Carnival in Salvador da Bahía, Brazil
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Brazil: When to go

Brazil splits into four distinct climatic regions. The coldest part - in fact the only part of Brazil which ever gets really cold - is the South and Southeast, the region roughly from central Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul, which includes Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Porto Alegre. Here, there's a distinct winter between June and September, with occasional cold, wind and rain. However, although Brazilians complain, it is all fairly mild. Temperatures rarely hit freezing overnight, and when they do it is featured on the TV news. The coldest part is the interior of Rio Grande do Sul, in the extreme south of the country, but even here there are many warm, bright days in winter and the summer (Dec-March) is hot. Only in Santa Catarina's central highlands does it occasionally snow.

The coastal climate is exceptionally good. Brazil has been called a "crab civilization" because most of its population lives on or near the coast - with good reason. Seven thousand kilometers of coastline, from Paraná to near the equator, bask under a warm tropical climate. There is a "winter", when there are cloudy days and sometimes the temperature dips below 25°C (77°F), and a rainy season, when it can really pour. In Rio and points south the summer rains last from October through to January, but they come much earlier in the Northeast, lasting about three months from April in Fortaleza and Salvador, and from May in Recife. Even in winter or the rainy season, the weather will be excellent much of the time.

The Northeast is too hot to have a winter. Nowhere is the average monthly temperature below 25°C (77°F) and the interior, semi-arid at the best of times, often soars beyond that - regularly to as much as 40°C (104°F). Rain is sparse and irregular, although violent. Amazônia is stereotyped as being steamy jungle with constant rainfall, but much of the region has a distinct dry season - apparently getting longer every year in the most deforested areas of east and west Amazônia. And in the large expanses of savanna in the Northern and central Amazon basin, rainfall is far from constant. Belém is closest to the image of a steamy tropical city: it rains there an awful lot from January to May, and merely quite a lot for the rest of the year. Manaus and central Amazônia, in contrast, have a marked dry season from July to October.

Source: TravelNow Destination Guides

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