Brazil has five climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical. Sao Paulo and Brasilia, on the plateau, have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 19 degrees Celsius. Coastal cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Natal and Salvador, have warmer climates balanced by the Trade Winds. Rio's average temperature of around 26 degrees Celsius rises to the high 30s during summer. The southern Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba are subtropical, with hot summers and frosts and below zero temperatures in winter. In the Amazon, days are generally warm, wet and humid but temperatures rarely rise above 32 degrees. There's a rainy season (November to May) and not-so-rainy season (June to October).
When to fly to Brazil
The best time to visit Brazil is during the summer, from December until Carnaval season; usually in February. Not surprisingly, this is also when accommodation and flights are most expensive.
If you're looking for a bargain, then winter is probably the best time to visit – prices are lower and temperatures are in the high 20s.
Getting around Brazil
Brazil is huge and the best (though not the cheapest) way to get around the country is by taking domestic Brazil flights. If you're planning to visit a few regions or cities, purchase a Brazil Pass when booking your airline ticket.
In major cities the most convenient and safest, way to get around is by taxi.
Buses are a good, reliable option for long-distance travel. All major cities are linked by bus.
While rental cars are available at the airport, be warned driving can be incredibly frustrating and often dangerous.
Brazil insider information
Things to do in Brazil
- Escape the hurly burly of Rio and take a hike through the tropical paradise of Parque Nacional da Tijuca, a tranquil sea of green and waterfalls, right in the city.
- Don't miss the wildest party in the world – Rio's famous Carnaval. Each year, the city turns into one massive party with thousands joining the colourful samba parade and partying until dawn.
- Ride the cable car 396 metres up to Pão de Açúcar, or Sugar Loaf, for the most spectacular views of the city. Take the cogwheel red train up to Corcovado Mountain to see Rio's famous landmark statue of Christ the Redeemer that towers over the city with open arms.
- Football fans should not miss an opportunity to see a match at Maracanã Stadium, one of the temples of world soccer. Sitting among 100,000 fervent, boisterous fans chanting and dancing is an experience you won't forget.
- Take a guided kayaking trip through the Amazon, exploring the rainforest and stopping for a meal prepared by the tour's own chef.
- Thrill seekers can get the adrenaline pumping by hang gliding 780 metres above Rio.