Brazil Guide

Brazil Guide

Brazil – country information

Country name Brazil
Official name Federative Republic of Brazil
Capital Brasília
Continent South America
Area 8,514,880 km2
Population 201 032 714 (2013)
Foundation of a state 7/9/1822
The highest mountains Pico da Neblina 3014 m
Longest rivers Amazon (part) 6570 km
State system a pluralistic federal presidential republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities (conurbation) Sao Paulo 18,500,000, Rio de Janeiro 11,800,000, Belo Horizonte 3,650,000, Porto Alegre 3,200,000, Recife 3,000,000, Salvador 2,575,000, Fortaleza 2,275,000, Brasília (capital) 1 680,000
Official language Portuguese
Ethnicity/National Composition mulatto 23%, Portuguese 15.5%, mestizo 12%, black 11.5%, Italian 11%, Spanish 10%, German 3%, other white 13%, Japanese 0.8%, Indian 0.1%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 63%, Spiritist Catholics 16%, Evangelical Catholics 9%, Protestants 6%, other Spiritists 3.5%, other 2.5%
Currency 1 cruzeiro real = 100 centavos
gross domestic product (GDP) US$11,747 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 71.97 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 9%, mining 2%, industry 30%, construction 7%, services 52%

Brazil – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Argentina Buenos Aires 2,780,400 km2 41,660,096
Bolivia La Paz 1,098,580 km2 10,027,254
France Paris 551,500 km2 65,844,000
Guyana Georgetown 214,969 km2 784,894
Colombia Bogota 1,138,910 km2 47,506,000
Paraguay Asunción 406,752 km2 6,783,374
Peru Lima 1,285,220 km2 30,475,144
Suriname Paramaribo 163,820 km2 534 189
Uruguay Montevideo 175,016 km2 3,286,314
Venezuela Caracas 912,050 km2 28,946,101

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Brazil is the largest country in South America, the 5th largest country by area and the 6th largest country in the world by population. The Atlantic coast in the northeast and southeast is 7,400 km long. Brazil has a land border with most South American countries. A territory with enormous raw material wealth has always attracted settlers from all over the world. The country’s development into a modern industrial state is hindered by bad financial policy, overpopulation in some areas and extensive devastation of the natural environment.

Country data

Location: eastern South America

Time zone: CET – 3 to -6 (during summer time: CET – 4 to -7)

Total area: 8,514,877 km²

Land area: 8,459,417 km²

Water area: 55,460 km²

Length of the state border: 16,145 km

Bordering countries:
Argentina: 1,263 km
Bolivia: 3,403 km
French Guiana: 649 km
Guyana: 1,308 km
Colombia: 1,790 km
Paraguay: 1,371 km
Peru: 2,659 km
Suriname: 515 km
Uruguay: 1,050 km
Venezuela: 2,137 km

Coastline: 7,491 km

Capital: Brasilia

Districts: 27
Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins

Electricity: 110/220 V, 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 55 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Pico da Neblina 2,994 m


Population: approx. 203 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.8% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 24

Life expectancy: 70 (male), 77 (female)

Official language: Portuguese


  • 65% Roman Catholic
  • 22% Protestants
  • 13% other


Most of the country has a tropical climate with a constant alternation of dry periods and rainy seasons.

The north has a higher average temperature than the south due to its proximity to the equator.

In the south, the climate becomes more moderate (subtropical) and only in the higher elevations does precipitation occasionally fall as snow in winter.

The lower areas around the Amazon are an always humid region.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Brazilian real (BRL)

Classification: 1 real = 100 centavos

ATMs: Available in the major cities. However, not all exhibitors are always accepted.

International credit cards: are accepted in larger hotels and shops. However, cash payments are often the norm.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Only the amounts of money that are actually needed should be exchanged, as there are sometimes quite high fees for the re-exchange.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 2 liters of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

The possession and import / export of drugs is strictly prohibited. Even possession of a few grams of drugs can result in severe penalties.

Travel advice

An increase in Zika virus infections is currently being observed in the region. The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The Federal Foreign Office recommends that pregnant women refrain from avoidable trips to ZIKA virus outbreak areas, as the risk of early childhood malformations if the woman is infected cannot currently be ruled out.

In all large cities (including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo) the crime rate is very high. Theft, extortion, robberies and kidnappings are commonplace.

Behavioral advice

Always lock all doors from the inside while driving and never open a door or window while driving (robberies take place especially at red traffic lights!).

You should never visibly carry large amounts of money, jewelry or technical valuables with you.

It is also recommended to wear inconspicuous clothing in order not to be recognized as a tourist / foreigner.

You shouldn’t resist a robbery, as the perpetrators are often under the influence of drugs, are armed and do not shrink from using violence.

Always carry 2 purses with you. In the first one (which you carry well hidden) you keep your money for the day. The second should contain a few small bills and coins. So you can give out the second wallet in the event of a robbery and satisfy the perpetrator with it without losing all of your money.


Although Brazil has very large amounts of natural wealth and has now become an economic nation, the country is the largest debtor in the third world.

Due to the attractiveness of Brazil, tourism has now risen to become the second largest industry.

The Brazilian economy has developed very well in recent years. High investments result in good growth rates and solid employment growth in many industries.

Industries: chemistry, iron processing, aircraft construction, mechanical engineering, textiles

Natural resources: bauxite, iron ore, gold, wood, magnesium, nickel, phosphates, platinum, uranium

Land use:

  • Usable land: 5%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 22%
  • Forests: 58%
  • other: 14%


Almost 50 percent of the country’s area is covered by tropical rainforest. Many types of trees, plants and grass are native here. Although the trees are very close to one another, there are often specimens over 50 meters high.

Large areas of the rainforest were cleared in order to gain land for arable farming. However, since the soil is unsuitable for crops, these areas are now fallow.

The regions that are not covered with forest and are not used directly by humans often consist of steppes or swamps.

Overall, the flora of Brazil is one of the richest in species in the world.


Many animal species can be found in the large forest areas. Monkeys, alligators, anacondas, caimans, piranhas, pumas and wild boars can be found in abundance.

The bird world is particularly diverse in the entire Amanzonas area. Brazil is therefore always a special travel destination for those interested in nature and animals.

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