South America is the fourth largest continent in the world. It is connected to North America by a narrow stretch of land called the Isthmus of Panama. To the east is the Atlantic Ocean and to the west is the Pacific Ocean.

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South America is made up of 12 countries and over 380 million people. Portuguese and Spanish are the main languages spoken but hundreds of other languages are spoken too.


Big and small

The largest South American country is Brazil which covers over half of the continent. The smallest country is Suriname which is one of the least populated (lived in) countries in the world.

Tierra del Fuego is the biggest island located on the Southern tip of Argentina and Chile.


Rivers, mountains and lakes

The Amazon River is the longest river in South America, it’s also the second-longest river in the world. It carries more water than the other 10 biggest world rivers combined. It’s a very big river indeed! The biggest lake is Lake Titicaca and it is located in Bolivia and Peru.

Aconcagua in Argentina is the biggest mountain in South America.


The South American landscape

South America has many different types of landscapes. It can be wet, dry, hot and cold! There are dense rainforests that are home to jaguars, sloths, anacondas and the golden lion tamarin. Not to mention millions of unusual plants and insects.

In Chile, you can find the driest place on the planet, the Atacama Desert, where sometimes it doesn’t rain for years. The continent also has the longest mountain range in the world called the Andes.

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What is South America famous for?

South America is famous for its ancient Incan and Arawak civilisations, the Amazon rainforest, llamas, sloths, chinchillas, anteaters and the Andean condor. It’s also the land of chocolate, Latin music, dance and great cups of coffee.