1. Highest Capital City in the World - La Paz, Bolivia
South America is home to the highest capital city in the world - La Paz, Bolivia. Located at an elevation of 3,640 meters (11,942 feet) above sea level, La Paz is the highest administrative capital in the world, and is a popular tourist destination for its unique culture and stunning views of the Andes Mountains. The city is also home to a number of historical sites, including the San Francisco Church and the Plaza Murillo, as well as a vibrant nightlife and a variety of restaurants and cafes.
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2. Brazil and Argentina: Two of the World's Largest Countries
South America is home to two of the world's largest countries: Brazil and Argentina. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, with an area of 8,515,767 km2, while Argentina is the eighth largest, with an area of 2,780,400 km2. Both countries are incredibly diverse, with Brazil boasting the world's largest rainforest, the Amazon, and Argentina boasting the world's highest waterfall, the Iguazu Falls.
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3. An Extensive and Populous Continent
South America is an expansive continent, ranking fourth in size among the seven continents of the world. Spanning an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers, it is the fifth most populous continent, home to over 420 million people. South America is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, and is connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama. It is home to some of the world's most iconic landmarks, including the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes Mountains, and the Atacama Desert.
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4. Two of the Five Longest Rivers in the World Live in South America
South America is home to two of the five longest rivers in the world: the Amazon, stretching an impressive 4,087 miles, and the Parana, at 3,032 miles. The Amazon is so vast that it can even be seen from space! This river is the largest in the world by volume, and is responsible for supplying 20% of the world's fresh water. The Parana, while shorter than the Amazon, is still an impressive feat of nature, and is the second largest river in South America.
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5. The Andes: The Longest Mountain Range in the World
The majestic Andes mountain range is the longest in the world, stretching an incredible 4,000 miles across seven countries in South America. Starting in Venezuela, the range passes through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, before ending in Tierra del Fuego. The Andes are home to some of the highest peaks in the world, including Aconcagua in Argentina, which stands at an impressive 6,962 meters above sea level.
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6. Angel Falls: The Highest waterfall in the world
Angel Falls, located in Venezuela, is the highest waterfall in the world, with an impressive 3,281 feet of cascading water. This majestic waterfall is made up of a series of steps, with the water tumbling from the top to the base in a spectacular display of nature's power. It is a sight to behold and a must-see for anyone visiting South America.
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7. The Amazon River is the largest river in South America
The Amazon River is the largest river in South America, and indeed the world, in terms of sheer volume of water. Spanning over 4,000 miles, it is the second longest river in the world and is responsible for carrying more water than any other river on the planet. Its drainage basin covers an area of over 2.7 million square miles, and its average discharge rate is over 7 million cubic feet per second. The Amazon River is a vital source of life for the region, providing water for drinking, irrigation, and transportation, as well as a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
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8. The Most Spectacular Natural Wonder in Iguazu Falls
The majestic Iguazu Falls, located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, are one of the most spectacular natural wonders of South America. Spanning an impressive 2.7 kilometres in width, the falls are made up of 275 individual cascades, with the highest reaching a staggering 82 metres in height. The falls are shared by both countries, with the majority of the falls located in Argentina, and the remaining portion in Brazil. Visitors to the falls can enjoy a variety of activities, such as boat rides, helicopter tours, and even a walk along the Devil's Throat, a U-shaped chasm that is the most impressive of the falls.
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9. South America's Only Growing Glacier - the Perito Moreno glacier
South America is home to the only still growing glacier in the world - the Perito Moreno glacier. Located in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, this glacier is a stunning sight to behold, measuring an impressive 30 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region, and is renowned for its spectacular ice formations and the thunderous sound of its advancing ice wall.
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10. South America's highest navigable lake: Lake Titicaca
South America is home to the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. Located in the Andes Mountains between Peru and Bolivia, the lake sits at an elevation of 3,812 meters (12,507 feet) above sea level, making it the highest navigable lake in the world. It is also the largest lake in South America, covering an area of 8,372 square kilometers (3,232 square miles). The lake is home to a variety of species, including the endangered Titicaca water frog, and is an important source of food and water for the local population.