South America

  • 12 sovereign states: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela;
  • 2 dependent territories: the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands;
  • 1 internal territory: French Guiana
  • Aconcagua: the highest mountain in the Americas 6,961m
  • highest capitals: La Paz (3,650 m), Quito (2,850 m), Bogota (2,640 m)
  • South America has the world's driest desert, tallest waterfall, longest mountain range (Andes, 7,242 km), largest rain forest, and biggest river by volume of flow.
  • tepui: tabletop mountains, means "house of the gods". One of the oldest rock formations in the world. More than one hundred in Venezuela.
  • Mapuche: lives in the southern end of South America, now in Chile and Argentina.
  • About 1/3 of South America's land is used for farming or ranching.
  • Most of the world's emeralds come from Colombia.


  • c. 10,500 B.C.: people live in Monte Verde, Chile.
  • 1492: Christopher Columbus "discovered" the New World of the Americas.
  • 1530s: The Spanish explorers invade South America.
  • 1500s - 1800s: Europeans take Aficans to South America to work as slaves.
  • 1888: Slavery ends in Brazil,.


  • 1438–1533, capital: Cusco
  • 1533: Spanish conquest led by Francisco Pizarro
  • Peru, western Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, a large portion of what is today Chile, and the southwesternmost tip of Colombia
  • sun worship
  • Quechua: the Inca language. Now the most widely spoden indigenous language in the Amricas.
  • Inka = ruler in Quechua
  • Sapa Inca: "the only Inca", the ruler of the Kingdom of Cuzco and later, the Emperor of the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu) and the Neo-Inca State.
  • Inca were able to construct "one of the greatest imperial states in human history" without the use of the wheel, draft animals, knowledge of iron or steel, or even a system of writing
  • pachamama=mama earch
  • incan: master of fibers
  • Machu Picchu: the ancient Inca city in the Peruvian Andes; the residents abandoned the city in the 1530s. In 1911, it was rediscovered by an American explorer.


  • Pantanal: world's largest tropical wetland area (Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay)
  • Andes Mountains, the longest mountain range in the world: 7,000 km long, 200 to 700 km wide, avg height ~4000m. 7 countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
    • Andean Condor
  • The Gran Chaco: hot and dry grassy lowlands. It covers parts of Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.
    • Quebracho: a tree grows there, provides strong timber and tannin for dyeing leather.
  • Pampas: south of the Gran Chaco. Flat, fertile plains, in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Gauchos: cowboys.
  • The Atacama Desert: the driest desert, the sky is extremely clear, one of the best places for studying stars. Rich in copper and sodium nitrate (used for fertilizer and gunpowders).
  • Iguaçu Falls: on the boarder of Brazil and Argentina. 275 falls.
  • Patagonia: the southern end of South America (Argentina, Chile). mostly in Argentina, includes the Andes in the west and dry plateaus and plains to the east.
  • The Galápagos Islands: lie abuot 600 miles west of Ecuador; 18 volcanic islands. Wildlife. The penguins there live farther north than any other kind. The islands' marine iguana is the only lizard that feeds in the ocean.
  • The Amazon rain forest: the world's largest tropical rain forest; it covers about 2 million square miles, or 5.2 million sq km. It carries more water than any other river. Only the Nile is longer. It produces 20 percent of Earth's oxygen. Animals: poison-dart frog, toucan, tapir.
  • Lake Titicaca: located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, 3,812 meters above sea level. the highest navigable lake in the world. Home to Uro-Aymara Indians; floating islands made from reeds that grow on the shore.
  • The Guianas
    • Spanish Guiana: Guayana Region, Venezuela
    • British Guiana: Guyana
    • Dutch Guiana: Suriname
    • French Guiana: French Guiana, an oversea dept of France
    • Portuguese Guiana: State of Amapa, Brazil

Largest Airlines

Full service:

  • LATAM: Chile, Brasil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay
  • Avianca: Columbia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas: Argentina

Low cost:

  • Gol: Brazil (all B737)
  • Azul: Brazil. (has widebody A339)
  • Viva: Viva Colombia, Viva Peru (all A320)
  • SKY: Chile, Peru (all A320)
  • JetSMART: Chile, Argentina (all A320) By Indigo Partners (also created Frontier, Volaris, Wizz)

Airlines with widebodies:

Airlines Aircraft All Lieflat All direct aisle access
LATAM Chile 767/787 Yes No
LATAM Brasil 767/787/77W Yes NO
Avianca (Columbia) 787 Yes Yes
Aerolíneas Argentinas A332 No No
Azul A332/A339/A359



  • Perito Moreno Glacier


Currency: USD


UIO-GYE-GPS (Baltra Island)

Bus from GPS airport to Puerto Ayora

Quito metro 2022

  • Otavalo Market: vast andean handicrafts market.


Maracaibo Basin contains large reserves of crude oil. The basin also holds almost a quarter of Venezuela's population.


  • Portugal ruled Brazil until 1822.

Sao Paulo

  • CPTM: commuter rail, 7 lines
  • Metro: 6 lines
  • South America's biggest city; has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.

favelas 贫民窟


  • Salar de Uyuni: salt flats.


  • Colonia del Sacramento

Food and Drink

  • Chicha: corn beer


  • Simón Bolívar (1783-1830): led independence from the Spanish Empire (Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama)
  • Pachacuti: "reformer of the world" 9th Sapa Inca 1438–1471/1472, transformed Kingdom of Cusco to the Inca Empire, built Machu Picchu