Best Time to Visit - 18 min read

Best Time to Visit Rio de Janeiro (Historical Sites & Beaches!)

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown, Updated October 2, 2022

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Being one of the most popular and toured cities in the Southern Hemisphere, it is important to know what Rio de Janeiro has to offer. Whether you are looking to visit their well-known carnivals, historic sites, or samba dancing, you will want to know the best times to visit. Rio has plenty to offer and knowing when to visit will make your trip even more worthwhile!

Between December and March is the best time to visit Rio de Janeiro. During this time, the temperature averages about 80°F, perfect for the beaches. May is the best time to visit if you’re on a budget, as accommodation rates are under $50 on average. Visit in February for their carnival and to join one of their street parties! 

While planning your trip details can be tiresome, this article will help you to relieve some of your worries. Furthermore, you will find out when is the best time for you to visit Rio de Janeiro. We will even go month by month to ensure you have all the details you need to make the best choice!

Worst Time to Visit Rio de Janeiro

The worst time to visit Rio de Janeiro is from June to August. This is when travel prices are at their peak high and you will encounter many tourists. Furthermore, the weather will be a bit colder than one would like to go to the beach.

The summer is when most Brazilians will have their winter break as well. Many of them travel out of Brazil to experience warmer weather. Therefore, the prices start getting more expensive.

Moreover, while in the summer it is ideal to sightsee and it often has fewer rain showers and fog, it may not be optimal. The prices will be so expensive that it will become difficult to find anything cheap.

Cheapest Time to Visit Rio de Janeiro

The cheapest time to visit Rio de Janeiro is in early May and early to mid-September. This is when there are not as many tourists, so most hotels and flights will lower their prices.

Traveling does not always mean you need to break your bank. There are many options to make sure that on your next visit you can have a great time while also saving money.

Those planning their trip to Rio de Janeiro will typically want to save $113 per person and per day. Though, this may not be optimal as you may have to deal with lower-rated hotels and flights.

Vacation rentals can be booked for $21 per night, though they may not be the best quality. Therefore, it is recommended to try booking in advance to help ensure quality and comfort for your trip.

Related Read: Basic Portuguese Phrases

Best Time to Visit Rio de Janeiro (Monthly Breakdown)

January: Best Time to Visit the Beaches

January is a wonderful time to visit Rio de Janeiro’s many beaches. The weather in January is typically the warmest at an average of 80°F (26°C). Though, it can reach up to 110°F (43°C)!

There are also many events that occur in Rio de Janeiro in January! You can visit Dia de Sao Sebastiao, which is the patron saint of Rio.

Or you can visit the Maritime Procession in Angra dos Reis. This is where thousands of boats will be and it is typically an all-day event! It will be a great day to sit and watch all of the boats!

Lastly, you can discover Dia de Reis, also known as Three Kings’ Day on January sixth. It is a folk celebration where many play instruments, sing, and visit houses to tell about the arrival of the Messiah.

  • Dia de Sao Sebastiao
  • Maritime Procession
  • Dia de Reis
  • Visit Prainha Beach, Red Beach, Copacabana Beach

February: Best Time to Experience Carnivals

Rio de Janeiro is spectacular to visit in February as they have so many breathtaking carnivals! You will experience fireworks, parades, and plenty of food during this month! It is one of the more joyful times in Brazil with plenty of cheer.

February is also more of a dry season than January. It offers plenty of much-needed sunshine. It rarely falls below 81°F (21°C) or exceeds 95°F (35°C) and the average is 88°F (31°C).

The Carnival Rio de Janeiro is held at the end of February into early March, taking place after Ash Wednesday. This is when Rio will have plenty of beautiful parades and extravagant costumes.

There are also many street parties that you can find and enjoy as well. If you go to Santa Teresa or Jardim Botanico, you can avoid the heavy crowds and tourists.

February is a great time to sightsee and do plenty of water sports activities! You can take boat tours, river rafts, or even paraglide!

  • Carnival Rio de Janeiro
  • Enjoy Street Parties
  • Boat Tour
  • River Rafting
  • Paragliding

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Brazil

March: Best Time for Hiking

March is the best time for hiking as the weather is not scorching hot and has relatively cooled down a bit. Therefore, it is a great time to see the beauty that Rio has.

