South America is the fourth largest continent, the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. It is divided politically into 12 independent countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela - and the overseas department of French Guiana . South America is a continent of many natural superlatives: the longest mountain range - the Andes, the highest waterfalls - the Angel Falls and the driest place on earth - the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Largest Country: Brazil. The country is covering more than half the continent's landmass. Did you know that Brazil is only slightly smaller than the USA? Largest City: Sao Paolo in Brazil. With more than 21 million inhabitants (2019) Sao Paulo is also one of the ten biggest cities in the world.
Smallest Country: Suriname. The country is one of the 10 most sparsely populated countries in the world. Biggest Island: Tierra del Fuego (Spanish meaning: Land of Fire), at the southern tip of Argentina and Chile.
Longest River: Amazon River (6,437metres/4,000miles). The Amazon is not only the second longest river in the world after the Nile, but also the Amazon carries more water than the world's other 10 biggest rivers combined! Highest Mountain: Aconcagua in Argentina. The mountain (6,961metres/22,837ft) is located in the Andes mountain range. The Aconcagua is considered the second highest of the world's Seven Summits after Mount Everest which is in Asia.
Biggest Lake: Lake Titicaca (shared by Bolivia and Peru). Driest Place: While South America's rain forests also are some of the wettest places on the earth, the Atacama desert in Chile is considered the driest place on earth. There are two landlocked countries in South America: Paraguay and Bolivia are located in the interior of the continent and have neither access to the Atlantic Ocean nor to the Pacific Ocean.