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Knowing the correct time for a specific location in Brazil can often be confusing. At one time, Brazil had four different time zones but, in 2008, things changed; boundries were redrawn and cosolidated, and the start and stop dates of Daylight Savings Time were standardized. These changes effectively resulted in three time zones. One time zone is only for Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago of 21 islands about 350 km (220 miles) offshore mainland Brazil in the Atlantic Ocean. This leaves only two time zones of concern to most people.

More than half of Brazil is in what is sometimes called the Brazil Eastern Time Zone or the Brasilía Time Zone There is some confusion about this because about half of the states in this time zone observe Daylight Savings Time—known in Brazil as horário de verão or, often, simply hora de verão (summer time)—while the other half do not. The exact start and end dates for Daylight Savings Time change every year and roughly correspond to the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Brazilian states that the majority of foreigners visit for both business and pleasure (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo,  Minas Gerais, Goias, the Federal District of Brasília, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Espírito Santo) are all in the same Brazil Eastern Time Zone—standard time being three hours behind GMT/UTC -3 (Greenwich Mean Time/Universal Coordinated Time). These states also adhere to Daylight Savings Time. Click for current time in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.The states in the Brazil Eastern Time Zone that do not observe Daylight Savings Time include Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí, Tocantins, Maranhão, Pará and Amapá.

map courtesy of Wikipedia

The other Brazilian time zone might fairly be called the Brazil Western Time Zone—standard time being four hours behind GMT/UTC -4 (Greenwich Mean Time/Universal Coordinated Time). It includes the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondônia, Amazonas and Acre. Again, about half the states observe Daylight Savings Time (Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul) while the other half do not (Rondônia, Amazonas and Acre).

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