The temperature in March is often 85°F (29°C), the high being 94°F (34°C) and the lowest typically being 79°F (26°C).

There are plenty of opportunities to go on boat tours and hike through many of the natural wonders that Rio has to offer. Moreover, you can sightsee in March!

For those that enjoy hiking, you will want to check out Pedra Bonita. It has some breathtaking panoramic views of Barra da Tijuca, west of Rio, and Leblon and Ipanema!

Those that are looking for a challenging hike will want to check out Pedra da Gavea. With many stunning views and being closer to the shore, this hike will be perfect while also being more challenging.

Carnival Rio de Janeiro will end the first week in early March. This is where many people will participate in stunning parades with lavish costumes. It will be a carnival you will never forget!

Good Friday and Easter Sunday will be at the end of the month. This will be a great time to spend with your family. Furthermore, there are many processions that are going on during this time.

  • Carnival Rio de Janeiro
  • Hike at Pedra da Gavea
  • Hike at Pedra Bonita
  • Celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday

April: Best Time to Avoid Crowds

April will have great weather but without all of the tourists! There will be significantly fewer people visiting as the weather is starting to get colder. Though, it will be great for surfing!

While April’s temperature is close to May, the average daily temperature is typically 85°F (29°C) to 82°F (27°C). Though, it can get to 67°F (19°C) and 77°F (25°C).

For those that enjoy literature, April will be perfect time to visit. Typically on the last weekend of April, there will be literary festivals. This is where they honor different bodies of work and their authors!

With plenty of presentations and performances, this will be an amazing time for anyone with a love of literature. Therefore, even while April is not a time many visit, it will be great for those that love reading.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday will also be a big part of April in Rio. With many religious processions being held. There are also many Brazilians that are spending the holiday with their family.

Therefore, if you want to visit Rio with your family, April will be a great month to do so. It will offer plenty of family activities that you can do and with the holidays, you are sure to have a great time.

Another great place to visit is the Serra da Tiririca State Park. Here, your whole family will enjoy the sights of tropical flora and fauna!

On April 21st is Tiradentes Day. It commemorates the execution of Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier. He was a Brazilian national hero and fought for Brazil’s independence from the Portuguese empire.

  • Literary Festival
  • Watch religious processions being held on Good Friday and Easter Sunday
  • Visit the Serra da Tiririca State Park
  • Celebrate Tiradentes Day

May: Best Time to Visit the Open Air Theatre

In May the Marina da Gloria will be transformed into an open-air movie theatre! This is one of the largest open-air cinemas in the world. It will be a spectacular memory for the whole family.

The average is 82°F (27°C) to 79°F (26°C). Though, it will be cloudy and overcast most of the time. It can fall to 63°F (17°C), though it is rare.

This will also be a great time to visit Corvocado. Corvocado is a landmark mountain located in Rio de Janeiro and will be a beautiful sight to see.

You can also make your way up to Christ the Redeemer statue. It is 98 feet high and was created by French sculptor Paul Landowski. Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa also helped create it.

May will also be perfect for soccer fans. The SerieA starts in April, so May will be a great time for soccer fans to visit. Brazil has such a love and passion for soccer that it will astonish anyone that visits a soccer game.

Frequently there are art festivals in Rio during May as well and May is one of the cheapest months to visit! Therefore, it will be great to visit in May and you will have plenty of beautiful opportunities and sights to see!

  • Visit Corvocado
  • Climb up to Christ the Redeemer Statue
  • Watch a Soccer Game
  • Visit the Festivals

June: Best Time for Sightseeing

In June there are not many carnivals as it starts the winter season in Brazil. Though, you will have the best opportunities to go sightseeing without it being a hot mess.

The daily high temperature in June is 78°F (25°C). It can get to 85°F (29°C) and the low can get to 62°F (16°C).

Those that would like to visit in June will have to note that the prices tend to get increased. Therefore, if you are on a budget, you may want to opt for another month.

As for those that are not on a budget, you can visit Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain. These will be perfect to visit in June as there is not as much rain or fog.

Corcovado, meaning hunchback, is a 2,329 feet granite peak. It is also where Christ the Redeemer statue is located.

You will want to visit Sugarloaf Mountain in June. There is a cable car that you can visit as well here. Sugarloaf Mountain is named for its resemblance to concentrated refined loaf sugar.

In June, there are annual bonfires that are set to honor Saint John. This is done because of Festas Juninas. Festas Juninas is a Brazilian harvest festival and will be an amazing experience!

This is a great time to visit to enjoy the street art! There are so many events and images  depicted that are in the city center that it will be jaw-dropping to view.

  • Visit Corcovado
  • Take a Cable Car to Visit Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Attend a Bonfire for Festas Juninas
  • Visit the Street Art

July: Best Time to Visit National Parks

July is one of the best times for those that enjoy watching wildlife. With opportunities to see many various species. So, you will want to check out the rivers and other hiking areas!

The daily high temperature in July is around 78°F (25°C) and typically does not fall below 70°F (21°C) or exceed 85°F (29°C). The lowest temperature is around 66°F (18°C) and usually does not fall below 61°F (16°F) or exceed 70°F (21°C).

One of the best national parks you can explore is the Tijuca National Park. It is one of the largest urban rainforests in the world! Its beauty is so enchanting, so you will have memories for a lifetime here.

In July is also a great time to visit the Rio Grande do Sul for skiing. Though, those visiting with their families will want to book ahead of time. Many Brazilian families have July as a winter break and will frequently go skiing.

Another great place you can visit is the Visconde de Maua. This is a historic coffee valley with plenty of bean farms that you can check out. Perfect for coffee lovers!

Moreover, you can take the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain! Which will be a great trip for those visiting Rio as a family. The first part will take you between Praia Vermelha and Morro da Urca.

  • Visit the Tijuca National Park
  • Go skiing at the Rio Grande do Sul
  • Walk around Visconde de Maua
  • Take a Cable Car to Sugarloaf Mountain

August: Rio Gastonomia

Rio Gastonomia is perfect for those that want to learn more about cooking or those that just enjoy food. Rio Gastonomia will give you a taste of Brazil’s finest foods and will allow you to attend workshops.

The daily high temperature in August is around 78°F (25°C). It rarely gets to below 70°F (21°C) or above 87°F (30°C). The daily low temperature is 66°F (18°C). It rarely goes below 61°F (16°C) or exceeds 71°F (21°C).

Moreover, there are tons of concerts at Rio Gastonomia and will be fun for all ages! It is one of the most well-known and popular culinary events in Rio de Janeiro as well.

Another great event to check out during August is the annual half-marathon. In August the weather will be nice and cool and the run will not be all that bad.

You can also visit Ipanema Beach or Barra da Tijuca Beach and soak in the sun! The weather will be warm, making it another great time to visit the beaches.

Or for those who would rather visit gardens, the Botanical Garden will be perfect to visit in August. You will have warm and breezy weather, but it will not be too overbearing.

  • Attend Rio Gastonomia
  • Run the Annual Half-marathon
  • Visit Ipanema Beach and Barra da Tijuca Beach
  • Visit the Botanical Garden

September: Independence Day

Independence Day, also known as Dia de Independencia do Brasil is on September 7th and is a four-day event! It includes a wide variety of food and beer tasting on Praca Maua that you will not want to miss!

In September, the daily high is around 79°F (26°C). The temperature rarely goes below 71°F (21°C) or exceeds 88°F (31°C). The daily low is 67°F (19°C) and rarely falls to 63°F (17°C) or 72°F (22°C).

Moreover, on Independence Day there will be a military parade. This parade goes down Av Presidente Vargas in Centro. It will be a really cool experience to see.

September is also the time when schools start hosting gatherings on Friday and Saturday nights. This is the perfect time for dancing the samba with the locals!

You should also try to visit the Museum of Tomorrow that is located in the city center. It is perfect for science lovers and is incredibly interesting to see.

Another great place to visit is Rios’s largest street art mural. It is nearly three thousand square meters and is titled Etnias or Ethnicities in English. It was created by Eduardo Kobra and is a truly breathtaking sight to see.

  • Attend the Independence Day Military Parade
  • Visit the Gatherings with the Locals
  • Visit the Museum of Tomorrow
  • Walk Around the Largest Street Mural

October: Best Time to Dine Alfresco

October has some of the best weather and lower prices making it a great time to start tasting all of the food Rio has to offer! Plus, there are many opportunities to dine outside because of the great weather!

The daily high temperature in October is from 79°F (26°C) to 81°F (27°C). While the daily low is from 68°F (20°C) to 71°F (21°C).

One of the best places for dining outside is at Aprazivel. Here, at night there are beautiful fairy lights and candles that will be perfect for a romantic night out.

Copacabana Beach is another great place for those that want to dine outside and get a stroll on the beach! There are plenty of vendors strolling along the sands that you will surely find something great to eat!

Rio also has a film festival that spans over several weeks in October. Featuring more than 200 films from around the world, this will be the perfect time for all movie lovers to visit!

On the second Sunday in October is when one million people take to the streets to celebrate the procession of the Lady of Nazareth. It is an interesting sight to see and will be truly memorable!

  • Dine Outside at Aprazivel
  • Check Out the Vendors at Copacabana Beach
  • Attend the Film Festival
  • Celebrate the Procession of the Lady of Nazareth

November: All Souls’ Day

All Souls’ Day is also known as Day of the Dead. It is when Brazilians commemorate those that have faithfully departed. They will also pray for those that are in purgatory.

Often on All Souls’ Day, Brazilians will visit cemeteries with flowers and candles to offer their prayers. It is also a day when most businesses are closed.

In November the weather is great with the daily high from 81°F (27°C) to 84°F (28°C). The daily low will be from 71°F (21°C) to 73°F (22°C).

On November 15th is the declaration of the Republic. This is when a military coup overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II in 1889.

This is also a splendid time to visit the Botanical Garden where you can see over 6,000 species of plants! Moreover, you can observe many various colorful birds!

You will also want to check out the Avenue of Royal Palms. It is over 2,460 feet long and will be a beautiful sight to take pictures of! There are also over 5,000 types of plants from all around the world.

  • Celebrate All Souls’ Day by Visiting Cemeteries and Praying
  • Attend the Celebration for the Declaration of the Republic
  • Visit the Botanical Garden
  • Walk Around the Avenue of Royal Palms

December: Celebrate the Holidays

December is one of the most important times for Brazilians. They spend Christmas with their families, eating and drinking. It is a time for joy and cheer.

December is a hot month with daily high temperatures ranging from 84°F (28°C) to 87°F (30°C). While the daily low temperature will be from 73°F (22°C) to 75°F (23°C).

You will want to check out the Reveillon Carnival as well. It is on December 31st and is one of the biggest New Year celebrations around the world! Many people dress in white and there will be tons of music, parades, and shows!

The Feira Do Rio Antigo is perfect for those that want to immerse themselves in the Brazilian culture. It is a great place to visit.

It is located in the historic center of Lapa. And is a street market held on every Saturday leading up to Christmas.

Moreover, it will be a great time and place to get gifts for your loved ones. There is so much that is offered at this market that you will be sure to find something for everyone on your list!

The Sambadrome will also be a great place to visit in December! You will have the opportunity to see Samba schools perform and watch a variety of parades. It will be a night to remember.

Lagoa is another fantastic area to visit in Rio. It is a beautiful lake and in December you will have the opportunity to view a large Christmas tree at the center! There are also plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.

  • Celebrate Christmas with Family
  • Attend the Reveillon Carnival
  • Visit the Feira Do Rio Antigo and Get Gifts for Loved Ones
  • Watch Samba Schools Perform at the Sambadrome

Best Time to Avoid the Rainy Season in Rio De Janeiro

The best time to avoid the rainy season in Rio de Janeiro is the winter months. This is from June to September and they will typically have 1.7 inches of precipitation.

Those that visit in the summer months, especially December will experience the wettest months that Rio has. In December, it often has 5.4 inches of precipitation.

Although with that said, Rio does have a lot more carnivals and events that happen in the summer months. So, even though it is the rainiest month, the rain will likely not ruin your stay.

Best Time to Visit the Carnivals in Rio De Janeiro

The best time to visit Rio de Janeiro if you want to experience the city’s party atmosphere is in February and March. There is so much to discover in the carnival that it will be a joyous time.

Visiting Brazil’s carnivals will be one of the most special memories that you can have. You will have the opportunity to discover all that Brazil has to offer and really engage yourself in their culture.

Every day and night during the carnival there will be plenty of parties and musicians playing. There will never be a boring time in Rio! You can also dress up and join in on the fun and dance to Samba beats.

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