Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the East, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 km (4,655 mi). It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and the French overseas region of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the Southwest by Argentina and Paraguay; and on the south by Uruguay. Numerous archipelagos form part of Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile.
Brazil was a colony of Portugal from the landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to the Rank of Kingdom and the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves was formed. The colonial bond was in fact broken in 1808, when the capital of the Portuguese colonial Empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro after Napoleon invaded Portugal. In 1960, the capital was transferred to Brasilia. The independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was achieved in 1822. Initially Independent as the Empire of Brazil, period when it was a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, the country has been a presidential republic since 1889, after a military coup d'état proclaimed the Republic, although the bicameral legislature, now called Congress, dates back to 1824, when the first constitution was ratified. Its current Constitution, formulated in 1988, defines Brazil as a Federal Republic. The Federation is formed by the union of the Federal District, the 26 States, and the 5,564 Municipalities.
The Brazilian economy is the world's seventh largest economy by nominal GDP and the eighth largest by purchasing power parity. Brazil is one of the world's fastest growing major economies. Economic reforms have given the country new international recognition. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, CPLP, Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, Mercosul and the Union of South American Nations, and is one of the BRIC countries.
Brazil is also home to a diversity of wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats. Habitats in Brazil include tropical rainforests, pampas, and the Pantanal Swamp. Rio de Janeiro is the second-largest city in Brazil (And was the country's capital between 1793 and 1960) (the largest city is Sao Paulo). Brazil is home to many species of animals, and also many tourists. The animals of Brazil are currently in danger of becoming extinct, not just from smugglers, but also the lack of food, forest fires, inhabitant surroundings, deforestation, and poachers.
The state of Rio de Janeiro was one of the states that hosted the the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It also hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016.
Brazil occupies a large area along the eastern coast of South America and includes much of the continent's interior, sharing land borders with Uruguay to the south; Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest; Bolivia and Peru to the west; Colombia to the northwest; and Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and France (French overseas region of French Guiana) to the north. It shares a border with every South American country except Ecuador and Chile. It also encompasses a number of oceanic archipelagos, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. Its size, relief, climate, and natural resources make Brazil geographically diverse. Including its Atlantic islands, Brazil lies between latitudes 6°N and 34°S, and longitudes 28° and 74°W.
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and third largest in the Americas, with a total area of 8,515,767.049 km2 (3,287,956 sq mi), including 55,455 km2 (21,411 sq mi) of water. It spans four time zones; from UTC−5 comprising the state of Acre and the westernmost portion of Amazonas, to UTC−4 in the western states, to UTC−3 in the eastern states (the national time) and UTC−2 in the Atlantic islands.
Brazil is the only country in the world that has the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn running through it. Brazilian topography is also diverse and includes hills, mountains, plains, highlands, and scrublands. Much of the terrain lies between 200 metres (660 ft) and 800 metres (2,600 ft) in elevation. The main upland area occupies most of the southern half of the country. The northwestern parts of the plateau consist of broad, rolling terrain broken by low, rounded hills.
The southeastern section is more rugged, with a complex mass of ridges and mountain ranges reaching elevations of up to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). These ranges include the Mantiqueira and Espinhaço mountains and the Serra do Mar. In the north, the Guiana Highlands form a major drainage divide, separating rivers that flow south into the Amazon Basin from rivers that empty into the Orinoco River system, in Venezuela, to the north. The highest point in Brazil is the Pico da Neblina at 2,994 metres (9,823 ft), and the lowest is the Atlantic Ocean.
Brazil has a dense and complex system of rivers, one of the world's most extensive, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic. Major rivers include the Amazon (the world's second-longest river and the largest in terms of volume of water), the Paraná and its major tributary the Iguaçu (which includes the Iguazu Falls), the Negro, São Francisco, Xingu, Madeira and Tapajós rivers.