South America: Fact at a Glance

South America is a continent located in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent contains the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes, and the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Created On: Jan 27, 2016 17:49 IST

South America is a continent located in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also considered as a subcontinent of the Americas, which is the model used in Spanish-speaking nations and most of South America. The continent contains the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes, and the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile.

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It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie to the northwest. It includes twelve sovereign states – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela – and two non-sovereign areas – French Guiana, an overseas department of France, and the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory (though disputed by Argentina). In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Netherlands and Trinidad and Tobago may also be considered part of South America.

Instant Fact

Largest Agglomeration

Sao Paulo(incl. Guarulhos)

Highest Capital City

La Paz, Bolivia

Longest Mountain Range

Andes, 7000 km long, 500 km wide in some parts (widest between 18° to 200°  S latitude), and of an average  height of about 4000 m.  Illampu is another important mountain range.

Major River

Amazon River 6387 m. The Amazon has over 1000 tributaries in total. (Other important rivers are: Panama, Madeira Purus, Orinoco, San Francisco)

Highest Waterfall

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Longest Waterfalls

Iguazu Falls, a series of 275
waterfalls covering 2.5 km

Highest Navigable Lake

Titicaca(Peru, Bolivia)

Largest Rainforest

Located within nine nations: Brazil (with 60% of the rainforest), Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana

Largest Desert Central America

Chihuahua Mexico – south-western United States

Largest Desert South America

Patagonian, Argentina

Longest Desert and Driest Place on Earth

Atacama, 1000 km from Peru to North Chile

Largest Urban Areas Central America and Caribbean

Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico)
(Incl. Netzahualcoyotl, Ecatepec, Naucalpan); Guadalajara (Mexico)(incl. Zapopan); Monterrey (Mexico); Santo Domingo de Guzman (Dominican Republic); San Juan (Puerto Rico); Puebla (Mexico); La Habana (Cuba); San Salvador (EI Salvador) ; Port-au-Prince (Haiti); Ciudad de Guatemala (Guatemala)

Largest Urban Areas South America

Sau Paulo (Brazil) (incl. Guarulhos); Buenos Aires (Argentina) (incl. San Justo. La Plata); Lima (Peru); Bogota (Santa Fe de) (Colombia) ; Santiago(Chile); Belo Horizonte (Brazil); Caracas (Venezuela); Porto Alegre (Brazil); Recife.(Brazil);

Highest Point

Argentina - Aconcagua

Lowest Point

Bahia Blanca, Argentina 42 m. below sea level; Peninsula Valdes - Argentina coastline -40 m
below sea level.

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