South America is a
continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, these seven regions are: ...
entirely in the
Western Hemisphere#REDIRECT Western Hemisphere#REDIRECT Western Hemisphere {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
and mostly in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents (Antarctica, Australia, about 90% of South America, one third of Africa, and several islands off the continenta ...
, with a relatively small portion in the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the Earth that is north of the Equator. For other planets in the Solar System, north is defined as being in the same celestial hemisphere relative to the invariable plane of the solar system as Earth's N ...
. It can also be described as a southern
subcontinent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, these seven regions are: ...
of the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with their associated i ...
. The reference to South America instead of other regions (like
Latin America * pt|América Latina|link=no |image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg |area = |population = ( est.) |density = |religions = |demonym = Latin American |countries = 20 |dependencies = 14 |languages = Romance languages Ot ...
or the
Southern Cone The Southern Cone ( es|Cono Sur, pt|Cone Sul) is a geographic and cultural region composed of the southernmost areas of South America, mostly south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Traditionally, it covers Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, bounded on t ...
) has increased in recent decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics (in particular, the rise of Brazil). South America is bordered on the west by the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia ...

Pacific Ocean
and on the north and east by the
Atlantic Ocean#REDIRECT Atlantic Ocean#REDIRECT Atlantic Ocean {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Atlantic Ocean,
North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to ...

North America
and the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es|Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht|Lamè Karayib; jam|Kiaribiyan Sii; nl|Caraïbische Zee; pap|Laman Karibe) is an American mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is b ...
lie to the northwest. The continent generally includes twelve sovereign states:
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es|link=no|República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by ...
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay|Wuliwya ; Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of government and executiv ...
Brazil Brazil ( pt|Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 millio ...
Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile covers an area of and has a population ...
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia (), is a country in South America with territories in North America. Colombia is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, the northwest by Panama, the south by Ecuador and Peru, the east ...

Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar: ''Ecuador'' or ''Ekuatur''), officially the Republic of Ecuador ( es|República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechua: ''Ikwadur Ripuwlika''; Shuar: ''Ekuatur ...

Guyana Guyana (pronounced or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and ...
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es|República del Paraguay|links=no; gn|Tetã Paraguái|links=no), is a country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, a ...
Peru | | image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg | image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg | other_symbol = Great Seal of the State | other_symbol_type = National seal | national_motto ...
Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl|Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana ...

Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt|Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es|República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and nor ...
, and
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es|link=no|República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in the Ca ...
; two
dependent territories A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a sovereign state, yet remains politically outside the controlling state's integral area. A dependent terri ...
: the
Falkland Islands The Falkland Islands (; es|Islas Malvinas, ) is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about east of South America's southern Patagonian coast and about from the northern tip of the A ...
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ) | anthem = "God Save the Queen" | song_type = | song = | image_map = South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in United Kingdom.svg | map_caption = Location of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean | ...
; and one internal territory:
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: Guyane ) is an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France on the northern Atlantic coast of South America in the Guianas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the wes ...
. In addition, the ABC islands of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands ) when they act as Kingdom Ministers, as for example with "Our Minister of Justice in his capacity as Minister of the Kingdom" ( nl|Onze Minister van Justitie in zijn hoedanigheid van minister van het Koninkrijk), except for the Minister of Fore ...
Ascension Island Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island, 7°56′ south of the Equator in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is about from the coast of Africa and from the coast of Brazil. It is governed as part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Hel ...
(dependency of
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic and consisting of the island of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha including Gough Island. Its name was ...
, a
British Overseas Territory The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire and do n ...
Bouvet Island Bouvet Island ( ) is an uninhabited subantarctic volcanic island located in the South Atlantic Ocean at . Politically, it is a dependency of Norway and, because it lies north of the region covered by the Antarctic Treaty System, it is not part ...

Bouvet Island
dependencyDependency, dependent or depend may refer to: Computer science * Dependency (computer science) or coupling, a state in which one object uses a function of another object * Data dependency, which describes a dependence relation between statements ...
Norway Norway ( nb| ; nn| ; se|Norga; smj|Vuodna; sma|Nöörje), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose mainland territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. T ...
Panama Panama ( , ; es|link=no|Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es|República de Panamá), is a transcontinental country in Central America and South America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribb ...
, and
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean and is known for its fossil-fuel wealth. Consisting of the main islands Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous much smalle ...

Trinidad and Tobago
may also be considered parts of South America. South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi). Its population has been estimated at more than million. South America ranks fourth in area (after [[Asia, [[Africa, and [[North America) and [[list of continents by population|fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, [[Europe, and North America). Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Peru. In recent decades, Brazil has also generated half of the continent's GDP and has become the continent's first regional power. Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the [[Patagonia|far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America is dominated by the [[Andes mountains; in contrast, the eastern part contains both highland regions and vast lowlands where rivers such as the [[Amazon River|Amazon, [[Orinoco, and [[Paraná River|Paraná flow. Most of the continent lies in the [[tropics. The continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of [[indigenous peoples of the Americas|indigenous peoples with European [[conquistador|conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with [[Atlantic slave trade|African slaves. Given a long [[European colonization of the Americas|history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak [[Portuguese language|Portuguese or [[Spanish language|Spanish, and societies and states reflect [[Western culture|Western traditions. Relative to Europe, Asia and Africa, 20th-century South America has been a peaceful continent with few wars.


South America occupies the southern portion of the [[Americas. The continent is generally delimited on the northwest by the [[Darién Gap|Darién watershed along the [[Colombia–Panama border, although some may consider the border instead to be the [[Panama Canal. [[Geopolitics|Geopolitically and geographically, all of [[Panama – including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus – is typically included in North America aloneNorth America Atlas
National Geographic
and among the [[Central America#Demographics|countries of Central America. Almost all of mainland South America sits on the [[South American Plate. South America is home to the [[list of waterfalls by height|world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, [[Angel Falls in Venezuela; the highest single drop waterfall [[Kaieteur Falls in [[Guyana; the largest river by volume, the [[Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the [[Andes (whose highest mountain is [[Aconcagua at ); the driest non-polar place on earth, the [[Atacama Desert; the wettest place on earth, [[López de Micay in Colombia; the largest rainforest, the [[Amazon rainforest; the highest capital city, [[La Paz, [[Bolivia; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, [[Lake Titicaca; and, excluding research stations in [[Antarctica, the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, [[Puerto Toro, [[Chile. South America's major [[natural resource|mineral resources are [[gold, [[silver, [[copper, [[iron ore, [[tin, and [[petroleum. These resources found in South America have brought high income to its countries especially in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export [[commodity often has hindered the development of diversified economies. The fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led historically to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states, often causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. Brazil is the largest country in South America, covering approx. 47.3% of the continent's land area and encompassing around half of the continent's population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among four [[Subregion#South America|subregions: the [[Andean states, [[Caribbean South America, [[The Guianas, and the [[Southern Cone.

Outlying islands

Physiographically, South America also includes some of the nearby islands. The [[Kingdom of the Netherlands|Dutch [[ABC islands (Leeward Antilles)|ABC islands ([[Aruba, [[Bonaire, and [[Curaçao), the islands of [[Trinidad and Tobago ([[Trinidad|Trinidad Island and [[Tobago|Tobago Island etc.), the [[Nueva Esparta|State of Nueva Esparta, and the [[Federal Dependencies of Venezuela sit on the northern portion of the South American [[continental shelf and are sometimes considered parts of the continent. Geopolitically, all the island countries and territories in the [[Caribbean have generally been grouped as a [[Subregion#North America|subregion of North America instead. By contrast, [[Isla de Aves|Aves Island (administered by [[Venezuela) and the [[Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina ([[San Andrés (island)|San Andrés Island, [[Providencia Island, Colombia|Providencia Island, and [[Santa Catalina Island (Colombia)|Santa Catalina Island etc., which are administered by [[Colombia) are politically parts of South American countries but physiographically parts of North America. Other islands often associated with South America are the [[Chiloé Archipelago and [[Robinson Crusoe Island (both administered by Chile), [[Easter Island (generally considered a part of [[Oceania, also administered by [[Chile), the [[Galápagos Islands (administered by [[Ecuador), and [[Tierra del Fuego (split between Argentina and Chile). In the Atlantic Ocean, [[Brazil administers [[Fernando de Noronha, [[Trindade and Martim Vaz, and the [[Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the [[Falkland Islands ( es|Islas Malvinas) and [[South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ([[Antarctic realm|biographically and [[Antarctic Convergence|hydrologically associated with Antarctica) have been administered as two [[British Overseas Territories under [[The Crown, whose sovereignty over the islands is [[Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute|disputed by [[Argentina.

Special cases

An isolated [[high island|volcanic island on the [[South American Plate, [[Ascension Island is geologically a part of South America. Administered as a dependency of [[Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the island is geopolitically [[United Nations geoscheme for Africa#Western Africa|a part of [[Africa. An uninhabited [[subantarctic|sub-Antarctic volcanic island located in the [[Atlantic Ocean|South Atlantic Ocean, [[Bouvet Island (administered by [[Norway) is [[List of Antarctic and Subantarctic islands#List of Antarctic islands north of 60° S|geographically, [[Antarctic Plate|geologically, [[Antarctic realm|biographically, and [[Antarctic Convergence|hydrologically associated with [[Antarctica, but the [[United Nations geoscheme for the Americas#South America|United Nations geoscheme has included the territory in South America instead.


The distribution of the average temperatures in the region presents a constant regularity from the [[30th parallel south|30° of latitude south, when the isotherms tend, more and more, to be confused with the degrees of latitude.O CLIMA. In: ''Atlas Mundial''. São Paulo: Cia. Melhoramentos de São Paulo, 1999, pp. 20–21 In temperate latitudes, [[winters and [[summers are milder than in North America. This is because the most extensive part of the continent is in the equatorial zone (the region has more areas of equatorial plains than any other region.), therefore giving the [[Southern Cone more oceanic influence, which moderates year round temperatures. The average annual temperatures in the Amazon basin oscillate around , with low thermal amplitudes and high [[rainfall indices. Between the [[Maracaibo Lake and the mouth of the Orinoco, predominates an [[tropical rainforest climate|equatorial climate of the type Congolese, that also includes parts of the Brazilian territory. The east-central Brazilian plateau has a humid and warm tropical climate. The northern and eastern parts of the Argentine pampas have a [[subtropics|humid subtropical climate with dry winters and humid summers of the Chinese type, while the western and eastern ranges have a subtropical climate of the dinaric type. At the highest points of the Andean region, climates are colder than the ones occurring at the highest point of the Norwegian fjords. In the Andean plateaus, the warm climate prevails, although it is tempered by the altitude, while in the coastal strip, there is an equatorial climate of the Guinean type. From this point until the north of the Chilean coast appear, successively, [[Mediterranean climate|Mediterranean oceanic climate, temperate of the Breton type and, already in [[Tierra del Fuego, cold climate of the Siberian type. The distribution of rainfall is related to the regime of winds and air masses. In most of the [[tropics|tropical region east of the Andes, winds blowing from the northeast, east and southeast carry moisture from the Atlantic, causing abundant rainfall. However, due to a consistently strong [[wind shear and a weak [[Intertropical Convergence Zone, [[South Atlantic tropical cyclones are rare. In the [[Llanos|Orinoco Llanos and in the [[The Guianas|Guianas Plateau, the precipitation levels go from moderate to high. The Pacific coast of Colombia and northern Ecuador are rainy regions, with [[El Chocó|Chocó in Colombia being the most rainy place in the world along with the northern slopes of Indian Himalayas. The Atacama Desert, along this stretch of coast, is one of the driest regions in the world. The central and southern parts of Chile are subject to [[extratropical cyclones, and most of the Argentine [[Patagonia is [[desert. In the [[Pampas of Argentina, Uruguay and South of Brazil the rainfall is moderate, with rains well distributed during the year. The moderately dry conditions of the Chaco oppose the intense rainfall of the eastern region of Paraguay. In the [[semi-arid climate|semiarid coast of the Brazilian Northeast the rains are linked to a monsoon regime. Important factors in the determination of climates are sea currents, such as the current Humboldt and [[Falklands. The equatorial current of the South Atlantic strikes the coast of the Northeast and there is divided into two others: the current of Brazil and a coastal current that flows to the northwest towards the [[Antilles, where there it moves towards northeast course thus forming the most Important and famous ocean current in the world, the [[Gulf Stream.


South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on Earth. South America is home to many unique species of animals including the [[llama, [[anaconda, [[piranha, [[jaguar, [[vicuña, and [[tapir. The Amazon rainforests possess high [[biodiversity, containing a major proportion of Earth's [[species.



South America is believed to have been joined with Africa from the late [[Paleozoic Era to the early [[Mesozoic Era, until the [[supercontinent [[Pangaea began to rift and break apart about 225 million years ago. Therefore, South America and Africa share similar fossils and rock layers. South America is thought to have been first inhabited by humans when people were crossing the [[Beringia|Bering Land Bridge (now the [[Bering Strait) at least 15,000 years ago from the territory that is present-day Russia. They migrated south through North America, and eventually reached South America through the [[Isthmus of Panama. The first evidence for the existence of the human race in South America dates back to about 9000 BC, when [[Squash (plant)|squashes, [[chili peppers and [[beans began to be cultivated for food in the highlands of the [[Amazon Basin. Pottery evidence further suggests that [[manioc, which remains a [[staple food today, was being cultivated as early as 2000 BC.O'Brien, Patrick. (General Editor). Oxford Atlas of World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. p. 25 By 2000 BC, many [[agrarian society|agrarian communities had been settled throughout the [[Andes and the surrounding regions. Fishing became a widespread practice along the coast, helping establish fish as a primary source of food. Irrigation systems were also developed at this time, which aided in the rise of an [[agrarian society. South American cultures began domesticating [[llamas, [[vicuñas, [[guanacos, and [[alpacas in the highlands of the Andes circa 3500 BC. Besides their use as sources of meat and wool, these animals were used for transportation of goods.

Pre-Columbian civilizations

The rise of plant growing and the subsequent appearance of permanent human settlements allowed for the multiple and overlapping beginnings of civilizations in South America. One of the earliest known South American civilizations was at [[Norte Chico civilization|Norte Chico, on the central [[Peruvian coast. Though a pre-ceramic culture, the monumental architecture of Norte Chico is contemporaneous with the pyramids of [[Ancient Egypt. Norte Chico governing class established a trade network and developed agriculture then followed by [[Chavin culture|Chavín by 900 BC, according to some estimates and archaeological finds. Artifacts were found at a site called [[Chavín de Huantar in modern Peru at an elevation of . Chavín civilization spanned 900 BC to 300 BC. In the central coast of Peru, around the beginning of the 1st millennium AD, [[Moche (culture)|Moche (100 BC – 700 AD, at the northern coast of Peru), [[Paracas culture|Paracas and [[Nazca culture|Nazca (400 BC – 800 AD, Peru) cultures flourished with centralized states with permanent militia improving agriculture through [[irrigation and new styles of ceramic art. At the [[Altiplano, Tiahuanaco or [[Tiwanaku (100 BC – 1200 AD, Bolivia) managed a large commercial network based on religion. Around the 7th century, both Tiahuanaco and Wari or [[Wari culture|Huari Empire (600–1200, Central and northern Peru) expanded its influence to all the Andean region, imposing the Huari urbanism and Tiahuanaco religious iconography. The [[Muisca people|Muisca were the main indigenous civilization in what is now Colombia. They established the [[Muisca Confederation of many clans, or ''[[cacique|cacicazgos'', that had a free trade network among themselves. They were goldsmiths and farmers. Other important Pre-Columbian cultures include: the [[Cañaris (in south central Ecuador), [[Chimú Empire (1300–1470, Peruvian northern coast), [[Chachapoyas culture|Chachapoyas, and the Aymaran kingdoms (1000–1450, Western Bolivia and southern Peru). Holding their capital at the great city of [[Cusco, the [[Inca civilization dominated the Andes region from 1438 to 1533. Known as ''Tawantin suyu'', and "the land of the four regions," in [[Quechua languages|Quechua, the [[Inca Empire was highly distinct and developed. Inca rule extended to nearly a hundred linguistic or ethnic communities, some nine to fourteen million people connected by a 25,000 kilometer [[Inca road system|road system. Cities were built with precise, unmatched stonework, constructed over many levels of mountain terrain. [[Terrace farming was a useful form of agriculture. The [[Mapuche in Central and Southern Chile resisted the European and Chilean settlers, waging the [[Arauco War for more than 300 years.

European colonization

In 1494, [[Portugal and [[Spain, the two great maritime European powers of that time, on the expectation of new lands being discovered in the west, signed the [[Treaty of Tordesillas, by which they agreed, with the support of the Pope, that all the land outside Europe should be an exclusive [[duopoly between the two countries. The treaty established an imaginary line along a north–south [[meridian (geography)|meridian 370 [[league (unit)|leagues west of the [[Cape Verde Islands, roughly 46° 37' W. In terms of the treaty, all land to the west of the line (known to comprise most of the South American soil) would belong to Spain, and all land to the east, to Portugal. As accurate measurements of [[longitude were impossible at that time, the line was not strictly enforced, resulting in a [[Portuguese colonization of the Americas|Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian. Beginning in the 1530s, the people and natural resources of South America were repeatedly exploited by foreign [[conquistadors, first from Spain and later from Portugal. These competing colonial nations claimed the land and resources as their own and divided it into colonies. European infectious diseases ([[smallpox, [[influenza, [[measles, and [[typhus) – to which the [[Indigenous peoples of the Americas|native populations had no immune resistance – caused large-scale depopulation of the native population under Spanish control. Systems of forced labor, such as the [[haciendas and mining industry's [[Mita (Inca)|mit'a also contributed to the depopulation. After this, African [[Slavery|slaves, who had developed immunities to these diseases, were quickly brought in to replace them. , Suriname. in 1823. The Spaniards were committed to converting their native subjects to [[Christianity and were quick to purge any native cultural practices that hindered this end; however, many initial attempts at this were only partially successful, as native groups simply blended [[Catholicism with their established beliefs and practices. Furthermore, the Spaniards brought their language to the degree they did with their religion, although the [[Roman Catholic Church's evangelization in [[Quechua language|Quechua, [[Aymara language|Aymara, and [[Guaraní language|Guaraní actually contributed to the continuous use of these native languages albeit only in the oral form. Eventually, the [[Indigenous peoples of the Americas|natives and the Spaniards interbred, forming a [[mestizo class. At the beginning, many mestizos of the Andean region were offspring of Amerindian mothers and Spanish fathers. After independence, most mestizos had native fathers and European or mestizo mothers. Many native artworks were considered pagan idols and destroyed by Spanish explorers; this included many gold and silver sculptures and other artifacts found in South America, which were melted down before their transport to Spain or Portugal. Spaniards and Portuguese brought the western European architectural style to the continent, and helped to improve infrastructures like bridges, roads, and the sewer system of the cities they discovered or conquered. They also significantly increased economic and trade relations, not just between the old and new world but between the different South American regions and peoples. Finally, with the expansion of the Portuguese and Spanish languages, many cultures that were previously separated became united through that of Latin American. [[Guyana was first a Dutch, and then a [[British Empire|British colony, though there was a brief period during the Napoleonic Wars when it was colonized by the French. The country was once partitioned into three parts, each being controlled by one of the colonial powers until the country was finally taken over fully by the British. Suriname was first explored by the Spanish in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century. It became a Dutch colony in 1667.

Slavery in South America

The indigenous peoples of the Americas in various European colonies were forced to work in European plantations and mines; along with African slaves who were also introduced in the proceeding centuries. The colonists were heavily dependent on indigenous labor during the initial phases of European settlement to maintain the subsistence economy, and natives were often captured by expeditions. The importation of African slaves began midway through the 16th century, but the enslavement of indigenous peoples continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries. The [[Atlantic slave trade brought African slaves primarily to South American colonies, beginning with the Portuguese since 1502. The main destinations of this phase were the [[Caribbean colonies and [[Brazil, as European nations built up economically slave-dependent colonies in the [[New World. Nearly 40% of all African slaves trafficked to the Americas went to Brazil. An estimated 4.9 million slaves from Africa came to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866. While the Portuguese, English, French and Dutch settlers enslaved mainly African blacks, the Spaniards became very disposed of the natives. In 1750 Portugal abolished native slavery in the colonies because they considered them unfit for labour and began to import even more African slaves. Slaves were brought to the mainland on [[slave ships, under inhuman conditions and ill-treatment, and those who survived were sold into the slave markets. After independence, all South American countries maintained slavery for some time. The first South American country to abolish slavery was Chile in 1823, Uruguay in 1830, Bolivia in 1831, Colombia and Ecuador in 1851, Argentina in 1853, Peru and Venezuela in 1854, Suriname in 1863, Paraguay in 1869, and in 1888 Brazil was the last South American nation and the last country in [[western world to abolish slavery.

Independence from Spain and Portugal

The European [[Peninsular War (1807–1814), a theater of the [[Napoleonic Wars, changed the political situation of both the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. First, Napoleon invaded Portugal, but the [[House of Braganza avoided capture by [[Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil|escaping to Brazil. Napoleon also captured King [[Ferdinand VII of Spain, and appointed his own brother instead. This appointment provoked severe popular resistance, which created [[Junta (Peninsular War)|Juntas to rule in the name of the captured king. between [[José de San Martín and [[Simón Bolívar as 1st [[Emperor of Brazil Many cities in the Spanish colonies, however, considered themselves equally authorized to appoint local Juntas like those of Spain. This began the [[Spanish American wars of independence between the patriots, who promoted such autonomy, and the [[Royalist (Spanish American Revolution)|royalists, who supported Spanish authority over the Americas. The Juntas, in both Spain and the Americas, promoted the ideas of the [[Age of Enlightenment|Enlightenment. Five years after the beginning of the war, Ferdinand VII returned to the throne and began the [[Absolutist Restoration as the royalists got the upper hand in the conflict. The independence of South America was secured by [[Simón Bolívar (Venezuela) and [[José de San Martín (Argentina), the two most important ''[[Libertadores''. Bolívar led a great uprising in the north, then led his army southward towards [[Lima, the capital of the [[Viceroyalty of Peru. Meanwhile, San Martín led an army across the Andes Mountains, along with Chilean expatriates, and liberated Chile. He organized a fleet to reach Peru by sea, and sought the military support of various rebels from the Viceroyalty of Peru. The two armies finally met in Guayaquil, [[Ecuador, where they cornered the Royal Army of the Spanish Crown and forced its surrender. In the [[United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves|Portuguese Kingdom of Brazil, [[Dom Pedro I (also Pedro IV of Portugal), son of the Portuguese King [[Dom João VI, proclaimed the independent [[Kingdom of Brazil in 1822, which later became the [[Empire of Brazil. Despite the Portuguese loyalties of garrisons in [[Bahia, [[Cisplatine Province|Cisplatina and [[Pará, independence was diplomatically accepted by the crown in Portugal in 1825, on condition of a high compensation paid by Brazil mediatized by the [[United Kingdom.

Nation-building and fragmentation

The newly independent nations began a process of fragmentation, with several civil and international wars. However, it was not as strong as in Central America. Some countries created from provinces of larger countries stayed as such up to modern times (such as Paraguay or Uruguay), while others were reconquered and reincorporated into their former countries (such as the [[Republic of Entre Ríos and the [[Riograndense Republic). The first separatist attempt was in 1820 by the Argentine province of [[Entre Ríos Province|Entre Ríos, led by a [[caudillo. In spite of the "Republic" in its title, [[Francisco Ramírez (governor)|General Ramírez, its caudillo, never really intended to declare an independent Entre Rios. Rather, he was making a political statement in opposition to the monarchist and centralist ideas that back then permeated [[Buenos Aires politics. The "country" was reincorporated at the United Provinces in 1821. In 1825 the [[Cisplatine Province declared its independence from the [[Empire of Brazil, which led to the [[Cisplatine War between the imperials and the Argentine from the [[United Provinces of the Río de la Plata to control the region. Three years later, the [[United Kingdom intervened in the question by proclaiming a tie and creating in the former Cisplatina a new independent country: The [[Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Later in 1836, while Brazil was experiencing the chaos of the regency, [[Rio Grande do Sul [[Ragamuffin War|proclaimed its independence motivated by a tax crisis. With the anticipation of the coronation of [[Pedro II of Brazil|Pedro II to the throne of Brazil, the country could stabilize and fight the separatists, which the province of [[Santa Catarina (state)|Santa Catarina had joined in 1839. The Conflict came to an end by a process of compromise by which both [[Riograndense Republic and [[Juliana Republic were reincorporated as provinces in 1845. The [[Peru–Bolivian Confederation, a short-lived union of Peru and Bolivia, was blocked by Chile in the [[War of the Confederation (1836–1839) and again during the [[War of the Pacific (1879–1883). Paraguay was virtually destroyed by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in the [[Paraguayan War.

Wars and conflicts

Despite the [[Spanish American wars of independence and the [[War of Independence of Brazil|Brazilian War of Independence, the new nations quickly began to suffer with internal conflicts and wars among themselves. Most of the 1810 borders countries had initially accepted on the ''uti possidetis iuris'' principle had by 1848 either been altered by war or were constested. In 1825 the proclamation of independence of Cisplatina led to the [[Cisplatine War between historical rivals the [[Empire of Brazil and the [[United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, Argentina's predecessor. The result was a stalemate, ending with the British arranging for the independence of Uruguay. Soon after, another Brazilian province proclaimed its independence leading to the [[Ragamuffin War which Brazil won. Between 1836 and 1839 the [[War of the Confederation broke out between the short-lived [[Peru-Bolivian Confederation and [[Chile, with the support of the [[Argentine Confederation. The war was fought mostly in the actual territory of [[Peru and ended with a Confederate defeat and the dissolution of the Confederacy and annexation of many territories by Argentina. Meanwhile, the [[Argentine Civil Wars plagued Argentina since its independence. The conflict was mainly between those who defended the centralization of power in Buenos Aires and those who defended a confederation. During this period it can be said that "there were two Argentines": the [[Argentine Confederation and the [[Argentine Republic. At the same time the political instability in Uruguay led to the [[Uruguayan Civil War among the main political factions of the country. All this instability in the [[Río de la Plata Basin|platine region interfered with the goals of other countries such as Brazil, which was soon forced to take sides. In 1851 the [[Brazilian Empire, supporting the centralizing unitarians, and the [[Uruguay|Uruguayan government invaded Argentina and deposed the caudillo, [[Juan Manuel Rosas, who ruled the confederation with an iron hand. Although the [[Platine War did not put an end to the political chaos and civil war in Argentina, it brought temporary peace to Uruguay where the [[Colorado Party (Uruguay)|Colorados faction won, supported by the [[Brazilian Empire, [[British Empire, [[Second French Empire|French Empire and the [[Unitarian Party of Argentina. Peace lasted only a short time: in 1864 the Uruguayan factions faced each other again in the [[Uruguayan War. The [[National Party (Uruguay)|Blancos supported by Paraguay started to attack Brazilian and Argentine farmers near the borders. The Empire made an initial attempt to settle the dispute between Blancos and Colorados without success. In 1864, after a Brazilian ultimatum was refused, the imperial government declared that Brazil's military would begin reprisals. Brazil declined to acknowledge a formal state of war, and, for most of its duration, the Uruguayan–Brazilian armed conflict was an undeclared war which led to the deposition of the ''Blancos'' and the rise of the pro-Brazilian ''Colorados'' to power again. This angered the Paraguayan government, which even before the end of the war invaded Brazil, beginning the biggest and deadliest war in both South American and Latin American histories: the Paraguayan War. The Paraguayan War began when the Paraguayan dictator [[Francisco Solano López ordered the invasion of the Brazilian provinces of [[Mato Grosso and [[Rio Grande do Sul. His attempt to cross Argentinian territory without Argentinian approval led the pro-Brazilian Argentine government into the war. The pro-Brazilian Uruguayan government showed its support by sending troops. In 1865 the three countries signed the [[Treaty of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay. At the beginning of the war, the Paraguayans took the lead with several victories, until the Triple Alliance organized to repel the invaders and fight effectively. This was the second [[total war experience in the world after the [[American Civil War. It was deemed the greatest war effort in the history of all participating countries, taking almost 6 years and ending with the complete devastation of Paraguay. The country lost 40% of its territory to Brazil and Argentina and lost 60% of its population, including 90% of the men. The dictator Lopez was killed in battle and a new government was instituted in alliance with Brazil, which maintained occupation forces in the country until 1876. The last South American war in the 19th century was the [[War of the Pacific with Bolivia and Peru on one side and Chile on the other. In 1879 the war began with Chilean troops occupying Bolivian ports, followed by Bolivia declaring war on Chile which activated an alliance treaty with Peru. The Bolivians were completely defeated in 1880 and Lima was occupied in 1881. The peace was signed with Peru in 1883 while a truce was signed with Bolivia in 1884. Chile annexed territories of both countries leaving Bolivia with no path to the sea. In the new century, as wars became less violent and less frequent, Brazil entered into a small conflict with Bolivia for the possession of the Acre, which was acquired by Brazil in 1902. In 1917 Brazil declared war on the [[Central Powers, joined the allied side in [[World War I and sent a small fleet to the [[Mediterranean Sea and some troops to be integrated with the British and French forces. Brazil was the only South American country that fought in WWI. Later in 1932 Colombia and Peru entered a [[Leticia Incident|short armed conflict for territory in the Amazon. In the same year Paraguay declared [[Chaco War|war on Bolivia for possession of the Chaco, in a conflict that ended three years later with Paraguay's victory. Between 1941 and 1942 Peru and Ecuador [[Ecuadorian–Peruvian War|fought decisively for territories claimed by both that were annexed by Peru, usurping Ecuador's frontier with Brazil. Also in this period the first naval battle of [[World War II was fought on the continent, in the [[Battle of the River Plate|River Plate, between British forces and German submarines. The Germans still made numerous attacks on Brazilian ships on the coast, causing Brazil to declare war on the [[Axis powers in 1942, being the only South American country to fight in this war (and in both World Wars). Brazil sent naval and air forces to [[Battle of the Atlantic|combat German and Italian submarines off the continent and throughout the South Atlantic, in addition to sending an [[Brazilian Expeditionary Force|expeditionary force to fight in the [[Italian Campaign (World War II)|Italian Campaign.Maximiano, Cesar. with Bonalume, Ricardo N. & Bujeiro, Ramiro
''Brazilian Expeditionary Force in World War II''
Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2011. (Print version).
A brief war was fought between Argentina and the UK in 1982, following an Argentine invasion of the [[Falkland Islands, which ended with an Argentine defeat. The last international war to be fought on South American soil was the 1995 [[Cenepa War between Ecuador and the Peru along their mutual border.

