations include the peak season months around December to February where beach areas can be exceptionally busy and at their hottest, and some may prefer the more relaxed months between April and November.
Whilst hot and humid all year round, there is a dry season in the Amazon between June and December, whilst the wetter season runs from December to May. You may experience some heavy tropical downpours in the afternoons, but these provide welcome respite from the humid conditions. In terms of wildlife, the drier months, in particular between July and late October are best for bird watching and seeing the land mammals and butterflies in the drier forest.
The Pantanal has a rainy season between December and March and a drier season between May and October. Generally the dry season offers the best opportunity to see the mammals, reptiles and birds of the Pantanal, who congregate at watering holes. If you wish to track the elusive Jaguar in its natural habitat on an exciting safari through the rivers of the Pantanal, the optimum time for this is June through October.
If you are aiming to visit Brazil around carnival time and combine your natural world experience with some of the world’s most ubiquitous and flamboyant festivals (usually February/March), these ‘celebrations of life’ are not held only in Rio de Janeiro, but all over the country with many smaller regional carnivals such as Olinda being highly popular. It is worth bearing in mind that you will need to plan this well in advance due to popularity of this spectacular event.
Broadly speaking, Rio and the southern coastal areas are cooler in the southern hemisphere’s winter from June to September but this can be refreshing, as they can get seriously humid throughout the rest of the year. If, however, it’s the northeast beaches around Salvador de Bahia that you are interested in, the period between April and July has more rainfall, although it does occur in short tropical bursts, so it should not preclude travel altogether.
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