Skip to content

How Many Countries in South America?

How Many Countries are There in South America?

To help you understand the number of countries in South America, this part provides a solution with defining South America, a list of South American countries, special administrative regions in South America, territories, and dependencies in South America, briefly.

Defining South America

South America is a subcontinent located in the southern hemisphere of the American continent. It’s bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Plus, Central America links it to North America.

The dozen countries in South America are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Each one has its own culture and heritage.

Did you know? South America was once connected to Africa! It was known as Gondwana, and the two continents split up during the Pangaea break-up around 200 million years ago.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s a fun fact to remember: South America has twelve countries with their own capitals and rivers. Get ready to ace that geography quiz!

List of South American Countries

South America consists of twelve countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Every country has its own unique culture and history that makes it a must-see destination for travelers.

Here is some info about the countries:

  • Argentina: Home of tango dance and steaks.
  • Bolivia: Famous for Uyuni salt flats and Tiwanaku, an ancient Inca capital.
  • Brazil: Known for its vibrant culture and gorgeous beaches.
  • Chile: The longest country in the world with a huge range of landscapes.

People have been living in this region since pre-Columbian times. There are still indigenous communities living in Colombia’s highest coastal mountain range, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

It is said that diversity is what makes our world so colorful. A few years ago, I found out about capoeira, a unique martial-art form, while visiting Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. That moment changed my perspective on traveling and made me fall in love with it.

South America is like the one kid in class who always got the extra cookie at lunchtime – it gets special treatment!

Special Administrative Regions in South America

South America has certain regions under special administrative arrangements. These regions offer a unique insight into the continent’s regional administration and geopolitics. The table below displays the details of these areas, including their names and status.

Region Name Administrative Status
Falkland Islands British overseas territory
French Guiana Overseas department and region of France
Galápagos Islands Province of Ecuador

The Falkland Islands have been a disputed territory between the UK and Argentina for many years. On the other hand, French Guiana is part of France’s national territory.

It is important for travelers to do thorough research before visiting any of these special administrative regions. This is due to different entry requirements or processes. Also, diplomatic relations can affect tourism activities, so pay attention to global news updates to avoid potential issues during your trip.

South America has plenty of territories and dependencies, but they will not be asking for a UN seat soon.

Territories and Dependencies in South America

South America is a continent with many territories and dependencies. Different countries control each of these areas.

For example, check out this table of Territories and Dependencies in South America:

Country Territory/Dependency
Argentina Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Chile Easter Island, Juan Fernandez Islands
France French Guiana
Netherlands Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius. Sint Maarten
United Kingdom South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

No other nations have official territories or dependencies in South America. However, some regions within countries may have limited autonomy and there may be territorial disputes.

It’s important to stay on top of these facts. This knowledge can help you better understand the political landscape and make informed predictions about current events.

South America’s political history is vivid and turbulent!

Political History of South America

To understand the political history of South America with its brief history of colonization, independence, and the formation of modern-day countries, here’s what you need to know. The continent’s history is marked with invasions, conflicts, and resistance. However, it also includes a rich and colorful cultural heritage that has helped shape the region into the diverse political landscape it is today.

Brief History of South America’s Colonization

The Spanish, Portuguese, British and Dutch colonized South America from the early 16th century. It brought destruction to many indigenous cultures, but also introduced new ideas and practices. The Spanish set up bureaucratic systems, and the Portuguese focused on trade and slavery. South America gained independence in the early 19th century.

Afterwards, local elites took control and shaped their own nations. Some had authoritarian rule, while others developed a democracy. South America is still politically varied, with a range of views on issues like economic growth, social justice and protecting the environment.

Pro Tip: You must understand South America’s past to make sense of its complex political system today. South America finally got to break up with their colonial exes: Spain and Portugal, proving that even countries deserve a hot girl summer.

Independence from Spain and Portugal

The South American continent saw massive political changes when it declared independence from Spain and Portugal. This tumultuous process spanned several decades, with various shifts in power and alliances. Factors such as resentment towards colonial rule, economic exploitation, ideological differences, and cultural disparities drove nationalist movements.

During this struggle for freedom, powerful leaders emerged. Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin are two examples who played a key role in shaping the region’s history. They led Venezuela and Argentina’s fight for independence respectively.

Alliances were formed between different regions to achieve common goals. By 1830, all of South America had gained independence from European powers.

Unfortunately, even today, some nations still suffer the effects of colonial rule. In Brazil, White people own more than 70% of wealth despite making up less than 50% of the population, according to the IBGE. Who needs a family tree when you can just look at the ever-changing borders of South American countries?

Formation of Modern-day South American Countries

South America was moulded by centuries of events. Colonization, wars and disputes all played a part. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the continent between Portugal and Spain. This caused issues between local tribes and the colonizers.

The Napoleonic Wars caused a surge of independence movements. Simon Bolivar led the way in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Brazil became independent from Portugal, peacefully, in 1822. Territorial disputes continued for decades, with the Chaco War being one.

South America still suffers from political instability. This is due to economic inequalities, corruption and power struggles between leaders. Chile and Uruguay have improved democracy and their economy.