Rise and fall of military dictatorships

Wars became less frequent in the 20th century, with Bolivia-Paraguay and Peru-Ecuador fighting the last inter-state wars. Early in the 20th century, the [[ABC countries|three wealthiest South American countries engaged in [[South American dreadnought race|a vastly expensive naval arms race which began after the introduction of a new warship type, the "[[dreadnought". At one point, the Argentine government was spending a fifth of its entire yearly budget for just two dreadnoughts, a price that did not include later in-service costs, which for the Brazilian dreadnoughts was sixty percent of the initial purchase. The continent became a battlefield of the [[Cold War in the late 20th century. Some democratically elected governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay were overthrown or displaced by military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s. To curtail opposition, their governments detained tens of thousands of [[political prisoners, many of whom were tortured and/or killed on [[Operation Condor|inter-state collaboration. Economically, they began a transition to [[neoliberal economic policies. They placed their own actions within the US Cold War doctrine of "National Security" against internal subversion. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Peru suffered from [[Internal conflict in Peru|an internal conflict. In 1982, Argentina invaded the [[Falklands War|Falkland Islands, a British [[British Overseas Territories|dependent territory. The [[Falklands War began and 74 days later [[Argentine surrender in the Falklands War|Argentine forces surrendered. Colombia has had an ongoing, though diminished internal conflict, which started in 1964 with the creation of [[Marxism|Marxist [[guerrilla warfare|guerrillas (FARC-EP) and then involved several illegal armed groups of leftist-leaning ideology as well as the private armies of powerful drug lords. Many of these are now defunct, and only a small portion of the ELN remains, along with the stronger, though also greatly reduced, FARC. Revolutionary movements and right-wing military dictatorships became common after [[World War II, but since the 1980s, a wave of democratization passed through the continent, and democratic rule is widespread now. Nonetheless, allegations of corruption are still very common, and several countries have developed crises which have forced the resignation of their governments, although, on most occasions, regular civilian succession has continued. [[Debt of developing countries|International indebtedness turned into a severe problem in the late 1980s, and some countries, despite having strong democracies, have not yet developed political institutions capable of handling such crises without resorting to unorthodox economic policies, as most recently illustrated by Argentina's [[Argentine economic crisis (1999-2002)|default in the early 21st century. The last twenty years have seen an increased push towards [[Integration of Latin America|regional integration, with the creation of uniquely South American institutions such as the [[Andean Community, [[Mercosur and [[Unasur. Notably, starting with the election of [[Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 1998, the region experienced what has been termed a [[pink tide – the election of several leftist and center-left administrations to most countries of the area, except for the Guianas and Colombia.

Countries and territories

Government and politics

Historically, the Hispanic countries were founded as Republican dictatorships led by [[caudillos. [[Brazil was the only exception, being a [[constitutional monarchy for its first 67 years of independence, until a [[coup d'état proclaimed a republic. In the late 19th century, the most democratic countries were [[Empire of Brazil|Brazil, [[History of Chile during the Parliamentary Era (1891–1925)|Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. All South American countries are [[presidential republics with the exception of [[Suriname, a [[parliamentary republic. [[French Guiana is a [[French overseas department, while the [[Falkland Islands and [[South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are British overseas territories. It is currently the only inhabited continent in the world without [[monarchies; the [[Empire of Brazil existed during the 19th century and there was an unsuccessful attempt to establish a [[Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia in southern Argentina and Chile. Also in the twentieth century, [[Suriname (Kingdom of the Netherlands)|Suriname was established as a constituent kingdom of the [[Kingdom of the Netherlands and [[Guyana (1966–1970)|Guyana retained the [[British monarch as [[head of state for 4 years after its independence. Recently, an intergovernmental entity has been formed which aims to merge the two existing customs unions: [[Mercosur and the [[Andean Community, thus forming the third-largest trade bloc in the world. This new political organization, known as [[Union of South American Nations, seeks to establish free movement of people, economic development, a common defense policy and the elimination of [[tariffs.


South America has a population of over 428 million people.There are several areas of sparse demographics such as [[tropical forests, the [[Atacama Desert and the icy portions of [[Patagonia. On the other hand, the continent presents regions of high population density, such as the great urban centers. The population is formed by descendants of Europeans (mainly [[Spaniards, [[Portuguese people|Portuguese and [[Italians), [[Africans and [[Amerindians. There is a high percentage of [[Mestizos that vary greatly in composition by place. There is also a minor population of [[Asians, especially in [[Brazil, [[Peru, and [[Argentina. The two main languages are by far Spanish and Portuguese, followed by English, French and Dutch in smaller numbers.


[[Spanish language|Spanish and [[Portuguese language|Portuguese are the most spoken languages in South America, with approximately 200 million speakers each. Spanish is the official language of most countries, along with other native languages in some countries. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. [[Dutch language|Dutch is the official language of [[Suriname; [[English language|English is the official language of [[Guyana, although there are at least twelve other languages spoken in the country, including [[Portuguese language|Portuguese, [[Chinese language|Chinese, [[Caribbean Hindustani|Hindustani and several native languages. English is also spoken in the [[Falkland Islands. [[French language|French is the official language of [[French Guiana and the second language in [[Amapá, Brazil. [[Indigenous languages of the Americas|Indigenous languages of South America include [[Quechua languages|Quechua in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia; [[Wayuunaiki in northern Colombia ([[La Guajira) and northwestern Venezuela ([[Zulia); [[Guarani language|Guaraní in Paraguay and, to a much lesser extent, in Bolivia; [[Aymara language|Aymara in Bolivia, Peru, and less often in Chile; and [[Mapudungun is spoken in certain pockets of southern Chile. At least three South American indigenous languages (Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani) are recognized along with Spanish as national languages. Other languages found in South America include [[Caribbean Hindustani|Hindustani and [[Javanese language|Javanese in Suriname; [[Italian language|Italian in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela; and [[German language|German in certain pockets of Argentina and Brazil. German is also spoken in many regions of the southern states of Brazil, [[Riograndenser Hunsrückisch being the most widely spoken German dialect in the country; among other Germanic dialects, a Brazilian form of [[East Pomeranian dialect|East Pomeranian is also well represented and is experiencing a revival. [[Welsh language|Welsh remains spoken and written in the historic towns of [[Trelew and [[Rawson, Chubut|Rawson in the Argentine [[Patagonia. There are also small clusters of [[Japanese language|Japanese-speakers in Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Arabic speakers, often of [[Lebanese people|Lebanese, [[Syrian people|Syrian, or [[Palestinian people|Palestinian descent, can be found in Arab communities in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and in Paraguay.


An estimated 90% of South Americans are [[Christians (82% [[Roman Catholic, 8% other Christian denominations mainly traditional [[Protestants and [[Evangelicals but also [[Orthodoxy|Orthodox), accounting for c. 19% of Christians worldwide. African descendent religions and Indigenous religions are also common throughout all South America, some examples of are [[Santo Daime, [[Candomblé, [[Umbanda and [[Encantados. [[Crypto-Jews or [[Marranos, [[conversos, and [[Anusim were an important part of colonial life in Latin America. Both Buenos Aires, Argentina and São Paulo, Brazil figure among the largest [[Jewish population by urban areas|Jewish populations by urban area. [[East Asian religions such as [[Japanese Buddhism, [[Shintoism, and [[Shinto|Shinto-derived [[Japanese New Religions are common in Brazil and Peru. [[Korean Confucianism is especially found in Brazil while [[Chinese Buddhism and [[Confucianism|Chinese Confucianism have spread throughout the continent. [[Kardecism|Kardecist Spiritism can be found in several countries. [[Hinduism|Hindus form 25% of the Guyanese population and 22% of Suriname's. Muslims account for 6.8% of the Guyanese population and 13.9 of the Surinamese population. Almost all Muslims in Suriname are either Javanese or Indians and in Guyana, most are Indian. Part of Religions in South America (2013):

