Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region. It is the world's fifth-largest country, both by geographical area and by population. It is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world, and the only one in the Americas.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 km. It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and occupies 47.3 percent of the continent of South America. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro.