Overland Journeys: Gringo Trail, Across the Southern Cone, Northern Trail

Brazil is South America's largest country with a wealth attractions to match its vast size. However much of the country remains well off the beaten traveller trails. Brazil's south and east coasts remain its most popular draw, with the vibrant cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador de Bahia, beautiful beaches and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, attracting many visitors. However, further inland there is much more waiting to be discovered. The Amazon Rainforest dominates the country and a journey along the river to explore the jungle, its unique ecosystem and indigenous groups is one of the quintessential South American travel experiences. Elsewhere the wetlands of the Pantanal region are home to the greatest diversity of wildlife in South America, providing an almost African safari experience in the heart of Latin America. The spectacular waterfalls at Iguacu and Rio Preto are just some of the other natural attractions in Brazil. The country's historical heritage is seen in its numerous UNESCO-listed colonial towns, the Portuguese influence being just one aspect which makes Brazil such a unique destination in South America. Explore in depth highlights of Brazil.

Travel Information for Brazil
Time zone:GMT -5 to -2 (5 time zones: Brasília time (-2 to -5))
Daylight savings:GMT +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February
Main languages:Portuguese
Currency: reals (BRL)

1 = R$3.63, $1 = R$3.26, £1 = R$4.33

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.brInternational Dialling Code:    55

For help planning your trip to Brazil including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Brazil trip planning page.

Further information on Brazil

Discover more about Brazil - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of brazil

Total area: 8,511,965 sq km (55,455 sq km under water)

Coastline: 7,491 km (Atlantic Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Argentina (1,261km), Bolivia (3,423km), Colombia (1,644km), Guyana (1,606km), Paraguay (1,365km), Peru (2,995km), Suriname (593km), Uruguay (1,068km), Venezuela (2,200km), French Guiana (730km)

Climate: Tropical climate in the Amazon region, very hot in north-east with temperatures of up to 40C but more temperate in the south. The coolest months in Rio and the south-east are between May and September, it is very hot and humid between December and April.

Highest mountain: Pico da Neblina (3,014m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Brazil from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldFree -
Democracy IndexFlawed democracy 44/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 118/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 97/179
ILGA LGBT rightsSome rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 69/174
Overall Ranking:    51/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Federative Republic of Brazil     Status: Independent Country

Population: 202,656,788 (rank: 5/196)     Density: 23.8 people/sq km (rank: 153/196)

Ethnic groups: white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census)

Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census)

GDP (PPP): $2422 billion       GDP per capita: $12,100 (rank: 81/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.