Averages for Rio de Janeiro in December

December is classed as spring in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and it’s usually the wettest month of the year, although temperatures are fairly warm. At this time of year, the average temperature is 25°C, created by average highs of 29°C during the warmest part of the day and average lows of 22°C after nightfall.

These temperatures can be stiflingly hot for some visitors and – with such a small dif...

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Averages for Rio de Janeiro in December

  Temperature 25°C

77°F

Low Temperature 22°C

72°F

  High Temperature 29°C

84°F

  Sunshine Hours 6 hrs
  Chance of Sunny Day 25 %
  Rainfall 169mm
  Rainfall days 14 days
  Chance of Rain 40 %
  Chance of Cloudy Day 50 %
  Sea Temperature 24°C

75°F

Averages for Rio de Janeiro in December

December is classed as spring in Rio de JaneiroBrazil and it’s usually the wettest month of the year, although temperatures are fairly warm. At this time of year, the average temperature is 25°C, created by average highs of 29°C during the warmest part of the day and average lows of 22°C after nightfall.

These temperatures can be stiflingly hot for some visitors and – with such a small difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows – evenings can feel incredibly hot, too. If you think highs of 29°C will be simply too hot for you to handle, consider visiting during Rio de Janeiro’s winter season – in June and July temperatures rarely rise above 25°C.

In December, temperatures fluctuate irregularly throughout the month, changing between lows of 25°C and highs of 27°C in a seemingly random way. However, by the final week of December, temperatures have settled into a constant 27°C. This makes the final week of December the warmest time to visit and the first week the coolest.

On average, December is the wettest month of the year for Rio. Across the month, the resort is subject to 169mm of rainfall which is spread out across 14 wet days. With rain occurring on just short of ½ the month, you’re practically guaranteed to get some type of wet weather during your holiday, so be prepared and pack accordingly. The probability of precipitation remains fairly constant from December 1st to December 31st, only varying from 56% to 57%.

When it rains in Rio in December, it’s usually in the form of a heavy and brief thunderstorm. However, the second most common type of precipitation you can expect to see at this time of year is light rain, which can often stretch out over hours at a time, so be prepared to spend a lot of time indoors or go outside and get wet.

Since it enjoys a tropical climate, Rio is always humid, no matter which time of year you visit. In December, the relative humidity typically ranges between 58% (mildly humid) and 97% (very humid) rarely falling below 39% (comfortable) or reaching as high as 100% (very humid). The air is often driest around December 1st, when the relative humidity falls below 68% (mildly humid) three days out of four, whilst it’s at its most humid around December 23rd, when it rises above 94% (very humid) three days out of four.

In December, the sun shines for an average of six hours each day in Rio de Janeiro. And even though this figure might not sound like a lot – in fact, it’s lower than some popular holiday destinations in Europe – Rio’s high temperatures mean that when the sun is out, it’s always warm enough for sunbathing and swimming. However, during the hours when the sun isn’t shining, the sky will be covered in a thin layer of cloud. Median cloud cover is 84% (mostly cloudy) and hardly varies at all across the month, only changing from 85% at the beginning down to 83% by the end.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the sea is always warm enough for swimming in Rio, whichever time of year you choose to visit. In December, the average sea temperature is 24°C – slightly higher than in November. This makes it just slightly cooler than the air temperature.

In terms of wind, December is a very calm month in Rio de Janeiro. At this time of year, typical wind speeds range between 0 m/s (calm) and 7 m/s (moderate breeze), rarely rising above 9 m/s (fresh breeze). The highest average wind speed of 3 m/s (light breeze) happens around December 1st, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s (moderate breeze). The lowest average wind speed of 3 m/s (light breeze) happens around December 30th, when the average daily maximum is 7 m/s (moderate breeze). During this month, the wind is most often coming in from the south east or the east.

Where to stay

For a reasonably priced hotel close to all the action, consider the Copacabana Rio Hotel, located just one block from the Copacabana beach. One of the best parts about this hotel is its incredible panoramic views which stretch across Copacabana beach, Ipanema beach and Sugarloaf Mountain. When the fireworks go off on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be ideally positioned at this hotel to watch them. But it’s not just views that the Copacabana Rio Hotel has to offer – there’s also a heated swimming pool, several saunas and steam rooms, a fitness centre and cocktail-serving bar which has an a la carte lunch and dinner menu. Accommodation comes in the form of standard and superior studios, one-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom apartments, each of which features free Wi-Fi access, air-conditioning, TV and private bathroom with complimentary amenities.

For something a bit more luxurious, try Ipanema Inn. Found just steps away from Ipanema beach in the heart of the resort’s cultural scene, this hotel offers just a small selection of facilities – one bar, one a la carte restaurant and free Wi-Fi access – but thanks to its central location, you’ll find a wealth of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the local area. Accommodation comes in the form of standard rooms and superior rooms and deluxe suites, each of which is decorated in a very minimalist and modern style. Standard rooms have large windows overlooking the inner courtyard, as well as a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and an Amazon-inspired bath and superior rooms offer the same amenities but are larger and boast street views. Duplex suites are the largest of them all, spread out over two floors with penthouse views. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning, comprised of pastries, cakes and fresh juices.

