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Overview: South America
We’ve made it to South America on our world tour, one of the most geographically and culturally diverse continents in the world.
- South America is made up of twelve countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
- Over 371 million people live there; Brazil is by far the largest and most populous country, covering over 8.5 million square kilometres and being home to over 200 million people
- The largest city in South America is São Paulo, in Brazil, home to over eleven million people
- The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world, stretching for 7,000 kilometres down the western coast of South America through seven countries
- The famous Amazon River flows from the Andes through Peru, Colombia and Brazil
- It is officially the world’s second longest river, behind the Nile, but is the largest in terms of water flow and the size of the drainage basin
- In the wet season, the Amazon can grow to 30 miles wide in some sections
- The Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world, covering 1.4 billion acres. It is said to produce more than 20% of the world’s oxygen
- It is estimated that there are as many as 50 tribes in the Amazon Rainforest who have never had contact with the outside world
- Angle Falls, in Venezuela, is the highest waterfall in the world, at nearly one kilometre high
- Spanish and Portuguese are the most widely spoken languages in South America. When the two countries jointly colonized the continent in the late 1400s, they signed a treaty agreeing to split the land
- Many indigenous languages are also spoken throughout South America; there are thought to be over 60 such languages still used today
- The Atacama Desert in Chile is said to be the driest place on earth
- Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca site in the Peruvian mountains, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America
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