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South America


Geography of South America

South America is the fourth largest continent in size and the fifth largest in population. It is located primarily in the southern hemisphere. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The geography of South America is dominated by the Andes Mountain Range and the Amazon River (second longest river in the world). The Amazon rainforest is one of the world's most important natural resources and provides around six percent of the world's oxygen.

The Incan Civilization was a powerful empire that ruled much of western South America. It built the beautiful mountain city of Machu Picchu which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. In the 1500's, Spain and Portugal colonized much of South America. The colonies gained independence in the 1800's with the help of leaders such as Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin. Much of South America still speaks Spanish or Portuguese as their primary language. Brazil, the largest country in South America, is one of the world's top economies and plays an important role in world politics.

Population: 387,489,196 (Source: 2010 United Nations)
Map ofSouth America

Click here to see large map of South America

Area: 6,890,000 square miles

Ranking: It is the fourth largest and fifth most populous continent

Major Biomes: rainforest, savanna, grassland

Major cities: Bordering Bodies of Water: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea

Major Rivers and Lakes: Amazon River, Parana River, Orinoco River, Tocantins River, Strait of Magellan, Lake Titicaca, Lake Maracaibo

Major Geographical Features: Andes Mountains, Amazon Basin and Rainforest, Brazilian Highlands, Pampas plain, Patagonia, Guiana Highlands, Pantanal wetlands

Countries of South America

Learn more about the countries from the continent of South America. Get all sorts of information on each South American country including a map, a picture of the flag, population, and much more. Select the country below for more information:

  (Timeline of Argentina)
  (Timeline of Brazil)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
French Guiana

Coloring Map of South America

Color in this map to learn the countries of South America.

South America Coloring Map of countries
Click to get a larger printable version of map.

Fun Facts about South America:

The highest point in South America is Cerro Aconcagua in the Andes Mountains in the country of Argentina.

The largest South American country in both size and population is Brazil. The largest city is Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is also one of the ten largest cities in the world.

North and South America were named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

The highest waterfall in the world is Santo del Angel (also called Angel Falls). It is almost 1000 meters high!

The Atacama Desert in Chile is considered to be one of the driest places on Earth.

Other Maps

Colonization of the Americas
(click for larger)

Population Density
(click for larger)

Satellite Map
(click for larger)

Geography Games:

South America Map Game
South America - Capital Cities
South America - Flags
South America Crossword
South America Word Search

Other Regions and Continents of the World: Back to Geography

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