Argentina was home to many indigenous groups before it was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. The Amazon rainforest and Andes mountains provide an exciting path for explorers.

Geographical Features of South America

To learn about the geographical features of South America with a focus on physical features, climate, and biodiversity, explore this section. You’ll gain insights into the characteristics of each sub-section and how they contribute to the overall landscape and ecosystem of the continent.

Physical Features

South America is adorned with an array of stunning and remarkable topographical formations. They have impacted the lives of those living in the region, making them an important part of their history.

For instance, there is:

  • The Andes – the world’s longest mountain range, spanning 7,000 km from Venezuela to Chile.
  • The Amazon Basin – the largest tropical rainforest on earth covering 6.9 million sq. km, about 40% of South America.
  • Patagonia – located in the South of Argentina and Chile, it is a vast desert-like plateau covered with glaciers and scenic landscapes.
  • The Atacama Desert – The driest place on earth with a length of 1,600 km.
  • The Brazilian Highlands – A huge plateau in Central Brazil, with many rivers running into the Amazon basin.
  • The Guiana Highlands – This mountainous area is in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela, and Brazil. It has Roraima tepui – one of the most beautiful table-top mountains on earth.

In addition, South America has other unique features like active volcanoes in Peru, Salar de Uyuni – The world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia, and Tierra del Fuego – a subantarctic archipelago that marks the most southern inhabited point on Earth.

Jorge, a farmer in Peru near Mount Misti, showed us how he saves crops from volcanic eruptions. This demonstrates how geological features can have both positive and negative effects on human life.

South America’s weather is unpredictable – except for lots of rainforest!


South America’s Atmospheric Conditions – Spice of Life!

South America is an incredibly diverse continent. Its climate is divided into five main categories: tropical, arid/semi-arid, cool/temperate, polar, and moist subtropical. These climates are affected by global phenomena like the Intertropical Convergence Zone and ENSO.

Tropical climates have high temperatures and plenty of rain. This makes it a great place for rainforests like the Amazon Basin. On the other hand, arid and semi-arid climates, like the Atacama Desert in Chile, get little to no rainfall. Cool or temperate climates have moderate temperatures with distinct seasons, while polar climates can only be found in Antarctica.

Moist subtropical climates affect places like Montevideo and the Pampas region in Argentina. South American weather can be as unpredictable as continental climates elsewhere.

If you’re planning a holiday in South America, choose destinations based on the climate. Southern Andean regions like Patagonia are colder during summer, while northern areas like Cartagena are warmer year-round. Rio de Janeiro has consistently warm weather with short showers. Plan your trip carefully for the best experience! South America’s climate diversity is the hottest dish on the menu.


South America has an incredible range of ‘Flora and Fauna’. It’s spread across various landforms including the Andes and the Amazon Basin. This diverse collection includes rare plants, animals, amphibians, and insects, that survive due to climatic variations.

The Amazon is the most extensive tropical rainforest in the world, covering one-third of South America. It’s home to thousands of species of trees and medicinal plants. 400 mammals, like jaguars and macaws, thrive here – giving South America an impressive concentration of species.

Geographical features affect the diversity of life. The continent’s elongated shape running north to south creates ecological isolation which supports endemic species. The Arkabuco River region is home to endangered wildlife, like Andean condors and vicuñas.

To protect South America’s biodiversity, preservation measures should be put in place. These include protecting natural habitats from deforestation or mining, transitioning to sustainable agriculture methods, and setting aside protected regions.

Economic and Cultural Significance of South American Countries

To understand the economic and cultural significance of South American countries with respect to major industries, cultural contributions and diversity, and tourism, dive into this section of the article ‘How Many Countries in South America?’.

Major Industries in South America

South American nations have diversified economies with significant industries. Natural resources and a plentiful workforce have enabled their growth. To learn more, the NLP topic ‘Major Industries in South America’ can help.

A Breakdown of South America’s Economic Sectors

The table below displays the major industries that power South American countries. It also shows each nation’s special exports:

Country Major Industry Prominent Exports
Brazil Agriculture & Livestock Soybeans, Coffee, Sugar
Colombia Oil & Gas Petroleum & Coal
Chile Mining Copper, Lithium, Iron Ore
Peru Fishing & Mining Copper, Gold, Silver, Anchovy
Argentina Agricultural Products and Processing Soybean-based products, corn flour

Chile is a world leader in copper mining, thanks to its abundance of copper. Peru, on the other hand, is a big player in Anchovy fishing for fishmeal production.

Pro Tip: These industries are continually evolving. Keeping up-to-date with them can help reveal investment opportunities and job openings in South America.

Why not explore the continent and experience a variety of cultures in one trip? South America offers just that!

Cultural Contributions and Diversity

South America dazzles with its cultural offerings and variety! From music to art, dance, literature, cuisine, and traditions, the region is brimming with cultural expressions that reflect a complex history and multiculturalism.

Brazil’s Carnival is a prime example. Here, costumes and samba bring together regional cultures. Then there’s Argentina’s tango music and dance, which symbolize the country’s passion. Peru is also home to the incredible Machu Picchu ruins and vibrant textiles that preserve the Inca heritage.

