South America is a continent in the western hemisphere, mostly below the equator. It consists of 12 sovereign countries, a French territory (French Guiana), a British territory (the Falkland Islands), and a Dutch island chain (the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao). The Pacific Ocean borders South America to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Caribbean sea and Panama to the north.
The most common languages in South America are Spanish and Portuguese, although other national languages include Dutch in Suriname, English in Guyana and the Falkland Islands, and French in French Guiana. There are also many indigenous languages in South America.
Some of the major geographical highlights of South America include:
- Andes Mountains with Aconcagua in Argentina, second highest peak in the world after Mt. Everest in Asia
- Amazon Rainforest and Amazon River
- Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and Peru, the biggest lake in South America
- Machu Picchu, an ancient citadel high in the Andes Mountains of Peru dating back to the 15th century
- Atacama Desert in Chile, the dryest nonpolar desert in the world
- Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil
- Angel Falls in Venezuela
- Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, with steppes, grasslands, deserts, glacial fjords, and rainforests
- Ushuaia in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost city in the world with a population of 55,000