Climate models for the coming century predict rainfall reduction in the Amazonian region, including change in water availability for tropical rainforests. Here, we test the extent to which climate variables related to water regime, temperature and irradiance shape the growth trajectories of neotropical trees. We developed a diameter growth model explicitly designed to work with asynchronous climate and growth data. Growth trajectories of 205 individual trees from 54 neotropical species censused every 2 months over a 4-year period were used to rank 9 climate variables and find the best predictive model.