Rio de Janeiro is a city that is associated with sun and sea. It’s especially renowned for its outdoors lifestyle, with all those beautiful beaches around the corner. It is a town where the summer never seems to end. You know that after every couple of days of rain, the sun inevitably will return and shine through your windows again. Having said that, the climate here changes as well. It may come as a surprise, but there is quite a lot of rainfall in Rio de Janeiro. The difficult question is therefore: when is the best time for a good weather in Rio de Janeiro?
For starters, as Brazil finds itself in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are opposite to the ones in the Northern Hemisphere. You speak of summer and winter, even though the sunny winters in Rio in many European countries would be considered as great summers. However, you can get unlucky and arrive for a stay of three days and have very rainy experience. It does happen (here some tips for in case you’re one of the unlucky few to visit when there is rain in Rio de Janeiro).
The answer to that is of course very subjective and weather in Rio de Janeiro — and in general — is very unpredictable. It depends on what you prefer. The summers, from November till February, are generally speaking hot and humid. Temperatures between 30 and 38 degrees Celsius (86-100 Fahrenheit), or even 40+, are pretty standard in these subtropical months.
Yeah, it is hot, especially when you’re not used to it. Luckily, during this season the sea is cold, for if you need to cool down a bit. Most of the rain falls during the summer months as well. Just for your info, December is the month with the most rainfall and rain days. But short and heavy rainfalls mostly occur at the end the day, without spoiling the beach fun too much.
The summer months are the holiday months for Latin Americans. Lost of travellers from the region flock to Rio to enjoy the sunny days. Also, the cariocas themselves, spend more time on the beach, enjoying a late sunset (only after 8pm). A great advantage of this time of the year is that at night, the city really comes alive, with the temperatures cooling down a bit. Everybody is outside, on the street. There is always something going on.
After the hot summer, the months of March, April and May will still offer the visitor warm days, but not as hot as during the summer. May is a popular month for travellers from Europe, because of school holidays in different countries. It is a great time for weather in Rio de Janeiro, with plenty of sunny days and less rain.
Rio’s winters fall in the months of June, July and August. In the early mornings you might even see people with coats on, sometimes even with woolen hats. The locals are oversensitive to lower temperatures. But don’t let appearances fool you, because Rio’s winters are great. With temperatures up to 28 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), the weather still is excellent for spending your days at the beach.
The humidity is much lower and rain statistics also favor the winter months — it’s the season with the least rain. No need to switch on the fan or air conditioner at night and it gets dark after 5pm. It’s also peak season for tourists from North America and Europe.
From September until November, the weather in Rio de Janeiro is more unstable. Temperatures will start rising again, and cloudy, rainy days may occur more often. During these transitional months it is definitely low season, so there is less people at the Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and other highlights. If you’re not a big fan of the beach, it maybe a good reason to visit Rio de Janeiro after all.
You can always check the weather in Rio de Janeiro here.