Most of Brazil can be visited comfortably throughout the year, it's only the south - which can be unbearably sticky in summer (December-February) and non-stop rainy in winter (June-August) - that has large seasonal changes. The rest of the country experiences brief tropical rains throughout the year, which rarely affect travel plans.
During summer (December-February) many Brazilians are on vacation, making travel difficult and expensive, and from Rio to the south the humidity can be oppressive. Summer is also the most festive time of year, as Brazilians escape their apartments and take to the beaches and streets. School holidays begin in mid-December and go through to Carnaval, usually held in late February.
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