Although Brazil is known for its sunny beaches and vibrant Carnaval, there are still several ways to make the most of the winter season. The country is a perfect destination for a winter getaway and the season is a great time for visitor to enjoy a unique blend of tropical and cultural experiences.
In Brazil, the winter season occurs from June to August in the Southern Hemisphere. During this time, the weather and average temperatures can vary depending on the region. The southern states of Brazil, including Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Paraná, experience the coolest temperatures during winter. The average in this region range from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), with occasional colder days. It is not uncommon for thermometers to drop below 10°C (50°F) in some areas, especially during the night.
The northeastern states, including Bahia, Pernambuco, and Ceará, have a tropical climate with less temperature variation throughout the year. The southeastern states, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais, have a milder winter compared to the southern region. Average temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). Finally, the central-western states, such as Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás, have a similar climate to the southeast region.
Let’s explore some suggestions to enjoy winter in Brazil and must-visit places in Brazil during this period.
Visit Southern Brazil
The southern regions of Brazil experience the coldest temperatures during winter. These areas have a distinct European influence, with charming towns, wineries, and stunning landscapes. You can explore cities like Gramado, known for its Christmas decorations and winter festivals.
Brazil may not be as well-known for its wines as countries like Italy or France, but since wine tourism has been gaining momentum in recent years, as the country’s wine industry continues to expand and improve in quality, there’s a lot to do there for wine enthusiasts.
Brazil has several wine regions, but the main ones are located in the southern part of the country. The most prominent ones include the Serra Gaúcha in Rio Grande do Sul, which is the largest and most traditional wine region, and the neighboring regions of Campanha, Serra do Sudeste, and Campos de Cima da Serra. Additionally, there are emerging wine regions like Santa Catarina and Vale do São Francisco.
So, wine tourism in Brazil offers visitors the opportunity to explore vineyards and many wineries have opened their doors to tourists, offering guided tours that take visitors through the vineyards, production areas, and cellars. Visitors can learn about the winemaking process, taste different wines, and even participate in wine blending workshops.
Enjoy winter cuisine
Brazilian cuisine has a variety of dishes that are perfect for colder weather. Indulge in comfort foods like feijoada (a black bean stew with various pork cuts) and caldo verde. Originating from Portuguese cuisine, the latter is a comforting soup made with potatoes, collard greens, and often flavored with smoked sausage or bacon. This thick and flavorful soup is perfect for warming up on chilly evenings.
There’s also quentão, a hot and spiced alcoholic beverage commonly consumed during winter festivals. It is made with cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane spirit), sugar, spices like cinnamon and cloves, and sometimes fruit peels. Quentão is known for its warming properties and is often enjoyed in social gatherings during colder evenings.
And last, but not least, the beloved canjica! Canjica is a sweet corn pudding made from white or yellow corn kernels, cooked in milk, sugar, and often flavored with cinnamon and cloves. Topped with grated coconut or condensed milk, this is a traditional treat enjoyed during winter festivals like São João.
Talking about São João…
Held annually from June 23rd to June 24th, this festival pays homage to Saint John the Baptist, infusing traditional Brazilian folklore with a burst of exuberance. From the dazzling streets of Salvador to the charming countryside towns, the nation transforms into a playground of music, dance, and delectable culinary delights.
One cannot help but fall head over heels for the infectious energy that permeates the air during São João. The pulsating beats of forró, a popular Brazilian dance genre, beckon you to sway and twirl with the locals, forging connections that transcend language barriers. Join hands and form a lively quadrilha, a traditional folk dance performed in intricate patterns, as laughter fills the air and friendships bloom under the moonlit sky.
São João offers a captivating glimpse into Brazil’s colorful folklore and also presents an opportune time to explore the splendors of Brazil. With pleasant temperatures and a vibrant atmosphere, this is the perfect season to embark on a journey through Brazil’s awe-inspiring landscapes.
And talking about landscapes…
From snow-capped mountains to charming colonial towns, Brazil has plenty to offer for those seeking a winter getaway. So, let’s explore 5 places to visit on an incentive travel during the winter months in Brazil.
- Gramado: Tucked away in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Gramado is a picturesque town that transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months. Known for its European-inspired architecture, charming cafes, and beautifully decorated streets, Gramado offers a magical experience. Visitors can enjoy traditional fondue, explore the stunning Black Lake, and immerse themselves in Snowland, a theme park with a variety of winter activities and attractions, allowing visitors to experience snow and ice-related activities even in a region where snow is rare. At Snowland Gramado, you can enjoy snowboarding, skiing, and snow tubing. There is also an ice skating rink, snow playgrounds for children, and a Snow Village where you can explore ice sculptures and enjoy the chilly ambiance.
- Campos do Jordão: Located in the state of São Paulo, Campos do Jordão is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Brazil.” This mountain town boasts a charming alpine-style architecture and a cool climate, attracting visitors from all over the country. Stroll through the delightful Capivari district, enjoy delicious Swiss cuisine, and visit the Morro do Elefante viewpoint for breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains.
- Petrópolis: Just a short drive from Rio de Janeiro, Petrópolis offers a refreshing escape from the city’s heat. This historic city served as the summer residence of the Brazilian imperial family and is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture. Explore the Imperial Museum, walk along the charming streets of the historic center, and visit the beautiful Crystal Palace. Don’t miss the chance to try the local craft beer, a growing trend in the region.
- Canela: Adjacent to Gramado, the town of Canela is another must-visit destination during the winter season. Surrounded by lush forests and stunning landscapes, Canela offers a tranquil and enchanting atmosphere. Marvel at the majestic Cascata do Caracol waterfall, take a cable car ride to the top of the Serra do Rio do Rastro, and indulge in traditional German cuisine at the delightful local restaurants.
- Itaipava: Nestled in the mountains of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Itaipava is a popular destination for those seeking a winter retreat. This charming town is known for its luxurious resorts, cozy chalets, and beautiful scenery. Take a relaxing hike in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, visit the charming Itaipava Castle, and unwind in one of the region’s renowned spas.
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