South America is the fourth largest continent in size and the fifth largest in population. It is located mainly in the southern hemisphere.

It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

The physical geography of South America is dominated by the Andes Mountain Range and the Amazon River (which is the second longest river in the world).

Before the Europeans colonized the continent, the Incan Civilization was a dominant force in South America. In the 1500’s, Spain and Portugal colonized much of South America. Much of South America still speaks Spanish or Portuguese as their primary language.

Here are five fascinating facts about South America. See how many you are able to remember:

1) The continent contains the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela.

2) A huge range of languages are spoken in South America including Portuguese, Spanish, English, Dutch, French, Italian, Arabic, and dozens of indigenous languages.

3) The five most populous cities in South America are:

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil: 18,505,100
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: 12,923,800
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 11,246,600
  • Bogota, Colombia: 7,798,000
  • Lima, Peru: 7,603,500

4) South America accounts for 12% of the total land on planet Earth.

5) The highest point in South America is Cerro Aconcagua, in the Andes Mountains which are found in Argentina at 6,959m high.

Follow these hyperlinks to learn more:-

  1. National Geographic – South America
  2. South American Quizzes
  3. South America – country quizzes

Geography Home Page

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