South America

brazilSouth America is salsa, cumbia, samba and tango. Life really swings there. The mixture of African, Indian and European influences have given south-america a very distinct flavour and I like it.

The continent offers incredible precolumbian sights all along the Andes in Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. The best known of these are probably the Nazca and Machu Picchu in Peru and Ciudad Perdida in Colombia. Furthermore in every south-american country there are lots of stylish colonial churches and palaces. There is no question the lovers of architecture and history will surely find what they are looking for.

If you are looking for an active holiday: there is good skiing in summer in Chile, Bolivia and Argentina; you can find the biggest rainforest and the longest river in the world in Brazil and there is great wildlife almost everywhere. The Wadden islands (off the coast of Ecuador deserve a special mention here.

When you want to relax a bit head for the carribean : the coast of Venezuela and Colombia has great beaches and a very good atmosphere. Brazil has great beaches as well.

Those who are into the fast paced life of big cities have a number of cities to choose from: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago or Lima all combine modern life with a south-american touch.

In South America most countries are Spanish speaking, with Brazil as the most notable exception. Furthermore the three Guyana’s ( French Guiana, British Guyana and Suriname) speak the language of their former colonial masters as well as their own languages. In all of South America native Indian languages are still spoken, but they become less frequently so.

The classification of its geographic location is subject to dispute, as in some non-English speaking regions of the world, the Americas are a continent and North, Central and South America are its subcontinents. In English-speaking and certain other regions of the world, North and South America are considered to be continents and their union is referred to as the supercontinent of the Americas. The classification given to South America, as a subcontinent in a continent or a continent in a supercontinent, depends entirely on regional preferences.

It became attached to North America only recently (geologically speaking) with the formation of the Isthmus of Panama some 3 million years ago, which resulted in the Great American Interchange. The Andes, likewise a comparatively young and seismically restless mountain range, run down the western edge of the continent; the land to the east of the Andes is largely tropical rain forest, the vast Amazon River basin. The continent also contains drier regions such as Patagonia and the extremely arid Atacama desert.

The region of South America also includes various islands, most of which belong to countries on the continent. The Caribbean territories are grouped with North America. The South American nations that border the Caribbean Sea including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana  are also known as Caribbean South America.

Major natural resources are copper, iron ore, tin and oil.

South America is home to many interesting species of animals including parrots, tarantulas, snakes, and mammals.

The largest country in South America by far, in both area and population, is Brazil followed by Argentina. Regions in South America include the Andean States, the Guianas, the Southern Cone, and Eastern South America.