The four-star Golden Tulip Regente has been recently renovated, making it one of the most modern and beautiful hotels in Rio de Janeiro. Boasting a prime location at Post Five, just a stone’s throw away from the best part of Copacabana beach, this hotel provides guests with access to a Brazilian restaurant which overlooks the sea, two bars, several relaxing saunas, fitness centre, free Wi-Fi access and an outdoor swimming pool. Standard, superior, deluxe, executive rooms and suites are all available to book, each of which is decorated in a contemporary style with neutral colours and wooden furniture – the higher class rooms also have impressive ocean views. Standard rooms are equipped with basic essentials, including safe, hairdryer, minibar and cable TV, whilst superior rooms are more spacious and overlook the courtyard. Deluxe rooms boast great views of Copacabana beach and insulation which ensure you sleep soundly each night, whilst executive rooms are even more spacious and are designed with business people in mind.

Novotel Rio de Janeiro Parque Olimpico is another superb four-star hotel, set in the heart of Av. Embaixador Abelardo Bueno, where you’ll find a wealth of eateries, nightlife venues and shopping malls. Guests can choose between standard rooms and suites, each of which is light and airy, decorated in pure whites and subtle greys. Standard rooms are made up of a king-size bed, bathroom with hairdryer and bath or shower, sofa bed, work area, internet access and tea/coffee making facilities. Suites are much larger and well-designed, with two bedrooms and bathrooms with bathrobes, two flat-screen TVs and unlimited gym access for guests. Onsite dining options include the 365 Restaurant which serves international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus the 365 Lobby Bar which specialises in Brazilian cuisine. There are plenty of ways to keep entertained here – go swimming in the outdoor pool, exercise in the gym or relax in the sauna, to name a few. Better yet, kids stay for free, the parking is free and the underground is just a short walk away.

Take a dip in the pool at Novotel Rio de Janeiro Parque Olimpico in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Take a dip in the pool at Novotel Rio de Janeiro Parque Olimpico in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Things to do

The biggest event in Rio de Janeiro’s calendar this month is the New Year celebrations which happen all over the city. However, the biggest and best party, Rio Reveillon, happens on Copacabana beach. Two million party-goers line the famous beachfront each December 31st to see the live music performances and the firework display at the stroke of midnight. Many locals wear outfits of white, red, yellow or green which are believed to bring luck, romance, prosperity and health for the coming year.

Watch the fireworks at Rio Reveillon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Watch the fireworks at Rio Reveillon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via José

Not quite as famous as Sugarloaf Mountain, Morro da Urca is a turtle shell-shaped hill which stands at 220 metres tall, making it just more than half that of its neighbour. But despite its small size, this hill still offers incredible panoramic views of Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, downtown Rio, Guanabara Bay and Sugar Loaf Mountain – a view you don’t get when you’re on the mountain itself. At the top of the hill you’ll find a visitors’ centre, small cafes and souvenir shops, plus several hiking trails of varying difficulties, if you’re up for a bit of exercise. You can visit Morro da Urca by hopping in on the cable car which leads up to Sugarloaf Mountain.

Hit the beach

Make the most of the high temperatures during your holiday in Rio and spend a day at Copacabana Beach. Without a doubt the most famous beach in the city, Copacabana Beach stretches on for 4 kilometres, so you’ll always be able to find the perfect spot to lie down your towel – no matter how busy it is. There’s so much to see and do along this long scalloped beach that you’ll never get bored – join in with a game of beach volleyball, order a Brazilian cocktail at a kiosk, buy a snack from one of the beach vendors, go for a swim in the sea or simply relax on the golden sands and work on your tan whilst people watching. The beach is divided up into several different sections, which are so distinctive they’re easy to spot, but if you’re after some peace and quiet, head to the north part of the beach – this is always the most chilled out with the fewest parties and noise.

Spend a day at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Spend a day at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via Lima

For an unparalleled view of Sugarloaf Mountain from the coast, head to Praia Vermelha. Arguably the most beautiful beach in Rio, Praia Vermelha is very small and quiet compared to the big guns and it’s very rarely crowded. Although the sea here isn’t the best for swimming in – it’s not cleaned as often as the water around Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and is very deep in parts – Praia Vermelha’s real attraction is its natural beauty. Here the thick jungle-like trees which blanket the mountains merge with the golden sands of the beach and the cobalt sea, providing ample photo opportunities for avid photographers. The name Praia Vermelha literally translates into “Red Beach”, not because of the red-coloured stones which can be found under the water, but because of the shade of red the sands appear to take on each evening when the sun sets. Although there is a bar and restaurant directly on the beach, they’re said to be rather pricey, so you’re best off buying your food and drinks from the local vendors or from a kiosk instead.

Eating and drinking out

Regarded as one of the very best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Frederico appears to be a very small and modest restaurant from the outside – but looks can be deceiving! This eatery specialises in genuine Brazilian cuisine and serves up specialities such as sticky ribs on rice, cod with plantain and local cheese. There is also a small selection of sharing platters, perfect for small groups. Beer lovers will be thrilled with the extensive beer menu, whilst wine aficionados are also well catered for with a choice of local and international bottles. Although the portions aren’t huge, the quality of food and friendly atmosphere make this restaurant great value for money.

Sip on champagne or prosecco at Jazz in Champanheria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sip on champagne or prosecco at Jazz in Champanheria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via Walter

If you’re a fan of jazz, you won’t want to miss the chance to spend an evening at Jazz in Champanheria. Set inside a restored colonial building, this music venue is much more than a place to enjoy a drink and watch a show. The walls are covered in artwork, champagne and prosecco are the most commonly served drinks and light bites – including bruschetta and mini-sandwiches – are eaten in place of pub grub. Live jazz performances take place each evening, except Wednesday when guests are invited to take to the stage for karaoke sessions. After each live act ends, the jazz club turns into more of a nightclub until the early hours.

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