South America

Continent, mainly on the Earth's southwestern quadrant

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South America is the wilder part of the Americas and a continent of superlatives.

Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest

The world's biggest rainforest and the largest river by discharge (Amazon), the highest mountain range outside Asia (the Andes), remote islands (Galapagos Islands, Easter Island and Fernando de Noronha), heavenly beaches (such as in Brazil's Northeastern region), wide deserts (Atacama), icy landscapes (Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego), the world's tallest waterfall (the 979-m Angel Falls, in Venezuela) and one of the largest (Iguaçu Falls, Argentina and Brazil), as well as several other breathtaking natural attractions.

Humans have left their mark on the continent too: from ancient ruins (Machu Picchu and other Inca cities; the Moai in Easter Island) and the oldest rock paintings in the Americas (at the Serra da Capivara) to world-class metropolises (São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Caracas, Santiago, Lima and Rio de Janeiro), outstanding modern and European architecture (Brasilia, Buenos Aires), and charming cities built in the Andes (Caracas, Medellín, Quito, Santiago de Chile). Strong African heritage (in Salvador, Rio and Montevideo), genuine indigenous culture (Belém, Manaus, Cuzco, Lima, La Paz), and Eastern influence (São Paulo's enormous Japanese community) mingle with the fingerprints of Iberian colonizers. Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, and some of its biggest festivities, such as Rio's Carnival and Belem's Cirio de Nazaré, the Tango World Championship, and the Vendimia festival in Argentina, are also part of this incredibly diverse and attractive continent.


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