South America is a continent with 12 countries located in the western hemisphere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere. It is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is the model used in nations that speak Romance languages. The reference to South America instead of other regions (like Latin America or the Southern Cone) has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics (in particular, the rise of Brazil)
Argentina is a massive South American nation with terrain encompassing Andes mountains, glacial lakes and Pampas grassland, the traditional grazing ground of its famed beef cattle.
Bolivia is a country in central South America, with a varied terrain spanning Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and Amazon Basin rainforest. At more than 3,500m, its administrative capital, La Paz, sits on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau with snow-capped Mt. Illimani in the background. Nearby is glass-smooth Lake Titicaca, the continent’s largest lake, straddling the border with Peru.
Brazil, a vast South American country, stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to vineyards and massive Iguaçu Falls in the south. Rio de Janeiro, symbolized by its 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, is famed for its busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches as well as its enormous, raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba music and dance.
The Chile national football team represents Chile in all major international football competitions and is controlled by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile which was established in 1895. The team is commonly referred to as La Roja.
Colombia is a country at the northern tip of South America. It's landscape is marked by rainforests, Andes mountains and numerous coffee plantations. In the high-altitude capital, Bogotá, the Zona Rosa district is known for its restaurants and shops. Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, has a walled colonial Old Town, a 16th-century castle and nearby coral reefs.
Ecuador is a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial center, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church.
Guyana, a country on South America’s North Atlantic coast, is defined by its dense rainforest. English-speaking, with cricket and calypso music, it's culturally connected to the Caribbean region. Its capital, Georgetown, is known for British colonial architecture, including tall, painted-timber St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. A large clock marks the facade of Stabroek Market, a source of local produce.
Paraguay is a landlocked country between Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, home to large swaths of swampland, subtropical forest and chaco, wildernesses comprising savanna and scrubland. The capital, Asunción, on the banks of the Paraguay River, is home to the grand Government Palace and the Museo del Barro, displaying pre-Columbian ceramics and ñandutí lacework, the latter available in many shops.
Peru is a country in South America that's home to a section of Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains. The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites. On Peru’s arid Pacific coast is Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and important collections of pre-Columbian art.
Suriname is a small country on the northeastern coast of South America. It's defined by vast swaths of tropical rainforest, Dutch colonial architecture and a melting-pot culture. On its Atlantic coast is the capital, Paramaribo, where palm gardens grow near Fort Zeelandia, a 17th-century trading post. Paramaribo is also home to Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, a towering wood cathedral consecrated in 1885.
Uruguay is a South American country known for its verdant interior and beach-lined coast. The capital, Montevideo, revolves around Plaza Independencia, once home to a Spanish citadel. It leads to Ciudad Vieja (Old City), with art deco buildings, colonial homes and Mercado del Puerto, an old port market with many steakhouses. La Rambla, a waterfront promenade, passes fish stalls, piers and parks.
Venezuela is a country on the northern coast of South America with diverse natural attractions. Along its Caribbean coast are tropical resort islands including Isla de Margarita and the Los Roques archipelago. To the northwest are the Andes Mountains and the colonial town of Mérida, a base for visiting Sierra Nevada National Park. Caracas, the capital, is to the north.