Ethnic demographics

Genetic admixture occurs at very high levels in South America. In Argentina, the European influence accounts for 65–79% of the genetic background, Amerindian for 17–31% and sub-Saharan African for 2–4%. In Colombia, the sub-Saharan African genetic background varied from 1% to 89%, while the European genetic background varied from 20% to 79%, depending on the region. In Peru, European ancestries ranged from 1% to 31%, while the African contribution was only 1% to 3%. The Genographic Project determined the average Peruvian from Lima had about 28% European ancestry, 68% Native American, 2% Asian ancestry and 2% sub-Saharan African. Descendants of [[Indigenous peoples of South America|indigenous peoples, such as the [[Quechuas|Quechua and [[Aymara people|Aymara, or the [[Urarina of Amazonia make up the majority of the population in Bolivia (56%) and Peru (44%). In Ecuador, Amerindians are a large minority that comprises two-fifths of the population. The native European population is also a significant element in most other former Portuguese colonies. People who identify as of primarily or totally [[light skinned people|European descent, or identify their [[phenotype as corresponding to such group, are more of a majority in Argentina, and Uruguay and more than half of the population of [[Demographics of Chile|Chile (64.7%) and (48.4%) in Brazil. In Venezuela, according to the national census 42% of the population is primarily native Spanish, Italian and Portuguese descendants. In Colombia, people who identify as European descendant are about 37%. In Peru, European descendants are the third group in number (15%). [[Mestizos (mixed European and Amerindian) are the largest ethnic group in Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, ColombiaBushnell, David & Rex A. Hudson (2010)
The Society and Its Environment
; ''Colombia: a country study'': 87. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.
and Ecuador and the second group in Peru and Chile. South America is also home to one of the largest populations of [[Ethnic groups of Africa|Africans. This group is significantly present in Brazil, Colombia, [[Guyana, [[Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela and Ecuador. Brazil followed by Peru have the largest [[Japanese, [[Korean and [[China|Chinese communities in South America, Lima has the largest ethnic Chinese community in Latin America. Guyana and Suriname have the largest ethnic [[India|East Indian community.

Indigenous people

In many places indigenous people still practice a traditional lifestyle based on subsistence agriculture or as hunter-gatherers. There are still some [[uncontacted people|uncontacted tribes residing in the Amazon Rainforest. * [[Aguarunas * [[Alacalufe * [[Arawaks * [[Ashanincas * [[Atacameños * [[Awá-Guajá people|Awá * [[Aymara people|Aymara – live in the [[Altiplano of [[Bolivia, [[Chile and [[Peru. Their language is co-official in [[Bolivia and [[Peru. Traditional lifestyle includes llama herding. * [[Banawá people|Banawa * [[Cañaris * [[Caiapos * [[Chibcha * [[Cocama language|Cocama * [[Chayahuita * [[Diaguita * [[Enxet * [[Ge (people)|Gê, * [[Guarani people|Guaraní – live in Paraguay where the [[Guarani language is co-official with Spanish. The ethnic group is also found in Bolivia. * [[Juris * [[Kuna (people)|Kuna live on the [[Colombia–[[Panama border. * [[Mapuche – live mainly in southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. * [[Matsés * [[Pehuenche – a branch of Mapuches that lived in the Andean valleys of southern (see [[Araucanian). * [[Quechuas – make up a large part of the population of Peru and Bolivia. Are diverse as an ethnic group. The Incas spoke [[Southern Quechua. * [[Selknam * [[Shipibo * [[Shuar people|Shuar (see [[Jivaroan peoples|Jívaro). * [[Tupi people|Tupi * [[Urarina * [[Wai-Wai people|Wai-Wai * [[Wayuu * [[Xukuru people|Xucuru * [[Yaghan people|Yaghan * [[Yagua people|Yagua * [[Yąnomamö * [[Zaparos


The most populous country in South America is Brazil with million people. The second largest country is Colombia with a population of . Argentina is the third most populous country with . While Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia maintain the largest populations, large city populations are not restricted to those nations. The largest cities in South America, by far, are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, and Bogotá. These cities are the only cities on the continent to exceed eight million, and three of five in the [[Americas. Next in size are Caracas, Belo Horizonte, Medellin and Salvador. Five of the [[List of metropolitan areas in the Americas|top ten metropolitan areas are in Brazil. These metropolitan areas all have a population of above 4 million and include the [[Greater São Paulo|São Paulo metropolitan area, [[Greater Rio de Janeiro|Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, and [[Greater Belo Horizonte|Belo Horizonte metropolitan area. Whilst the majority of the largest metropolitan areas are within Brazil, Argentina is host to the second largest metropolitan area by population in South America: the [[Greater Buenos Aires|Buenos Aires metropolitan region is above 13 million inhabitants. South America has also been witness to the growth of [[Megalopolis|megapolitan areas. In Brazil four megaregions exist including the [[Expanded Metropolitan Complex of São Paulo with more than 32 million inhabitants. The others are the Greater Rio, Greater Belo Horizonte and [[Greater Porto Alegre. Colombia also has four megaregions which comprise 72% of its population, followed by Venezuela, Argentina and Peru which are also homes of megaregions. The top ten largest South American metropolitan areas by population as of 2015, based on national census numbers from each country: 2015 Census figures.


is the second biggest in the [[Americas and 13th in the world. South America relies less on the export of both manufactured goods and natural resources than the world average; merchandise exports from the continent were 16% of GDP on an [[nominal GDP|exchange rate basis, compared to 25% for the world as a whole. Brazil (the seventh largest economy in the world and the largest in South America) leads [[List of countries by exports|in terms of merchandise exports at $251 billion, followed by Venezuela at $93 billion, Chile at $86 billion, and Argentina at $84 billion. Since 1930, the continent has experienced remarkable growth and diversification in most economic sectors. Most agricultural and livestock products are destined for the domestic market and local consumption. However, the export of [[agriculture|agricultural products is essential for the [[balance of trade in most countries.O Sistema Econômico / América do Sul. In: ''Atlas Mundial''. São Paulo: Cia. Melhoramentos de São Paulo, 1999, pp. 26–27, 88–107 The main agrarian crops are export crops, such as [[soy and [[wheat. The production of staple foods such as vegetables, corn or beans is large, but focused on domestic consumption. Livestock raising for meat exports is important in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Colombia. In tropical regions the most important crops are [[coffee, [[cocoa bean|cocoa and [[bananas, mainly in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. Traditionally, the countries producing [[sugar for export are Peru, Guyana and Suriname, and in Brazil, [[sugar cane is also used to make [[ethanol. On the coast of Peru, northeast and south of Brazil, [[cotton is grown. 50.5% of the South America's land surface is covered by forest, but timber industries are small and directed to domestic markets. In recent years, however, transnational companies have been settling in the [[Amazon forest|Amazon to exploit noble timber destined for export. The Pacific coastal waters of South America are the most important for commercial fishing. The anchovy catch reaches thousands of tonnes, and tuna is also abundant (Peru is a major exporter). The capture of [[crustaceans is remarkable, particularly in northeastern Brazil and Chile. Only Brazil and Argentina are part of the [[G20 (industrial countries), while only Brazil is part of the [[G8+5 (the most powerful and influential nations in the world). In the tourism sector, a series of negotiations began in 2005 to promote tourism and increase air connections within the region. [[Punta del Este, [[Florianópolis and [[Mar del Plata are among the most important resorts in South America. The most industrialized countries in South America are Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Uruguay respectively. These countries alone account for more than 75 percent of the region's economy and add up to a GDP of more than US$3.0 trillion. Industries in South America began to take on the economies of the region from the 1930s when the [[Great Depression in the United States and other countries of the world boosted industrial production in the continent. From that period the region left the agricultural side behind and began to achieve high rates of economic growth that remained until the early 1990s when they slowed due to political instabilities, economic crises and neoliberal policies. Since the end of the economic crisis in Brazil and Argentina that occurred in the period from 1998 to 2002, which has led to [[economic recession, rising unemployment and falling population income, the industrial and service sectors have been recovering rapidly. Chile, Argentina and Brazil have recovered fastest, growing at an average of 5% per year. All of South America after this period has been recovering and showing good signs of economic stability, with controlled [[inflation and exchange rates, continuous growth, a decrease in [[social inequality and unemployment–factors that favor industry. The main industries are: electronics, textiles, food, automotive, metallurgy, aviation, naval, clothing, beverage, steel, tobacco, timber, chemical, among others. Exports reach almost US$400 billion annually, with Brazil accounting for half of this. The [[Economic inequality|economic gap between the rich and poor in most South American nations is larger than on most other continents. The richest 10% receive over 40% of the nation's income in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay, while the poorest 20% receive 4% or less in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia. This wide gap can be seen in many large South American cities where makeshift shacks and slums lie in the vicinity of skyscrapers and upper-class luxury apartments; nearly one in nine South Americans live on less than $2 per day (on a [[purchasing power parity basis).

