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  South America
 

South America brings to you the tangy taste of life with its ethereal ingredients of salsa, tango and samba. It takes you to a world that is a delight to the senses and rejuvenation for your mind as well. This is the place where you can have an awesome experience of wonderful natural beauty, cuisines, art forms and conceptions of self and community. In South America there are street corners where the pageantry and movement of life is so dynamic and so varied that you could stand still for a week and never get bored. Whether adventuring into isolated settings with breathtaking panoramic mountain views or winding through marketplaces bubbling with the energy and chaos of modernity, South America has it all for you. As an icing on the cake, the genuine warmth and simple hospitality of the ‘Mestizo’ families will help you develop a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a part of a community.
Raft the Amazon, hike the ancient Inca Trail, explore the Galapagos, scuba dive in Venezuelan waters, climb Aconcagua, kayak the Apurima, soak up sun on the beaches of Chile or join an expedition to the lush rain forests, South America never disappoints you. From the football mania of Argentina to samba drum beats of Brazilian carnival, from tribal life in Guatemala to coastlines of Colombia; the continent is a haven of electrifying activities. Each country you visit in South America has unique traditions, histories, and ways of looking at the world. All have aspects that are still relatively undeveloped, and all have cultures that are influenced significantly from Western ways of life. For this reason the South American continent is also addressed as the Latin America due to dominant existence of the Romance languages among the mass and its culture. South America is also a continent of contrasts. Across the continent, people can be seen living in thatched roof huts and some times in treetop accommodations too, quite in contrasts to the glittering mansions and arcades of the metropolises. If the vibrancy of city life in Sau Paulo, Buenos Aries, Lima or Caracas fails to hold your senses, make a journey to off the beaten path places in South America. Dive into the thick of the continent and allow yourself to be surrounded, overwhelmed and inspired by its realities. Right from the ancient days of the Inca civilisation through the European colonial era to the present day, the South American people display an amazing story of survival. You will be able to explore how the Awá, Banawa, Caiapos, Enxet, Mapuche, Xucuru and Zaparos people have learned to adapt to the extreme environments, and how, in doing so, their societies have managed to thrive for thousands of years. Apart from the local and regional languages like Aymará, Quechua and Guaraní, foreign dialects like English, Hindi, Spanish, Dutch, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and German are spoken all over South America. The Mestizos, peoples of mixed European and Amerindian races, officially make up the majority of the populations in the continent and Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion all over South America. This continent ranks fifth in terms of population in the world and is home to approximately 371,200,000 people.

 
 

South America is the fourth largest continent on earth and is blessed with almost all forms of natural features. Situated between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, it is a Western Hemisphere destination. In broad sense, South America is often adjudged as part of America, a combined identity of North, Central and South America. However, for statistical and political convenience, South America is notified as the landmass that begins from the ending point of Isthmus of Panama and stretches till the Scotia Sea. Sprawling over an area of 17,820,000 sq km (6,880,000 sq mi), South America absorbs about 3.5% of the Earth's surface. Its broad spread landscape till the edge of Antarctica makes it part of the Southern hemisphere too. South America comprises of twelve independent countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela and the overseas department of French Guiana. It is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea in the north, the Atlantic Ocean on east and by the Pacific Ocean on the western side. The continent stretches from Punta Gallinas, Colombia in the north to Cape Horn, Chile, in the south and the equator dissects it horizontally near the broadest middle part.
The topography of South America is dotted with several fascinating wonders. The land’s character ranges from thick, unexplored jungle to rolling, seemingly inhabitable sand dunes. The western dry and arid regions of Patagonia and the Atacama Desert in Chile and Peru stand in sharp contrast with lush rainforests at the central and eastern part of the continent. The seismically active mountain ranges of Andes fence the western borders of South America. However, it is the great Amazon River basin that stars as one of the most dominant features not only in this continent but of whole world. The Amazon has by far the greatest water total flow on earth and its drainage area, called the Amazon Basin, is the largest of any river system. Starting its journey from the peak called Nevado Mismi in the Peruvian Andes, the river on its way to the Atlantic Ocean creates extremely fertile flood plains and the enormous Amazon Rainforest. It is the largest rainforest in the world and is of great ecological significance with extraordinary biodiversity. It is home to at least 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals. Lake Titicaca is another famous fresh water body of South America.
South America has endured the wrath of time and nature for thousands of years and yet has emerged victorious by preserving its indigenous cultures. Starting from the days of the Chavín civilisation of 900 BC to the Inca of the Andes region from 1438 to 1533, the continent sheltered several tribal sects some of them are still existent in South America. At the fag end of fifteenth century, Portugal and Spain touched the shores of South America and the process of colonisation commenced. Gradually, there was hardly any country or domain was left in the continent that was not under any foreign occupation. In following centuries, the Mestizos and the Europeans then outnumbered the South American native tribes. Then at the advent of nineteenth century, the great South American Wars of Independence broke out under the prudent leadership of Simon Bolivar and José de San Martín and colonisation came to an end. Today, except French Guiana that remains part of France, all the countries of South America are independent republics and practice democracy.
Economically, the South American countries vary a lot. Some, like Argentina and Brazil, have made quantum leaps towards becoming a "modern" nation, while others seem anchored to archaic ways of life. All the countries of this continent are rich in natural resources, copper, iron ore, tin, and oil being the most widespread among them. The hydroelectric potential of the continent lies in the Amazon basin In individual evaluation of nations, Brazil is the most highly industrialised country in South America and is the world's largest producer and exporter of coffee and orange juice. Argentina is a classic example of agriculture-based export strength that is rivalled by even European and North American countries. However, most of the economies in South America still remain stuck in the vicious circle of hyperinflation, currency creation, flotation, inflation, corruption and unemployment.

 
 

Argentina - Bolivia - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Ecuador - Falkland Islands - French Guiana - Guyana - Paraguay

 
 
 
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