South America

The southerly half of the new world has 13 countries, nine of which are united by the Spanish language. Outliers are Portuguese-speaking Brazil – accounting for the continent’s largest population and area – English-speaking Guyana, French-speaking French Guiana and Dutch-speaking Suriname. Because of Brazil’s size, half of all South Americans speak Portuguese. Minorities speak indigenous languages (Aymará, Quechua, Guaraní and Mapudungun) and those of immigrants from abroad.

From tropical rainforests in Columbia and Brazil to Patagonian glaciers in Chile and Argentina, the landscape changes dramatically from north to south. In the middle it’s more temperate, which makes for excellent winemaking (hello Malbec). Peru boasts highest navigable lake in the world (Titicaca), Bolivia the biggest salt flat (Uyuni), and Brazil and Argentina the largest waterfall (Iguazu). South America also has the planet’s longest continental mountain range (Andes) and largest river (Amazon). Clearly, this is a continent of natural wonders. It’s also known for archeology, sensuality (think tango) and vibrancy.

South America has many islands, the best known of which are the mysterious Easter Island (Chile), reptilian Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), and British-owned sea life sanctuaries of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Latest Blog Posts

Santiago at sunset

Fueled with Wine Instead of Gas in Santiago

Chile is arguably the most oddly shaped country in the world; it’s like a long stick. Even more odd is that this stick doesn’t need to beat back tourists (at least not yet) as each nodule on it represents a different climate and ecosystem. Included are outstanding agriculture and viticulture. Thank goodness for the latter when visiting a friend in Santiago.

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Football a Go Go, Tango a No Go in Buenos Aires

At the turn of the 21st century, I learned two things about Argentina: never get in the way of football fans or learn tango from an instructor a foot shorter than you. If so, pray that Argentina wins and that no one else is watching, respectively.

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Unlike Australia, Antarctica is only a continent, not also a country. That’s because it does not have sovereignty, a government, a political system, an army or a permanent population.