Economically largest cities as of 2014

[[File:SojaBrasnorte.jpg|Soy plantation in [[Mato Grosso. In 2020, Brazil was the world's largest producer, with 130 million tonnes. South America produces half of the world's soybeans. The four countries with the strongest agriculture are [[Brazil, [[Argentina, [[Chile and [[Colombia. Currently: * Brazil is the world's largest producer of [[sugarcane, [[soy, [[coffee, [[Orange (fruit)|orange, [[guarana, [[açaí and [[Brazil nut; is one of the 5 largest producers of [[maize, [[papaya, [[tobacco, [[pineapple, [[banana, [[cotton, [[beans, [[coconut, [[watermelon and [[lemon; and is one of the 10 largest producers in the world of [[Cocoa bean|cocoa, [[cashew, [[avocado, [[persimmon, [[mango, [[guava, [[rice, [[sorghum and [[tomato; * Argentina is one of the 5 largest producers in the world of [[soy, [[maize, [[sunflower seed, [[lemon and [[pear, one of the 10 largest producers in the world of [[barley, [[grape, [[artichoke, [[tobacco and [[cotton, and one of the 15 largest producers in the world of [[wheat, [[sugarcane, [[sorghum and [[grapefruit; * Chile is one of the 5 largest world producers of [[cherry and [[cranberry, and one of the 10 largest world producers of [[grape, [[apple, [[Kiwifruit|kiwi, [[peach, [[plum and [[hazelnut, focusing on exporting high-value fruits; * Colombia is one of the 5 largest producers in the world of [[coffee, [[avocado and [[palm oil, and one of the 10 largest producers in the world of [[sugarcane, [[banana, [[pineapple and [[Cocoa bean|cocoa; * [[Peru is one of the 5 largest producers of [[avocado, [[blueberry, [[artichoke and [[asparagus, one of the 10 largest producers in the world of [[coffee and [[Cocoa bean|cocoa, one of the 15 largest producers in the world of [[potato and [[pineapple, and also has a considerable production of [[grape, [[sugarcane, [[rice, [[banana, [[maize and [[cassava; its agriculture is considerably diversified; * [[Paraguay's agriculture is currently developing, being currently the 6th largest producer of [[soy in the world and entering the list of the 20 largest producers of [[maize and [[sugarcane. [[Brazil is the world's largest exporter of [[chicken meat: 3.77 million tonnes in 2019. The country is the holder of the second largest herd of cattle in the world, 22.2% of the world herd. The country was the second largest producer of beef in 2019, responsible for 15.4% of global production. It was also the 3rd largest world producer of milk in 2018. This year, the country produced 35.1 billion liters. In 2019, Brazil was the 4th largest pork producer in the world, with almost 4 million tonnes. In 2018, [[Argentina was the 4th largest producer of [[beef in the world, with a production of 3 million tonnes (behind only USA, Brazil and China). [[Uruguay is also a major meat producer. In 2018, it produced 589 thousand tonnes of beef. In [[chicken meat production, Argentina ranks among the 15 largest producers in the world, and Peru and Colombia among the 20 biggest producers. In [[beef production, Colombia is one of the 20 largest producers in the world. In [[honey production, Argentina ranks among the 5 largest producers in the world, and Brazil among the 15 largest. In terms of production of [[cow's milk, Argentina ranks among the 20 largest producers in the world. The [[World Bank annually lists the top manufacturing countries by total manufacturing value. According to the 2019 list, [[Brazil has the thirteenth most valuable industry in the world (US$173.6 billion), [[Venezuela the thirtieth largest (US$58.2 billion, however, it depends on oil to obtain this value), [[Argentina the 31st largest (US$57.7 billion), [[Colombia the 46th largest (US$35.4 billion), [[Peru the 50th largest (US$28.7 billion) and [[Chile the 51st largest (US$28.3 billion). [[Brazil has the third-largest manufacturing sector in the Americas. Accounting for 28.5 percent of GDP, Brazil's industries range from automobiles, steel, and petrochemicals to computers, [[aircraft ([[Embraer), food, pharmaceutical, footwear, metallurgy and consumer durables. In the [[food industry, in 2019, Brazil was the second largest exporter of processed foods in the world. In 2016, the country was the 2nd largest producer of [[Pulp (paper)|pulp in the world and the 8th producer of [[paper. In the [[footwear industry, in 2019, Brazil ranked 4th among world producers. In 2019, the country was the 8th producer of [[vehicles and the 9th producer of [[steel in the world. In 2018, the [[chemical industry of Brazil was the 8th in the world. In [[textile industry, Brazil, although it was among the 5 largest world producers in 2013, is very little integrated in world trade. [[Chile contributes about a third of the world [[copper production. In 2018, [[Peru was the 2nd largest producer of [[List of countries by silver production|silver and [[List of countries by copper production|copper in the world, and the 6th largest producer of [[List of countries by gold production|gold (the 3 metals that generate the highest value), in addition to being the 3rd largest producer in the world of [[List of countries by zinc production|zinc and [[tin and 4th in [[lead. [[Brazil is the second largest global [[iron ore exporter, has 98% of the known [[niobium reserves in the world, and it's one of the 5 biggest world's productors of [[bauxite, [[manganese and [[tin. [[Bolivia is the 5th largest producer of [[tin, the 7th largest producer of [[silver, and the 8th largest producer of [[zinc in the world In the production of [[oil, Brazil was the 10th largest oil producer in the world in 2019, with 2.8 million barrels / day. Venezuela was the 21st largest, with 877 thousand barrels / day, Colombia in 22nd with 886 thousand barrels / day, Ecuador in 28th with 531 thousand barrels / day and Argentina 29th with 507 thousand barrels / day. As Venezuela and Ecuador consume little oil and export most of their production, they are part of [[OPEC. Venezuela had a big drop in production after 2015 (where it produced 2.5 million barrels / day), falling in 2016 to 2.2 million, in 2017 to 2 million, in 2018 to 1.4 million and in 2019 to 877 thousand, due to lack of investments. In the production of [[natural gas, in 2018, Argentina produced 1524 bcf (billion cubic feet), Venezuela 946, Brazil 877, Bolivia 617, Peru 451, Colombia 379. In the beginning of 2020, in the production of [[Petroleum|oil and [[natural gas, Brazil exceeded 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, for the first time. In January 2021, 3.168 million barrels of oil per day and 138.753 million cubic meters of natural gas were extracted.


File:Pergola Vineyard Argentina.jpg|Grape plantation in Argentina. Argentina and Chile are among the 10 largest grape and wine producers in the world and Brazil among the 20 largest. File:Rota Alternativa Paraguai - Rio Preto - 2 - panoramio.jpg|Maize in [[Dourados. Brazil and Argentina are among the 5 largest world producers File:Jaula cultivo salmon chile.jpg|Salmon farming in Chile. One third of all salmon sold in the world comes from the country. File:Sede Neugebauer.jpg|Neugebauer Chocolate Factory in [[Arroio do Meio. South America specializes in food processing File:CSN01.jpg|Steel-maker [[Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional|CSN, in [[Volta Redonda. Brazil is one of the 10 largest steel producers in the world, and Argentina is one of the 30 largest File:Klabin Unidade Puma, Ortigueira Paraná.jpg|Klabin industrial complex, in [[Ortigueira. Brazil is the second largest pulp producer and the eighth largest paper producer in the world File:Distrito Industrial, Franca (SP), Brazil.jpg|Portico of the Democrata men's shoe factory, in [[Franca. Brazil is the fourth largest shoe manufacturer in the world. File:Cia Hering 2019.jpg|[[Cia. Hering|Hering, in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The country has one of the 5 largest textile industries in the world File:General Motors Rosario.jpg|General Motors plant in [[Rosario. Brazil is among the 10 largest vehicle manufacturers in the world and Argentina among the 30 largest. File:Mina de Chuquicamata, Calama, Chile, 2016-02-01, DD 110-112 PAN.JPG|Copper mine in Chile. Latin America produces more than half of the world's copper File:Smaragd-G-EmpireTheWorldOfGems.jpg|Colombian emerald. The country is the largest producer of emeralds in the world, and Brazil is one of the largest producers File:The Most Expensive.jpg|[[Copacabana Palace, the best hotel in South America, in Rio de Janeiro. Tourism brings important currencies to the continent. File:INTA - colmenar apícola.jpg|Honey production in Argentina. The country is the third largest producer of [[honey in the world. File:Balcarce-buenosaires.JPG|Sunflower plantation in Argentina. The country is the world's third largest producer of [[sunflower seed. File:Cerezas La Candelaria Chépica VI Región.JPG|Chilean cherries. Chile is one of the top 5 producers of sweet cherries in the world. File:Actinidia KIWI 02.jpg|Chilean kiwi. The country is one of the 10 largest kiwi producers in the world. File:Oilpalmmagdalenacolombia-2.jpg|Palm plantation in Magdalena. Colombia is one of the top 5 [[palm oil producers in the world. File:Detail of pineapples growing.jpg|Pineapple in Brazil. The country is the 3rd largest producer in the world. South America produces close to 20% of the world's pineapple.


[[Tourism has increasingly become a significant source of income for many South American countries. Historical relics, architectural and natural wonders, a diverse range of foods and culture, vibrant and colorful cities, and stunning landscapes attract millions of tourists every year to South America. Some of the most visited places in the region are [[Iguazu Falls, [[Recife, [[Olinda, [[Machu Picchu, [[Bariloche, the [[Amazon rainforest, [[Rio de Janeiro, [[São Luís, Maranhão|São Luís, [[Salvador, Bahia|Salvador, [[Fortaleza, [[Maceió, [[Buenos Aires, [[Florianópolis, [[San Ignacio Miní, [[Isla Margarita, [[Natal, Rio Grande do Norte|Natal, [[Lima, [[São Paulo, [[Angel Falls, [[Brasília, [[Nazca Lines, [[Cuzco, [[Belo Horizonte, [[Lake Titicaca, [[Salar de Uyuni, [[La Paz, [[Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos, [[Los Roques archipelago, [[Gran Sabana, [[Patagonia, [[Tayrona National Natural Park, [[Santa Marta, Colombia|Santa Marta, [[Bogotá, [[Cali, [[Medellín, [[Cartagena, Colombia|Cartagena, [[Perito Moreno Glacier and the [[Galápagos Islands. In 2016 Brazil hosted the [[2016 Summer Olympics.


South Americans are culturally influenced by their indigenous peoples, the historic connection with the Iberian Peninsula and Africa, and waves of immigrants from around the globe. South American nations have a rich variety of [[Latin American music|music. Some of the most famous genres include [[vallenato and [[cumbia from Colombia, [[pasillo from Colombia and Ecuador, [[samba, [[bossa nova and [[música sertaneja from Brazil, and [[tango music|tango from Argentina and Uruguay. Also well known is the non-commercial folk genre [[Nueva Canción movement which was founded in Argentina and Chile and quickly spread to the rest of the Latin America. People on the Peruvian coast created the fine [[guitar and [[cajon duos or trios in the most [[mestizo (mixed) of South American rhythms such as the Marinera (from Lima), the [[Tondero (from Piura), the 19th century popular Creole Valse or Peruvian Valse, the soulful Arequipan Yaravi, and the early 20th century Paraguayan [[Guarania (music)|Guarania. In the late 20th century, [[Rock en Español|Spanish rock emerged by young hipsters influenced by British pop and American rock. [[Music of Brazil|Brazil has a Portuguese-language pop rock industry as well a great variety of other music genres. In the central and western regions of Bolivia, Andean and folklore music like [[Diablada, [[Caporales and [[Morenada are the most representative of the country, which were originated by European, Aymara and Quechua influences. The [[Spanish American literature|literature of South America has attracted considerable critical and popular acclaim, especially with the [[Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of authors such as [[Mario Vargas Llosa, [[Gabriel García Márquez in novels and [[Jorge Luis Borges and [[Pablo Neruda in other genres. The Brazilians [[Machado de Assis and [[João Guimarães Rosa are widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian writers.

