Top tip: Caipirinhas are cheaper than water
Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country. It occupies a vast area along the eastern coast of South America and includes much of the continent’s interior, sharing borders with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana; that is, every South American country except for Ecuador and Chile. It also encompasses a number of oceanic archipelagos, including Fernando de Noronha, the Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz.
Brazilian topography is diverse, including hills, mountains, plains, highlands, and scrublands. Most of the southern half of the country consists of uplands. The northwestern parts of the plateau has broad, rolling terrain broken by low, rounded hills.The southeastern area is more rugged, with a complex mass of ridges and mountain ranges. There is also a dense and complex system of rivers and eight major drainage basins into the Atlantic
The climate varies from arid scrubland in the central region, to the impassable tropical rainforests of the Amazon and the tropical beaches. The south is more temperate. Rainy seasons occur from January to April in the north, April to July in the northeast and November to March in the Rio/São Paulo area.
Facts and Figures
|Area||8,547,404 sq km (3,300,170.9 sq miles).|
|Capital||Brasília – population 2,606,885 (2009).|
|Language||The official language is Portuguese, with different regional accents characterising each State. Spanish, English, Italian, French and German are also spoken, particularly in tourist areas. Four linguistic roots survive in the indigenous areas: Gê, Tupi-guarani, Aruak and Karib.|
|Religion||There is no official religion, but approximately 70 per cent of the population adhere to Roman Catholicism. A number of diverse evangelical cults are also represented, as are animist beliefs (particularly spiritism, umbanda and candomblé).|
|Time||Brazil spans several time zones from GMT – 2 to GMT – 5 depends on area of country|
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