Among the seven continents on earth, South America is the fourth largest continent though it hosts only less than 12% of the world’s population. It ranks fifth in population. South America covers an area of 17,840,000 square kilometres.
The continent comprises of 12 countries. They are Argentina, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Among these Brazil is the largest country which covers almost half of the continent’s land area.
Essequibo, Amazon, Casiquiare, Japura, Madeira, Magdalena, Maipo, Napo, Orinoco, Paraguay, Parana, Paranaiba, Pilcomayo, Uruguay River, Purus, Putumayo, Rio de La Plata, Rio Negro, Sao Francisco, Tapajos and Ucayali are the major rivers of the continent. Among these Amazon River with a length of about 4,000 miles, is the second largest river in the world.
The continent includes many lakes. The major lakes are Cami Lake, Cochrane or Pueyrredon Lake, La Gaiba Lake, Lagoa Mirim, Lake General Carrera, Mandiore Lake, Marfil Lake, Mirim Lake, Lake Maracaibo, San Martín Lake, General Vintter Lake, Suches Lake, Lake Titicaca, Uberaba Lake and Viedma Lake. Among these lakes Titicaca which is on the border of Peru and Bolivia has the reputation of the world’s highest commercially navigable lake. It is around 900 feet deep. Lake Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America.
Easter Island, Marajo Island, Chiloe Island, South Georgia, The Galapagos Islands, The Juan Fernandez Islands and Devil's Island are the major islands of the continent.
The main South American deserts are Atacama, La Guajira Desert, Monte Desert, Patagonian Desert and Sechura Desert. Among these Atacama Desert which spreads over Peru and Chile is considered the driest place on earth. It is around 100 miles wide and 625 miles long.
Amazon rain forest; the largest tropical rain forest in the world, Llanos; the vast fertile plain, Pantanal; the world’s largest wetland, Andes Mountains, Cape Horn, Guina Highlands, Pampas and Patagonia mountain regions are the other major attractions of the south American continent.