Food and drink

Because of South America's broad ethnic mix, [[South American cuisine has African, Mestizo, South Asian, East Asian, and European influences. [[Bahia, Brazil, is especially well known for its West African–influenced cuisine. Argentines, Chileans, Uruguayans, Brazilians, Bolivians, and Venezuelans regularly consume wine. People in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Chile, Bolivia and Southern Brazil drink [[mate (beverage)|mate, an herb which is brewed. The Paraguayan version, [[terere, differs from other forms of mate in that it is served cold. [[Pisco is a liquor distilled from grapes in Peru and Chile. Peruvian cuisine mixes elements from Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, African, Arab, Andean, and Amazonic food.

Plastic arts

The artist [[Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919–1999) from [[Ecuador, represented with his painting style the feeling of the peoples of Latin America highlighting social injustices in various parts of the world. The Colombian [[Fernando Botero (1932) is one of the greatest exponents of painting and sculpture that continues still active and has been able to develop a recognizable style of his own. For his part, the Venezuelan [[Carlos Cruz-Diez has contributed significantly to contemporary art, with the presence of works around the world. Currently several emerging South American artists are recognized by international art critics: [[Guillermo Lora|Guillermo Lorca – Chilean painter, [[Teddy Cobeña – Ecuadorian sculptor and recipient of international sculpture award in [[France) and Argentine artist [[Adrián Villar Rojas – winner of the Zurich Museum Art Award among many others.


A wide range of sports are played in the continent of South America, with [[Association football|football being the most popular overall, while [[baseball is the most popular in Venezuela. Other sports include [[basketball, [[cycling, [[polo, [[volleyball, [[futsal, [[motorsports, [[Rugby football|rugby (mostly in Argentina and Uruguay), [[handball, [[tennis, [[golf, [[field hockey, [[boxing and [[cricket. South America hosted its first [[Olympic Games in [[Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016, and has hosted the [[Youth Olympic Games in [[Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018. South America shares with Europe supremacy over the sport of football as all winners in [[FIFA World Cup history and all winning teams in the [[FIFA Club World Cup have come from these two continents. Brazil holds the record at the FIFA World Cup with five titles in total of all countries. Argentina and Uruguay have two titles each. So far five South American nations have hosted the tournament including the first edition in Uruguay (1930). Two were from Brazil (1950, 2014), Chile (1962), and Argentina (1978). South America is home to the longest running international football tournament; the [[Copa América, which has been regularly contested since 1916. Uruguay won the Copa América a record 15 times, surpassing hosts like Argentina in 2011 to reach 15 titles (they were previously equal at 14 titles each during the 2011 Copa América). Also, in South America, a multi-sport event, the [[South American Games, are held every four years. The first edition was held in [[La Paz in 1978 and the most recent took place in [[Santiago in 2014. [[South American Cricket Championship is an international [[limited-overs cricket|one-day cricket tournament played since 1995 featuring national teams from [[Sports in South America|South America and certain other invited sides including teams from North America, currently played annually but until 2013 was usually played every two seasons.



Due to the diversity of [[topography and pluviometric precipitation conditions, the region's water resources vary enormously in different areas. In the [[Andes, navigation possibilities are limited, except for the Magdalena River, [[Lake Titicaca and the lakes of the southern regions of Chile and Argentina. Irrigation is an important factor for agriculture from northwestern Peru to Patagonia. Less than 10% of the known electrical potential of the Andes had been used until the mid-1960s. The [[Brazilian Highlands has a much higher [[hydroelectric potential than the [[Andes|Andean region and its possibilities of exploitation are greater due to the existence of several large rivers with high margins and the occurrence of great differences forming huge cataracts, such as those of Paulo Afonso, Iguaçu and others. The [[Amazon River system has about 13,000 km of waterways, but its possibilities for hydroelectric use are still unknown. Most of the continent's energy is generated through [[hydroelectric power plants, but there is also an important share of [[thermoelectric and [[wind energy. Brazil and Argentina are the only South American countries that generate [[nuclear power, each with two [[nuclear power plants. In 1991 these countries signed a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement. The Brazilian government has undertaken an ambitious program to reduce dependence on imported petroleum. Imports previously accounted for more than 70% of the country's oil needs but Brazil became self-sufficient in oil in 2006–2007. Brazil was the 10th largest oil producer in the world in 2019, with 2.8 million barrels / day. Production manages to supply the country's demand. In the beginning of 2020, in the production of [[Petroleum|oil and [[natural gas, the country exceeded 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, for the first time. In January this year, 3.168 million barrels of oil per day and 138.753 million cubic meters of natural gas were extracted. Brazil is one of the main world producers of [[hydroelectricity|hydroelectric power. In 2019, Brazil had 217 hydroelectric plants in operation, with an installed capacity of 98,581 MW, 60.16% of the country's energy generation. In the total generation of electricity, in 2019 Brazil reached 170,000 megawatts of installed capacity, more than 75% from renewable sources (the majority, hydroelectric). In 2013, the [[Southeast Region, Brazil|Southeast Region used about 50% of the load of the National Integrated System (SIN), being the main energy consuming region in the country. The region's installed electricity generation capacity totaled almost 42,500 MW, which represented about a third of Brazil's generation capacity. The [[hydroelectric generation represented 58% of the region's installed capacity, with the remaining 42% corresponding basically to the [[thermoelectric generation. São Paulo accounted for 40% of this capacity; Minas Gerais by about 25%; Rio de Janeiro by 13.3%; and Espírito Santo accounted for the rest. The [[South Region, Brazil|South Region owns the [[Itaipu Dam, which was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world for several years, until the inauguration of [[Three Gorges Dam in China. It remains the second largest operating [[hydroelectric in the world. Brazil is the co-owner of the Itaipu Plant with [[Paraguay: the dam is located on the [[Paraná River, located on the border between countries. It has an installed generation capacity of 14 [[Watt | GW for 20 generating units of 700 [[Watt | MW each. [[North Region, Brazil|North Region has large hydroelectric plants, such as [[Belo Monte Dam and [[Tucuruí Dam, which produce much of the national energy. Brazil's hydroelectric potential has not yet been fully exploited, so the country still has the capacity to build several renewable energy plants in its territory. according to ONS, total installed capacity of [[wind power was 19.1 GW, with average [[capacity factor of 58%. While the world average wind production capacity factors is 24.7%, there are areas in Northern Brazil, specially in Bahia State, where some wind farms record with average capacity factors over 60%; the average capacity factor in the [[Northeast Region, Brazil|Northeast Region is 45% in the coast and 49% in the interior. In 2019, wind energy represented 9% of the energy generated in the country.Quantas usinas geradoras de energia temos no Brasil?
/ref> In 2019, it was estimated that the country had an estimated wind power generation potential of around 500 GW (this, only onshore), enough energy to meet three times the country's current demand. Nuclear energy accounts for about 4% of Brazil's electricity. The nuclear power generation monopoly is owned by [[Eletronuclear|Eletronuclear (Eletrobrás Eletronuclear S/A), a wholly owned subsidiary of [[Eletrobrás. Nuclear energy is produced by [[List of nuclear reactors#Brazil|two reactors at [[Angra Nuclear Power Plant|Angra. It is located at the Central Nuclear Almirante Álvaro Alberto (CNAAA) on the Praia de Itaorna in [[Angra dos Reis, [[Rio de Janeiro (state)|Rio de Janeiro. It consists of two [[pressurized water reactors, Angra I, with capacity of 657 MW, connected to the power grid in 1982, and Angra II, with capacity of 1,350 MW, connected in 2000. A third reactor, Angra III, with a projected output of 1,350 MW, is planned to be finished. according to ONS, total installed capacity of [[photovoltaic solar was 8.5 GW, with average [[capacity factor of 23%. Some of the most [[Solar irradiance|irradiated Brazilian States are MG ("Minas Gerais"), BA ("Bahia") and GO (Goiás), which have indeed world [[Solar irradiance|irradiation level records. In 2019, solar power represented 1.27% of the energy generated in the country.


