With its expansive territory, Brazil occupies most of the eastern part of the South American continent and its geographic heartland, as well as various islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The only countries in the world that are larger are Russia, Canada, the People's Republic of China, and the United States. The national territory extends 4,395 kilometres (2,731 mi) from north to south (5°16'20" N to 33°44'32" S latitude) and 4,319 kilometres (2,684 mi) from east to west (34°47'30" W to 73°59'32" W longitude). It spans three time zones, the westernmost of which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The time zone of the capital (Brasília) and of the most populated part of Brazil along the east coast (UTC-3) is two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, except when it is on its own daylight saving time, from October to February. The Atlantic islands are in the easternmost time zone.
Brazil possesses the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, located 350 kilometres (217 mi) northeast of its "horn", and several small islands and atolls in the Atlantic - Abrolhos, Atol das Rocas, Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo, Trindade, and Martim Vaz. In the early 1970s, Brazil claimed a territorial sea extending 362 kilometres (362,000 m) from the country's shores, including those of the islands.
On Brazil's east coast, the Atlantic coastline extends 7,367 kilometres (4,578 mi). In the west, in clockwise order from the south, Brazil has 15,719 kilometres (9,767 mi) of borders with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The only South American countries with which Brazil does not share borders are Chile and Ecuador. A few short sections are in question, but there are no true major boundary controversies with any of the neighboring countries.
It has within it five eco-systems, the tropical rainforest, the pantanal, the cerrado, the mata atlantica and the pampasn and surrounding areas.