South America is identified as a continent located entirely in the Western Hemisphere and partly in the Southern Hemisphere. It also has a small portion situated at the northern tip of the Northern Hemisphere. Recognized as the fourth largest continent, South America extends from the Gulf of Darién, located in the northwest, to the island group of Tierra del Fuego, located in the south. It is referred to as the land of wonders since the continent is home to the world’s driest place and the world’s largest river.
The continent’s rich biodiversity consists of an unprecedented amount of animal and plant species that are unique among the other continents. Another thing that might surprise you is the diversity of languages in the South American nations. It includes only twelve to fourteen countries but can be determined as one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world as it has around 450 recorded languages.
Explore every corner of South America, from iconic beaches to breathtaking natural wonders. Pay a visit to the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, Angel Falls, and enjoy the indigenous culture and cuisine of the continent. You can hike to the famous mountains or snap pictures near the marvelous beaches and natural landscapes in South America. Visit the deserts, try out the fantastic cuisine and drinks, and be mesmerized by the stunning views of glaciers, wildlife, and mountains. It would be best if you even trekked the Andes mountains located in the Western hemisphere of the country.
South America is a continent that has something unique to offer to every individual across the world. Therefore, go through the article to comprehend the continent’s beauty and find reasons why you should visit the place.
At least 15,000 years ago, people were supposedly crossing the Bering Land Bridge from the territory of present-day Russia when they stumbled upon South America and inhabited it. They migrated south through North America and finally reached South America via the Isthmus of Panama. The first evidence that shows the presence of the human race in South America can be traced back to around 9000 BC when the cultivation of chili peppers and beans began in the Amazon Basin highlands. Evidence of pottery suggests that the cultivation of a staple food of South America, manioc, started in 2000 BC.
Norte Chico on the central Peruvian coast is identified as one of the preliminary recognized South American civilizations. The monumental architecture of Norte Chico and the pyramids of Ancient Egypt existed in the same period through a pre-ceramic culture. The governing class of the former place established a trade network and even developed agriculture among them. It was followed by the Chavín in 900 BC, as per some archeological finds. The Chavín civilization began in 900 BC and lasted till 300 BC. The concept of slavery is an integral part of South America’s history. It is stated that all the South American countries maintained slavery in the post-independence era as well. The first South American country that took the initiative to abolish slavery was Chile in 1823, and the last was Brazil in 1888.
Capital: Buenos Aires
Currency: Argentine peso (ARS)
International Airport: Ministro Pistarini International Airport/Ezeiza International Airport, Coronel Felipe Varela International Airport, General Enrique Mosconi International Airport, Doctor Fernando Piragine Niveyro International Airport, and many more.
Argentina is a fascinating South America country with a rich and diverse culture. It is famous for its world-famous footballers, stunning landscapes, gaucho culture, and Italian heritage. Patagonia is a semi-arid scrub plateau that covers the majority of southern Argentina. Being the second-largest country in South America, Argentina is best known for its love for Tango and Football. Asado is the traditional food of the country, and hence you must try it along with Empanadas, Chimichurri, Maté, etc.
Capital: La Paz and Sucre
Currency: Boliviano (BOB)
International Airport: Jorge Wilstermann International Airport, El Alto International Airport, Puerto Suárez International Airport, Viru Viru International Airport, and many more.
Bolivia is identified as the only landlocked nation in the continent and has the largest indigenous population. It is famous for its ethereal salt flats and low crime rates. The mind-blowing array of flora and fauna, along with a diverse and beautiful landscape, makes the country a must-visit. You will find innumerable Llamas and Alpacas, the Andes, Lake Titicaca, and lots of salt that will make your trip memorable. The official language of Bolivia, the South American country, is Spain, and 36 other languages.
Currency: Real (BRL)
International Airport: Gov. André Franco Montoro International Airport, Val-de-Cans-Júlio Cezar Ribeiro International Airport, Ruben Berta International Airport, Mal. Cunha Machado International Airport, and many more.
Brazil is recognized as the fifth-largest country in the world and the largest nation in South America. It is one of the major cities that offers stunning beaches, diverse cities, and lush green rainforests that attract tourists. One of the significant elements of Brazil is Football. The country is world-renowned, as it has won five world cup titles over the years and is home to some of the greatest football players. It is identified as the world’s largest producer of crude oil. Another eye-catching element of the country is the Amazon Basin which is the largest tropical forest in the world, and the Brazilian Highlands.
Currency:Chilean peso (CLP)
International Airport: Andrés Sabella Gálvez International Airport, Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport/Santiago International Airport, Carriel Sur International Airport, Diego Aracena International Airport, and many more.
The country of Chile is home to the world-famous Atacama Desert and Cape Horn and offers you a unique blend of marvelous landscapes. The people of the country provide a warm, friendly, and energetic vibe that allows tourists to have unique experiences. Visit Santiago city and go horseback riding, skiing, trekking, and much more. The succulent and exquisite red wine available in the country is world-renowned, along with its strong beer culture. It is identified as one of the longest countries in the world since it has a coastline of 6500 kilometers.
Currency: Colombian Peso (COP)
International Airport: El Dorado International Airport, Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport, Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport, Camilo Daza International Airport, and many more.
Colombia is a country situated in South America that has gained recognition across the world due to its mines of Chivor, Muzo, and Coscuez, located in the Andes mountain. The mines produce the finest Emeralds in the world and export them to other countries and continents. It is estimated that 70% and more of the Emeralds in the world arrive from Colombia. Try out the Emeralds, exotic America coffee, and delicious fruits, and enjoy the best parties thrown in the country. It is the sole country in South America that has coastlines in the Caribbean sea and the Pacific Ocean. Both the coastlines offer a warm and tropical climate and beautiful white sand beaches. You can experience the amazing wildlife and go for thrilling activities such as diving, kayaking, climbing, surfing, paragliding, and much more.
Currency: United States dollar (USD)
International Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Cotopaxi International Airport, Eloy Alfaro International Airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, and many more.
Recognized as the orchid capital of the world, Ecuador offers more than 4000 species of beautiful orchids. It has a unique flora and fauna and is home to Heritage Sites such as the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest. The former is even identified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You will find tropical beaches, indigenous markets, and alluring landscapes that will please your eyes and heart. The capital city of the country is Quito which is the oldest capital in South America.
Currency: Falkland Islands pound (FKP)
International Airport: Port Stanley Airport.
The Falkland Islands, also comprehended as the Malvinas Islands or Spanish Islas Malvinas, is identified as a remote archipelago in the South Atlantic. It is one of South America’s most amazing wonders, with hundreds of islets and islands, and is home to abundant birdlife. Along with exotic birdlife and fantastic landscapes, Falkland has an abundance of marine mammals and five different species of penguins. You can visit the area to view the extraordinary landscapes, incredible flora and fauna, and the other islands, each offering something unique.
International Airport: Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport.
French Guiana is recognized as an overseas division of France discovered on the northeast coast of South America. It includes tropical rainforests and is an ideal tourist destination if you love solidarity and hate crowds. Recognized by the name Devil’s Island, the country is the abode of different cultural communities and exquisite beaches. Enjoy the pleasant breeze and golden sand on some of the most captivating beaches in South America. You can even visit the Kaw reserve and enjoy the country’s magnificent wildlife. Go shopping for jewelry, clothing, and amazing souvenirs as well.
Currency: Guyanese dollar (GYD)
International Airport: Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Kaieteur International Airport, and Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
Guyana is the only English-speaking country in the continent of South America. In North America, there is the majority of English-speaking countries, but it is the exact opposite in South America. Apart from that, visitors can experience the natural beauty of jungles and the Savannah in the country. It has stunning waterfalls, vast river systems, dense rainforests, and exciting destinations for exploration and adventure. Considered the land of cowboys, waterfalls, wildlife, and Savannah, Guyana offers excellent sugarcane plantations, gold and bauxite reserves, rice fields, great rum, and cricket.
Currency: Guarani (PYG)
International Airport: Silvio Pettirossi International Airport, Guaraní International Airport, Dr. Augusto Roberto Fuster International Airport, and Dr. Luis Maria Argaña International Airport.
Paraguay is a unique South American country that accepts its native language, Guarani, as its official language, along with Spanish. Despite being a landlocked country, Paraguay offers rural bliss, urban jungles, and lush wilderness. The majority of the country’s wilderness is located in the Chaco region, which consists of three national parks. It is a novel destination and is often identified as the heart of South America. You can go spot fishing and try birdwatching since more than 700 species of feathered friends exist in the forests. The festivals are indulging, and the stunning Jesuit architecture will make you fall in love with the country.
Currency: Peruvian Sol (PEN)
International Airport: Rodríguez Ballón International Airport, Jorge Chávez International Airport, Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport, and many more.
The Andean region of Peru makes the country quite popular across the world. The mountain divides the country from North to South. Another unique aspect of the country is that it has ninety different microclimates. Since each restricted area has a different climate than its surrounding, the country has become the abode of a comprehensive array of plant and animal species. The ruins of the Incan Empire and other civilizations also attract tourists to the country. Peru’s handmade textiles include colorful ponchos, backpacks, fat wool jackets, and much more that captivate travelers along with its ceramics.
Currency: Surinamese dollar (SRD)
International Airport: Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport.
Suriname is identified as the smallest South American country in terms of population density and size. It is situated on the northeastern side of the Atlantic coast, and the land bordering counties include Guyana and Brazil. Being an ethnically diverse country, Suriname is home to various ethnic groups and has a population of a fusion of ethnic descent. Above 90% of the country is covered with rainforests, and the Central Suriname Nature Reserve UNESCO World Heritage Site is located here. It is known for its fruits and seafood.
Currency: Uruguayan peso (UYU)
International Airport: Ángel Adami International Airport, Artigas International Airport, Berisso International Airport, Nueva Hespérides International Airport, and many more.
Uruguay is a beautiful South American country that has the oldest population on the continent. It is famous for its beef, beach, and fantastic soccer players. Surfers from all across the world visit the country due to the availability of pristine beaches. The vast wine industry and historical landmarks also captivate the heart of several tourists and attract them to the small land of Uruguay between Argentina and Brazil. It is one of the most progressive countries in the world and stays at the forefront of LGBTQ rights. The country is popular due to its beef production and is known to have the longest national anthem in the world.
Currency: Venezuelan bolivar (VED)
International Airport: General José Antonio Anzoátegui International Airport, Jacinto Lara International Airport, Metropolitano International Airport, Maiquetía “Simón Bolívar” International Airport, and many more.
Venezuela is a physiographically diverse country consisting of the largest lake in South America, the highest waterfall, and the largest oil reserves in the world. It is a fascinating and diverse country with a rich culture and heritage. The national parks of the area are lovely and offer a captivating view of the towering mountains, gorgeous waterfalls, broad river plains, and tropical jungles. The nightlife of the nation is quite lively, with famous nightclubs and discos.
The months of September to November are considered the best months when you can take a trip to South America. During this period, the continent experiences a rise in their temperature, and hence several newborn animals and wildflowers appear. However, if you are considering a full tour of the continent, then there is no fixed period. Each country has a different altitude, weather, and size than the other. Therefore, the best month to visit one country might not be the ideal time for another. So, it is best for you to consider the climate of every country on the continent and plan your trip accordingly.
The continent of South America is abode to various world-famous landscapes. So, when you visit the mainland, do not forget to pay a visit to the following mesmerizing places-
The continent of South America has an ethnic fusion that influences its cuisines. Italian, Portuguese, South Asian, Spanish, and African are the characteristics that affect the food. If you are a food lover, then the delicacies of the continent will prove to be highly tempting for your taste buds. From the Asado of Argentina to the Cazuela of Chile, each South American dish is prepared with loads of love and freshness. Try out the relaxing and refreshing drinks that are fantastic and unique.
Asado: It is a barbecue dish that is extremely popular in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is the traditional dish of Argentina that offers beef, sausages, pork, or chicken in a hot and grilled state straight off the fire.
Arepas: Arepas are a type of unleavened bread prepared with cornmeal flour. They are flat and round and have a crisp exterior layer with soft insides. The item is trendy in Colombia and Venezuela, but street vendors in Peru and Mexico also sell them.
Mate: It is a traditional South American drink that includes caffeine. To prepare the drink, dried leaves of Yerba Mate are soaked in hot water and are presented in a container with a metal straw. The people of Tupi and Guarani consumed the drink, and its consumption was limited to the regions of Paraguay.
Some other famous South American cuisines and drinks include;
The best restaurants across South America are where you can dine out and enjoy the popular drinks and cuisines of the continent. The restaurants offer a warm environment where you can relax and fill your stomach until you can.