Colombia has coffee culture. Venezuela’s folklore is vibrant. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s legacy lives on. Plus, the indigenous Mapuche cuisine of southern Argentina and Chile can’t be missed.

For a complete experience, explore local markets. You’ll find traditional crafts, spices, and foods of South American countries. Ready to experience the beat of South America? Tour the natural beauty and cultural treasures!

Tourism in South America

The tourist attraction in South America is growing! It has diverse cultures, natural beauty and historical significance that draw visitors from all over. Stunning beaches, ancient ruins, vibrant cities, and breathtaking landscapes make it a must-see destination.

Brazil, Colombia and Argentina are some of the most visited countries in South America. Chile offers natural wonders such as Torres del Paine National Park. Peru’s Machu Picchu and Ecuador’s Galapagos islands make for an unforgettable journey.

Travellers can savour local cuisines, experience traditional customs and festivals and go on adventure sports like river rafting, hiking or surfing. In February 2020, tourists to Brazil for Carnival were awestruck by the parade performances and street parties. This contributed to an unforgettable trip in South America.

Let’s not forget the nearby regions that make South America shine even brighter!

South America and its Surrounding Regions

To understand the relationship of South America with its surrounding regions, delve deeper into the ties it has with Central America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. These sub-sections will help provide a comprehensive understanding of South America’s interdependence with the world at large.

Relationship with Central America

South America is connected to Africa and Europe more than ever. But what about Central America? These two regions share a unique relationship! Being close together, they’ve experienced much cultural, economic, and social exchange through the years. This shared history can be seen in many aspects of life.

Plus, South America and Central America have had political alliances. The Organisation of American States (OAS) works to promote economic cooperation among members, including those from the two regions. They’ve also forged trade agreements to foster inter-regional commerce.

But, there still exist issues between them. Some say Central American immigrants face discrimination in South America. Others argue some South American countries think they’re superior to Central America.

To strengthen the bond, invest in each other’s economies. For example, encourage South American businesses to set up shop in Central America, and vice versa. Also, promote cultural exchange programmes to build bridges between the different societies.

Ties with African and European Nations

South America and its connections to Africa and Europe have been strong for centuries. There are political, economic and social ties between South American countries and African nations. While Europe has been a big trading partner of South American countries for generations, sharing deep cultural bonds.

This has led to academic collaborations and stronger cultural ties between universities. African and European artists are performing in South America’s music scenes alongside local talent, making the creative industries thrive.

South America is home to a big expat community from African and European countries. This community keeps their roots alive in South America while fostering trade relations through their businesses.

The Guinea-Bissau movement is an example of these connections, with the 2019 “Music crosses borders” event in the capital city gathering hundreds of people to build bridges between continents.

The links between South America, Africa and Europe are undeniable and have a big influence in the social, economic and political areas of all involved regions.

Connections with Asia and Oceania

The Pacific Ocean links South America with Asia and Oceania. This allows the continent to benefit from cultural and economic advantages beyond its borders.

Asian philosophies, religions and martial arts have had a lasting impact on South American culture. People from Asia have migrated to South America in search of a better life, and Oceania has become a popular tourist destination for South Americans.

An interesting fact is that Peru has a sizeable Japanese-descendant community. This community has greatly benefited Peru’s economy, through industries such as agriculture and fishing.

One thing’s for sure – South America is an intriguing mix of cultures, and it’s never dull.

Conclusion: The Importance of Understanding South America’s Diversity and Complexity

South America’s complex makeup means it’s important to learn about its countries. This increases understanding of their histories, cultures, and economies. This knowledge helps to appreciate the region’s political landscape, wildlife, and natural wonders. This is key to understanding South America’s unique identity. Studying the continent gives insight into its development and challenging past.

Exploring South America unveils the empires of the Incas and Mapuche, as well as colonial societies such as the Spanish Empire. Most countries achieved independence in the 19th century after centuries of Spanish rule, with Guyana gaining independence in 1966. Every country has distinctive landscapes – from pampas to Andean peaks. It’s a great place for travellers, solo adventurers, and families.

Latin America is multilingual, with Portuguese in Brazil, and African languages infused with European tongues like Spanish and Dutch creole Papiamentu in Suriname. Cultures differ across Latin America, though many traditional dances have been recognised worldwide, such as La Diablada (Bolivia) and capoeira (Brazil).

An important event in the region is Ollantaytambo’s Battle (1537 CE). This was between native rebels led by Manco Inca Yupanqui and the Spanish. Despite heavy losses, Manco Inca held his stronghold in Ollantaytambo. This teaches us that determination is a powerful tool, even when facing adversity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many countries are there in South America?

A: There are 12 countries in South America.

Q: What are the names of the countries in South America?

A: The countries in South America are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Q: Which country is the largest in South America?

A: Brazil is the largest country in South America.

Q: Which country is the smallest in South America?

A: Suriname is the smallest country in South America.

Q: What is the population of South America?

A: The population of South America is approximately 430 million people.

Q: Which language is spoken the most in South America?

A: Spanish is the most spoken language in South America, followed by Portuguese, and then a variety of indigenous languages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *