February, which falls right in the middle of Brazil's rainy season, is one of the hottest months in the country. In the south, in cities such as Porto Alegre, the climate is subtropical. In the eastern part of the country, such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, it tends to get very hot. You can expect temperatures around 100-110℉. Night temperatures usually drop to 80-90℉, which makes for pleasant evening walks and activities. In the popular area of Pantanal, in the southwest, the climate is tropical with rain that tends to get heavy at times, limiting road and vehicle travel.
Crowds & Costs
February is probably the most popular month to visit Brazil, thanks to the world-famous Carnival. It's the largest carnival in the world, attracting more than two million people every year. Even when the carnival falls in March, which is often the case, February remains one of the busiest months in Brazil—but also one of the most exciting. Expect prices to be higher on both accommodation and flights.
It gets especially crowded in Rio de Janeiro, where the carnival takes place, so book your tickets far in advance. Other coastal cities such as Recife and Salvador can also get quite busy, with throngs of holiday visitors enjoying quality beach and city time.
Where to Go
It is all about festivities and the Carnival season in February in Brazil. Expect fireworks, parades, food, and a lot of joy during this time. February is also a great month for water sport activities, beach time, and city sightseeing. Some of the best destinations to visit are Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and the Bahia area, including Salvador.
Make sure to head to Copacabana, Ipanema, and Sambódromo—the most important venue of the carnival. Here, Rio's best samba schools show up with spectacular performances of jaw-dropping floats and extravagant costumes. These preparations usually take about a year before they are performed on the grand stage of the carnival.
Visit Recife, known as the "Venice of Brazil", for even more Carnival-related festivities. Here you can enjoy parades, music, and shows in a more local atmosphere. Try to make it on a Saturday (any carnival Saturday), just in time for the Galo da Madrugada—an epic parade that follows a giant route across a bridge and attracts some two million revelers. According to the Guinness Book of Records, this is the biggest street party in the world.
If you want to enjoy the festivities but avoid the crowds of tourists, head to the Santa Teresa or Jardim Botânico neighborhoods in Rio and join the blocos (street parties).The blocos hold a special place in many Cariocas‘ (Rio residents) hearts, and the crowds are fun-loving and friendly. Each one has its own atmosphere—in Santa Teresa for example, you'll find a bohemian and artistic vibe. Two of the best blocos are Carmelitas and Ceu na Terra, both known for their welcoming ambiance and diversity of activities.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
What to Do
February offers an exceptional variety of Carnival activities, from Rio's big celebration to smaller festivals around the country. It the time to enjoy dancing, try new food, and join the big parades and local street parties. Beach time, windsurfing, kayaking, and surfing are other great activities to enjoy during this hot month. To get a different experience of Brazil head to the northeast and explore the less-visited areas such as Fortaleza and São Luis, known for its French roots and beautiful architecture, with remarkable inland lagoons.
Although the Amazon rainforest is flooded in February, there are still unique things to see and do. With high water levels, you can spot more caimans, anacondas, and piranhas in places such as the Pantanal region. Like January, this month also brings varzeas (floodplains) and lucky visitors can spot jaguars resting on the treetops away from the flooded forest floor.
Events in February
Carnival Rio de Janeiro (end of February to early March). During the five days preceding Ash Wednesday, the famous event takes over cities throughout the country. In Rio, colorful parades, extravagant costumes, general revelry make for an unforgettable experience.
Carnival Salvador (end of February). This Carnival is one of the most popular events in Brazil, and features a number of artist performances to the sound of axe beats (a local music genre). It takes place in Salvador and lasts around 10 days, with more than a million visitors each year.
Festa de Lemanjá (February 2). It takes place in Praia Rio Vermelho in Salvador. Candomblé groups pay homage to the orixá Iemanjá (goddess of the sea and fertility), and afterward, take part in a lively street party.
Traveling to Brazil in February? Check out these great itineraries.
Authentic Rio de Janeiro - 5 Days. Explore irresistible beaches, surf and wooded mountains, the world-famous landmarks of the Pão de Açúcar and Cristo Redentor, and more on this quick immersion into the magic of Rio.
Adventure Tour in Rio de Janeiro. From the Corcovado to Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana to Ipanema, this whirlwind tour will sweep you through the best, most famous, and most beautiful beaches, neighborhoods, and mountains that Rio de Janeiro has to offer.