What to Pack for a Winter Sun Break in Rio

Travel Tips — By Lucy Bryson on October 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

When it’s winter in the United States and Europe, it’s the height of summer in Brazil, making Rio de Janeiro a top destination for anyone looking to escape the cold and soak up some serious sun on the beaches.

The Brazilian summer is also when the city slips into serious party mode, with New Year and Carnival two of the biggest celebrations to take place anywhere on the planet. Travelers should bear in mind that while temperatures soar during this peak season, so too does demand, so it’s well worth booking accommodation well in advance of your stay if you want to avoid paying extortionate prices.

Once you’ve got your flights and accommodation booked, it’s time to think about what to wear. The simple answer is ‘as little as possible’. A city that often sees temperatures rise above 30 even in the depths of what passes for winter, things get seriously hot during the summer, so be sure to pack plenty of light clothing in cool cotton that will allow skin to breathe.

Summer in Rio means plenty of trips to the beach, so it’s well worth splashing out on some nice swimwear. Body conscious girls can take heart in the fact that the famous ‘dental floss’ bikini is no longer de-rigeur on the beaches of Rio, although Brazilian girls do like to flaunt their assets in teeny tiny bikinis. Guys have two options – Speedos or long shorts. The former are enduringly popular among Brazilian males of all ages, while the latter tend to be the choice of surfers and body boarders.

A sarong is also an essential part of the female beach kit in Rio, with locals using them as cover up and beach towel combined. Should you happen to forget yours, beach vendors offer them in countless designs for as little as R$15.

Bikini, sarong, flipflops and shorts are the staple summer wardrobe for carioca women


Although hot temperatures are guaranteed during the summer, constant sunshine is not a dead cert – summer is also the rainy season, and a tropical downpour can strike at any time, so bring a good quality umbrella (one that folds up small enough to carry around easily) and keep it on you at all times.

Photo courtesy of Retalhos Cariocas



Tags: Brazilian bikinis, Rio de Janeiro Beaches, Rio de Janeiro weather, summer in Rio