South America

Map of South America with country flags
South America is a continent in the western and southern hemispheres, although a small portion of the continent’s northern tip also lies in the northern hemisphere. It’s the fourth-largest continent in the world, after Asia, Africa, and North America.
The Pacific Ocean borders the continent to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean borders it to the north and east. The Caribbean Sea and North America border the continent to the northwest. The continent is joined to North America by a narrow land bridge called the Isthmus of Panama.
There are 12 countries in South America, including Peru, Brazil, and Chile. A large portion of South America (along with some of Central America) falls under the Latin America category. These countries were previously ruled by the Spanish, Portuguese, and French empires, where these languages are still predominantly spoken.
South America has various climates, ranging from a humid and warm tropical climate in the Amazon basin to a hot, dry climate in the Chilean desert. Most of the continent falls in the equatorial zone, which means the winters and summers in South America are milder than in North America.
Some of the most famous landmarks in South America include the ancient site of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and the Museum of Art in São Paulo, Brazil. South America is also home to some stunning natural wonders, such as the Amazon Rainforest (which covers 6.7 million km²/2.6 million square mi), the Iguazú Falls in Argentina, and Kicker Rock in Ecuador.

Countries of South America

CountryFlagPopulationWorld %UN SubregionCapital City
Flag of Argentina
Flag of Bolivia
Flag of Brazil
Flag of Chile
Flag of Colombia
Flag of Ecuador
Flag of Guyana
Flag of Paraguay
Flag of Peru
Flag of Suriname
Flag of Uruguay
Flag of Venezuela

Facts about South America

Sovereign CountriesPopulationLand Area (km²)Population Density (/km²)World %

Largest Country

The largest country in South America is Brazil, which has a total area of 8,515,770 km² (3,287,,957 sq mi). Brazil is also the largest country in Latin America, which includes countries such as Mexico in North America and Costa Rica in Central America.

Smallest Country

South America’s smallest country is Suriname, which has an area of 163,820 km² (63,521 sq mi). French Guiana, an overseas territory of France, and the Falklands Islands, an overseas territory of the UK, are both smaller than Suriname. French Guiana has a total area of 84,000 km² (32,433 sq mi), and the Falkland Islands have an area of 12,173 km² (4,700 sq mi ). While they are both located off the South American coast, they are overseas territories of European nations and, therefore, aren’t considered a part of the continent of South America.

Largest Island

Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego is the largest island in South America. It measures 47,992 km² (29,821 sq mi) and lies off the southern tip of the continent.

Longest River

The Amazon River is the longest river in South America and the second longest in the world. It flows 6,400 kilometers (3,977 mi) through Peru, Colombia, and Brazil.

Highest Point

Aconcagua, a mountain in the Andes Mountain range, is the highest point in South America. The mountain’s peak is 6,961 meters (22,838 ft) from sea level.

Largest Lake

South America’s largest lake is Titicaca, which flows through Peru and Bolivia. The river has a total length of 177 kilometers (110 mi) and an area of 8,372 km² (3,232 sq mi). As well as being the largest lake in South America, Titicaca is also the world’s highest navigable lake and greatest mountain lake.

Country with the Longest Coastline

Brazil has the longest coastline, with a total length of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). This coastline is the 15th longest in the world.

Tallest Building

Gran Torre Santiago, in Santiago, Chile, is South America’s tallest building. The super skyscraper is 300 meters (984 ft) tall and has 62 floors.

Most Visited Country

In 2022, Argentina was the most visited country in South America. The southern country had 3.89 million visitors in that year alone. The next most visited South American country in 2022 was Uruguay, which had 2.47 million visitors.

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