Essential Info for Brazil

Population: About 207 million

Capital city: Brasília

Neighbouring countries: Brazil is bordered by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana to the north; Colombia to the northwest; Bolivia and Peru to the west; Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest; and Uruguay to the south.

Geography: Brazil occupies about half of South America with a long coastal region to the east. It has a vast and complex network of rivers, including the famous Amazon river. About two-thirds of the massive Amazon rainforest is within Brazil's borders and the rest of the country has a diverse landscape ranging from plateaus and plains to mountains, hills and highlands.

Political system: Federal presidential constitutional republic

Major religions: Roman Catholicism with a Protestant minority

Main language: Portuguese

Money: The Real (BRL) is divided into 100 centavos. Expats will need a residence visa to open a bank account and ATMs are widely available, although some only operate during certain hours for safety reasons.

Tipping: Standard 10 percent

Time: Brazil has a number of time zones: GMT -2, GMT -3, GMT -4 and GMT -5. Some parts of the country observe daylight savings time from October to March.

Electricity: 110V/220V, 60Hz. Plugs with two or three round pins are generally used.

Internet domain: .br

International dialling code: +55

Emergency contacts: 190 (police), 192 (ambulance), 193 (fire)

Transport and driving: Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road. The types and extent of public transport services available vary widely from city to city.