Transport in South America is basically carried out using the [[road mode, the most developed in the region. There is also a considerable infrastructure of [[ports and [[airports. The [[railway and [[fluvial sector, although it has potential, is usually treated in a secondary way. Brazil has more than 1.7 million km of [[roads, of which 215,000 km are paved, and about 14,000 km are [[dual carriageway|divided highways. The two most important highways in the country are [[BR-101 and [[BR-116. Argentina has more than 600,000 km of roads, of which about 70,000 km are paved, and about 2,500 km are divided highways. The three most important highways in the country are [[National Route 9 (Argentina)|Route 9, [[National Route 7 (Argentina)|Route 7 and [[National Route 14 (Argentina)|Route 14. Colombia has about 210,000 km of roads, and about 2,300 km are divided highways. Chile has about 82,000 km of roads, 20,000 km of which are paved, and about 2,000 km are divided highways. The most important highway in the country is the [[Chile Route 5|Route 5 ([[Pan-American Highway) These 4 countries are the ones with the best road infrastructure and with the largest number of double-lane highways. Due to the [[Andes Mountains, [[Amazon River and [[Amazon Forest, there have always been difficulties in implementing transcontinental or bioceanic highways. Practically the only route that existed was the one that connected Brazil to Buenos Aires, in Argentina and later to Santiago, in Chile. However, in recent years, with the combined effort of countries, new routes have started to emerge, such as Brazil-Peru ([[Interoceanic Highway), and a new highway between Brazil, Paraguay, northern Argentina and northern Chile ([[Central Bi-Oceanic railway|Bioceanic Corridor). There are more than 2,000 airports in Brazil. The country has the second largest number of airports in the world, behind only the United States. [[São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport|São Paulo International Airport, located in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, is the largest and busiest in the country - the airport connects São Paulo to practically all major cities around the world. Brazil has 44 international airports, such as those in [[Rio de Janeiro/Galeão International Airport|Rio de Janeiro, [[Brasília International Airport|Brasília, [[Belo Horizonte International Airport|Belo Horizonte, [[Salgado Filho International Airport|Porto Alegre, [[Hercílio Luz International Airport|Florianópolis, [[Marechal Rondon International Airport|Cuiabá, [[Salvador International Airport|Salvador, [[Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport|Recife, [[Fortaleza Airport|Fortaleza, [[Belém/Val-de-Cans International Airport|Belém and [[Eduardo Gomes International Airport|Manaus, among others. Argentina has important international airports such as [[Ministro Pistarini International Airport|Buenos Aires, [[Ingeniero Aeronáutico Ambrosio L.V. Taravella International Airport|Cordoba, [[San Carlos de Bariloche Airport|Bariloche, [[Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airport|Mendoza, [[Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport|Salta, [[Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport|Puerto Iguazú, [[Presidente Perón International Airport|Neuquén and [[Ushuaia – Malvinas Argentinas International Airport|Usuhaia, among others. Chile has important international airports such as [[Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport|Santiago, [[Andrés Sabella Gálvez International Airport|Antofagasta, [[El Tepual Airport|Puerto Montt, [[Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport|Punta Arenas and [[Diego Aracena International Airport|Iquique, among others. Colombia has important international airports such as [[El Dorado International Airport|Bogotá, [[José María Córdova International Airport|Medellín, [[Rafael Núñez International Airport|Cartagena, [[Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport|Cali and [[Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport|Barranquilla, among others. Other important airports are those in the capitals of Uruguay ([[Carrasco International Airport|Montevideo), Paraguay ([[Silvio Pettirossi International Airport|Asunción), Peru ([[Jorge Chávez International Airport|Lima), Bolivia ([[El Alto International Airport|La Paz) and Ecuador ([[Mariscal Sucre International Airport|Quito). The 10 busiest airports in South America in 2017 were: São Paulo-Guarulhos (Brazil), Bogotá (Colombia), São Paulo-Congonhas (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), Lima (Peru), Brasília (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires-Aeroparque (Argentina), Buenos Aires-Ezeiza (Argentina), and Minas Gerais (Brazil). About [[ports, Brazil has some of the busiest ports in South America, such as [[Port of Santos, [[Port of Rio de Janeiro, [[Port of Paranaguá, [[Port of Itajaí, [[Port of Rio Grande, [[Port of São Francisco do Sul and [[Suape Port. Argentina has ports such as [[Port of Buenos Aires and [[Port of Rosario. Chile has important ports in [[Valparaíso, [[Caldera, Chile|Caldera, [[Mejillones, [[Antofagasta, [[Iquique, [[Arica and [[Puerto Montt. Colombia has important ports such as [[Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca | Buenaventura, [[Cartagena Container Terminal and [[Puerto Bolivar, Colombia|Puerto Bolivar. Peru has important ports in [[Callao, [[Ilo, Peru|Ilo and [[Matarani. The 15 busiest ports in South America are: Port of Santos (Brazil), Port of Bahia de Cartagena (Colombia), Callao (Peru), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Buenos Aires (Argentina), San Antonio (Chile), Buenaventura (Colombia), Itajaí (Brazil), Valparaíso (Chile), Montevideo (Uruguay), Paranaguá (Brazil), Rio Grande (Brazil), São Francisco do Sul (Brazil), Manaus (Brazil) and Coronel (Chile). The Brazilian [[railway network has an extension of about 30,000 kilometers. It's basically used for transporting ores. The Argentine rail network, with 47,000 km of tracks, was one of the largest in the world and continues to be the most extensive in Latin America. It came to have about 100,000 km of rails, but the lifting of tracks and the emphasis placed on motor transport gradually reduced it. It has four different trails and international connections with Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay. Chile has almost 7,000 km of railways, with connections to Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Colombia has only about 3,500 km of railways. Among the main Brazilian [[waterways, two stand out: [[Hidrovia Tietê-Paraná (which has a length of 2,400 km, 1,600 on the Paraná River and 800 km on the Tietê River, draining agricultural production from the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and part of Rondônia, Tocantins and Minas Gerais) and [[Hidrovia do Solimões-Amazonas (it has two sections: Solimões, which extends from Tabatinga to Manaus, with approximately 1600 km, and Amazonas, which extends from Manaus to Belém, with 1650 km. Almost entirely passenger transport from the Amazon plain is done by this waterway, in addition to practically all cargo transportation that is directed to the major regional centers of Belém and Manaus). In Brazil, this transport is still underutilized: the most important waterway stretches, from an economic point of view, are found in the Southeast and South of the country. Its full use still depends on the construction of locks, major dredging works and, mainly, of ports that allow intermodal integration. In [[Argentina, the waterway network is made up of the La Plata, Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay rivers. The main river ports are [[Zárate, Buenos Aires|Zárate and [[Campana Partido|Campana. The port of Buenos Aires is historically the first in individual importance, but the area known as Up-River, which stretches along 67 km of the Santa Fé portion of the Paraná River, brings together 17 ports that concentrate 50% of the total exports of the country. Only two railroads are continental: the Transandina, which connects [[Buenos Aires, in Argentina to [[Valparaíso, in Chile, and the Brazil–Bolivia Railroad, which makes it the connection between the port of [[Santos, São Paulo|Santos in Brazil and the city of [[Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia. In addition, there is the [[Pan-American Highway, which crosses the Andean countries from north to south, although some stretches are unfinished. Two areas of greater density occur in the railway sector: the platinum network, which develops around the [[Río de la Plata Basin|Platine region, largely belonging to Argentina, with more than 45,000 km in length; And the [[Southeast Region, Brazil|Southeast Brazil network, which mainly serves the [[São Paulo (state)|state of São Paulo, [[Rio de Janeiro (state)|state of Rio de Janeiro and [[Minas Gerais. Brazil and Argentina also stand out in the road sector. In addition to the modern roads that extend through northern Argentina and south-east and south of Brazil, a vast road complex aims to link [[Brasília, the federal capital, to the South, Southeast, Northeast and Northern regions of Brazil. South America has one of the largest bays of navigable inland waterways in the world, represented mainly by the [[Amazon basin, the [[Río de la Plata Basin|Platine basin, the São Francisco and the Orinoco basins, Brazil having about 54,000 km navigable, while Argentina has 6,500 km and Venezuela, 1,200 km. The two main merchant fleets also belong to Brazil and Argentina. The following are those of Chile, Venezuela, Peru and Colombia. The largest ports in commercial movement are those of [[Buenos Aires, [[Santos, São Paulo|Santos, [[Rio de Janeiro, [[Bahía Blanca, [[Rosario, Santa Fe|Rosario, [[Valparaíso, [[Recife, [[Salvador, Bahia|Salvador, [[Montevideo, [[Paranaguá, [[Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul|Rio Grande, [[Fortaleza, [[Belém and [[Maracaibo. In South America, [[commercial aviation has a magnificent expansion field, which has one of the largest traffic density lines in the world, Rio de Janeiro–São Paulo, and large airports, such as [[São Paulo–Congonhas Airport|Congonhas, [[São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport|São Paulo–Guarulhos International and [[Viracopos International Airport|Viracopos (São Paulo), [[Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport|Rio de Janeiro International and [[Santos Dumont Airport|Santos Dumont (Rio de Janeiro), [[El Dorado International Airport|El Dorado (Bogotá), [[Ministro Pistarini International Airport|Ezeiza (Buenos Aires), [[Tancredo Neves International Airport (Belo Horizonte), [[Afonso Pena International Airport|Curitiba International Airport (Curitiba), Brasilia, Caracas, Montevideo, Lima, [[Viru Viru International Airport (Santa Cruz de la Sierra), Recife, Salvador, Salgado Filho International Airport (Porto Alegre), Fortaleza, Manaus and Belém. The main public transport in major cities is the bus. Many cities also have a diverse system of metro and subway trains, the first of which was the [[Buenos Aires Underground|Buenos Aires subte, opened 1913. The [[Santiago Metro|Santiago subway is the largest network in South America, with 103 km, while the [[São Paulo Metro|São Paulo subway is the largest in transportation, with more than 4.6 million passengers per day and was voted the best in the Americas. [[Rio de Janeiro installed the first railroad of the continent in 1854. Today the city has a vast and diversified system of metropolitan trains, integrated with buses and subway. Recently it was also inaugurated in the city a Light Rail System called [[Rio de Janeiro Light Rail|VLT, a small electrical trams at low speed, while [[São Paulo inaugurated its [[Line 15 (São Paulo Metro)|monorail, the first of South America. In Brazil, an express bus system called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which operates in several cities, has also been developed. [[Mi Teleférico, also known as Teleférico [[La Paz–[[El Alto (La Paz–El Alto Cable Car), is an aerial cable car urban transit system serving the La Paz–El Alto metropolitan area in Bolivia.

See also

* * * [[List of World Heritage Sites in South America * * [[South American Games


Content notes




* "South America".
The Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online
'. 2005. New York: Columbia University Press.
Latin American Network Information Database

External links

* {{Authority control [[Category:South America| [[Category:Continents