South America - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to South America

South America

South America

Land Area of South America: 6,888,000 (mi²) / 15,539,928 (km²)
Population of South America: 414,332,000 (2015)
Largest City in South America: São Paulo, Brazil (19,901,000 (2014))

The South American continent is the southern portion of the larger American continent and located in the southern hemisphere. The equator passes through the continent offering a tropical climate for much of the landmass with temperate conditions possible in the south. South America is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the western border and the Atlantic Ocean on its eastern border. This continent is the fourth largest of the 7 continents and is made up of twelve countries with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela – and two non-sovereign areas – French Guiana, an overseas department of France, and the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory (though disputed by Argentina).Brazil being the largest in terms of both land mass and population.

Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the 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 large lowlands where rivers such as the Amazon, Orinoco, and 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 with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, and societies and states commonly reflect Western traditions.

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, the Amazon rainforest, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza, Maceió, Buenos Aires, Florianópolis, San Ignacio Miní, Isla Margarita, Natal, Lima, São Paulo, Angel Falls, Brasília, Nazca Lines, Perito Moreno Glacier, Cuzco, Belo Horizonte, Lake Titicaca, Los Roques archipelago, Bogotá, Patagonia, Gran Sabana, Cartagena and the Galápagos Islands.In 2016 Brazil will play host to the 2016 Summer Olympics. With 600,000 overseas visitors expected to come for the World Cup alone.

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.

Spanish and 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 is the official language of Suriname; English is the official language of Guyana, although there are at least twelve other languages spoken in the country, including Portuguese, Chinese, Hindustani and several native languages. English is also spoken in the Falkland Islands. French is the official language of French Guiana and the second language in Amapá, Brazil.

A wide range of sports are played in the continent of South America, with football being the most popular overall, while baseball is the most popular in Venezuela and northern Colombia.Other sports include basketball, cycling, polo, volleyball, futsal, motorsports, rugby (mostly in Argentina and Uruguay), handball, tennis, golf, field hockey and boxing.

 

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