South America


Nothern South America
Southern South America

South America

South America


17,840,000(km2) / 6,890,000 (mi2)

Highest Point:
Aconcagua (6,960m / 22,830f)

Lowest Point:
Laguna del Carbón (-105m / −345f)

South America is a continent at the southern hemisphere. The west side is bounded by the Pacific Ocean and the East side by the Atlantic Ocean. The continent is separated from North America by the Panama Canal. In surface area South America is the number four, with 17.840.000 square kilometers. The whole continent has over 380 million inhabitants, approximately half of them live in Brazil. The first settlements in South America are dated 15.000 B.C. and were located around the coast of Ecuador and Peru. The first city with stone buildings was build around 2700 B.C. Known antique civilizations, that all lived in Peru, are the Chavin (1700 – 300 B.C.), the Mochica (0 – 750 A.C.) and the Nazca (200 B.C. – 1000 A.C.) but better known are the Inca’s. They ruled the region from North Chile to Ecuador from 1438 until 1532, when the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro and a small army conquered most of the Inca Empire. He was able to do so because the Spanish and Portuguese explorers had brought bacteria and diseases that killed two thirds of the natives. The Treaty of Tordesillas divided South America in Brazil, that became property of the Portuguese and the rest, that became property of the Spanish.

After a few centuries, the desire to become independent was unleashed in the form of political unrest and civil wars. After almost two centuries of instability, most South American countries have become relatively stable democracies. Chile and Uruguay are even two of the most free and democratic countries in the world. But some countries lag behind in this development: Columbia continuous to suffer from a civil war that started in the sixties. In 2008 the South American countries started the Union of South American Nations in order to form a European Union-like system. Because of its geographical expanse almost all climates occur in South America. The south has a temperate climate and the Andes has a subarctic climate. But the largest part of the continent has a tropical climate. Some of the largest and best known metropolises of South America are Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Săo Paulo and Valencia. A good time for tourists to visit these cities is in January or February because then it is summer holiday at the southern hemisphere, meaning that most locals left the city to enjoy a vacation at the coast. The number one tourist attraction in Brazil are its beaches. There are lively beaches, mostly in the north east, but also more secluded and quiet spots with beautiful scenery. There are many organized tours that show tourists to the most beautiful rain forests, waterfalls and mountain ranges. In Argentina there are many National Parks, a lot of them are UNESCO national heritage sites. For example a three miles long glacier can be found in Glaciers National Park. Argentina also hosts the Iguazu Falls, that can be viewed from a helicopter or a boat. So the best of both, nature and culture, are very well represented in South America.


Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), French Guiana, Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela,