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Awesome Facts on South America We're Sure No One Told You

Facts on South America
South America is made up of twelve countries and covers around 12% of the Earth's landmass. Here are some interesting facts about this continent.
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2018
Quick Snippet
South America map
South America: Fourth largest continent
Discovered By: Amerigo Vespucci
Area: 6,890,000 sq. mi. (17,840,000 sq. km.)
Population: Approx. 415 million
Largest River: The Amazon
Highest Peak: Mt. Aconcagua (6,962 m), located in the Andes
Largest Country: Brazil
Smallest Country: Suriname
Historical Facts
The Ancient Inca Ruins in South America
The Ancient Inca Ruins in South America
~ South America has been a cradle for three great civilizations of the past, namely - The Inca Civilization, The Maya Civilization, and The Aztec Civilization.
~ The Incas were known for their distinct and developed culture. The ruins of the Inca civilization suggest that cities were built with unmatched stonework and constructed with great precision. Historians opine successful brain surgeries were conducted by the Incas.
The Ancient Temple at Chavin de Huantar, Peru
The Ancient Temple at Chavin de Huantar, Peru
~ There is historical evidence to prove that a civilization known as 'Chavin', spanned from 900 BC to 300 BC in South America. Many artifacts have been found at a site called 'Chavin de Huanter' in Peru, at an altitude of 3,177 meters. Trade network and agriculture had developed during the Chavin civilization.
~ The natural resources of South America were exploited by European countries, like Spain and Portugal. Many South American countries were colonies of these European nations.
Geographical Facts
Countries of South America
Countries of South America
There are twelve independent countries in South America:
~ Argentina
~ Bolivia
~ Brazil
~ Chile
~ Colombia
~ Ecuador
~ Guyana
~ Paraguay
~ Peru
~ Suriname
~ Uruguay
~ Venezuela
along with French Guiana - an overseas region of France, and the Falklands of the United Kingdom.
Rainforests of South America
Rainforests of South America
~ The rainforests of South America cover an area of around 2.7 million square miles of the continent.
The Angel Falls, Venezuela
The Angel Falls, Venezuela
~ The Angel Falls in Venezuela is the highest waterfall in the world.
The Atacama desert
The Atacama desert
~ The driest desert in the world is the Atacama desert.
Mount Fitz Roy, The Andes
Mount Fitz Roy, The Andes
~ Snowy mountain peaks and active volcanoes are part of the second largest mountain range of the world - The Andes.
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
~ The largest commercially navigable lake in the world is Lake Titicaca.
Taquarinhas Beach, Brazil
Taquarinhas Beach, Brazil
~ The continent boasts of some world-class beaches - Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Natal (Brazil), Búzios (Brazil), San Andrés Islands (Colombia), Salvador ( Brazil), and Montevideo (Uruguay).
Wildlife Facts
The Rainforests of Amazon
The Rainforests of Amazon
~ The Amazon rainforests are a habitat to around half of the world's species of plants and animals.
~ These rainforests are called the 'Lungs of the Planet', because they produce around 20% of the oxygen on the Earth.
The Andean Condor
The Andean Condor
~ South America is the home of the largest flying bird of prey - the Andean Condor.
Pink Dolphins in the Amazon River
Pink Dolphins in the Amazon River
~ South America is the only continent to have pink dolphins.
The Spectacled Bear of the Andes
The Spectacled Bear of the Andes
~ The spectacled bear is the only bear native to this continent.
Cultural Facts
~ Six out of the seventeen mega-diverse countries are in South America.
Beautiful Church in Peru
Beautiful Church in Peru
~ Christianity is the main religion practiced in South America.
~ The most spoken languages in the continent are Spanish and Portuguese.
The Tango
The Tango
~ Vallenato, Cumbia, Samba, Bossa nova, and Tango are world-class music genres that have originated from this continent.
Famous Personalities
Ernesto Che Guevara
Ernesto Che Guevara
~ South America has produced famous world personalities like Pele (footballer), Diego Maradona (footballer), Ronaldo (footballer) , Romario (footballer), Ernesto Che Guevara (revolutionary), Sonia Braga (Actress), Carlos Gardel (singer), and Ayrton Senna (F1 driver).
~ Other famous sports personalities like João Carlos de Oliveira, Robson Caetano da Silva, Joaquin Cruz and Rogério Sampaio have done South America proud at international levels.
~ Gabriel Jose Garcia Márquez, a South American (Colombian), won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
~ Today, 'The Alchemist' written by Paulo Coelho (Brazil) is one of the most read and translated book all round the world.
~ An English movie produced by a British director Alan William Parker, 'Evita', was based on the life of the first lady of Argentina, Maria Eva Duarte de Perón.
Miscellaneous Facts
~ The chief minerals found in South America are gold, silver, tin, copper, iron ore, and petroleum.
~ Colombia hosted the Pan American Games in the year 1971.
~ The Miss Universe beauty pageant was held in Lima, Peru in 1982.
~ Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), Rapa Nui National Park (Chile), Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia), Central Suriname Nature Reserve (Suriname), Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Paraná, Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (Bolivia), and Jesús de Tavarangue (Paraguay) are declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
~ Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu, Christ The Redeemer, and the Amazon are considered amongst the wonders of the world.
~ Ushuaia in Argentina is the southernmost city in the whole world.
~ Even now, there are about 90% of the plants in the Amazon rainforest that have not been studied by mankind.
Kayaking and Camping
Skateboarder jumping
Sea Kayak
Two Men Climbing A Glacier
Tourists Flying Over Lima
Sand Boarding At Huacachina Oasis
Sandboarding