Rio de Janeiro is an incredibly vibrant city, both rich in culture and full of life. It’s no wonder millions of people flood Brazil’s capital every year to wade through the urban jungle, tuck into fresh Brazilian Moqueca and indulge in Rio’s beach life – with a Caipirinha in hand of course.
Each season of the year accentuates Rio’s many gold and glistening features and with optimum hiking conditions in spring, the infamous Carnaval in summer, fresh produce during harvest season in autumn and the clearest of views from the mountain tops in winter, this city oozes the most electric vibe at any point of the year, so it’s truly down to your personal preference on when to visit.
Spring in Rio de Janeiro
- Seasonal period: September – November
- Average Temperature: 26°C (77ºF)
- Key Events: Orchids in the Springtime (September), Independence Day (September 7), Film Festival Rio BR (November), Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix (November)
Thinking of mixing a city trip to Rio with some of the most scenic hikes in the world? Or wanting to visit Rio’s exquisite, tranquil beaches minus the extreme heat and crowds? Then spring is the perfect time for you to visit. The lower temperatures mean that accommodation and flight prices are significantly lower, and much fewer people will be visiting all of the major tourist spots such as Copacabana, Escadaria Selarón, and Christ the Redeemer.
Spring’s dip in humidity and low rainfall breeds perfect hiking conditions for exploring Rio’s urban tropical rainforest, whilst also increasing the chance of spotting native wildlife including monkeys, butterflies, and shy lizards.
The Tijuca Forest, Rio’s urban rainforest, is unmissable – partly due to its abundance of waterfalls, viewpoints, hikes, and monuments, but also partly due to its 7900 acres of land splitting the north part of the city from the south, making it hard to miss even if you were to try.
Summer in Rio de Janeiro
- Seasonal period: December – February
- Average Temperature: 28-40°C (82-104ºF)
- Key Events: Reveillon (December 31), Carnaval (February)
Like most places, summer is the prime time to visit Rio. The weather in the daytime can hit the high 30’s and sometimes even exceed 40 Celsius, encouraging people to flood all of the exquisite beaches that the capital has to offer and enjoy the national cocktail of Brazil – the Caipirinha.
Weather aside, another reason approximately 2 million people make their way to Rio during the summer months is Brazil’s reputation of throwing the most extravagant, eccentric, and over-the-top parties. With two of the world-famous parties sitting in summer – Reveillon on New Year’s Eve and Carnival in late February – accommodation in Rio is both fully-booked and expensive, so be sure to book in advance if you plan to visit at this time.
Although the weather surges to great temperatures in summer, it is also Rio’s wet season, so an umbrella or waterproofs are a must-have during your trip at this time.
Autumn in Rio de Janeiro
- Seasonal period: March – May
- Average Temperature: 26°C (79ºF)
- Key Events: Rio Boat Show (April), Good Friday (April)
Similar to spring, autumn weather in Rio is pretty perfect with warm days and cool nights, less humidity, and, therefore, a lower level of rainfall than in the summer months. This again means far fewer people crowd up the beaches, tourist spots, and accommodation, making for cheaper prices.
Autumn is also Brazil’s harvest season, where their infamous coffee and cocoa hit the market. Enjoy the fresh produce that is a globally cherished tribute to Brazil such as their apples, 30 varieties of bananas or uniquely-Brazilian offerings such as cherimoya, cocona, jabuticaba, and noni.
Winter in Rio de Janeiro
- Seasonal period: June – August
- Average Temperature: 24°C (75ºF)
- Key Events: Bonfire Festivals (June), Arte de Portas Abertas (July)
Although Rio in winter may not be a typically popular time for tourists due to the ‘colder’ weather, some say it’s the best season to visit! It may be noticeably cooler than summer, but a t-shirt, shorts and sandals is still the recommended attire.
The ocean is at its most turbulent during winter, making for a surfers paradise with the waves cascading in on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Winter is also the dry season in Rio, so you can avoid the dense rain of summer and really explore Brazil’s high country. The dry conditions make for less fog on Corcovado Mountain and Sugar Loaf Mountain, so you can enjoy crystal clear views of Christ the Redeemer from 2,330 feet, or Guanabara Bay at sunset from 1,299 feet.
Winter is also a time where locals are more present in and around the city of Rio, so you can interact and gain an insider’s perspective on where to go and what to do in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Brazilian’s are extremely friendly people so be sure to say “Olá” (hello) and “prazer em conhecê-lo” (nice to meet you) whenever you can!