South America

Get to know the basic facts and countries in South America. Also, learn about Sandalsand’s impressions, find photos and articles.






Overall impressions

I was strolling around the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco, Peru. Then three smiling girls came up with their alpacas and traditional clothing. Of course I had to stop and take their picture. 

The girls did not ask for propina, instead they were just nice and laughed when they took up position in front of us. Obviously, we could not resist the temptation to photograph them.

For a traveller, the Inca descendants from the Andes Mountain Range represent the quintessence of this part of the world. They are a poor, yet proud. They are traditional, yet they strive to enhance their material well-being. Unfortunately most South American countries have been ruled by military dictatorships. Throughout the centuries the military has been cooperating closely with the Catholic church.

In combination with immense differences between rich and poor, most countries have had profound difficulties to develop a sound economy. That is an economy able to produce a decent standard of living for all segments of the population. On the other hand, very positive trends have emerged since the end of the 20th century.

All this goes for the rest of Latin America as well. By the way, Sandalsand categorises everything north of the South American (sub-) continent as North America.


Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela

South America consists of 12 independent countries and Sandalsand has been to six. If you click the country links above, you will find all entries from each country.

The remaining six are indicated by a yellow colour in the map.

There are also a few territories of a different legal status in this region, for instance the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. They are British overseas territories. French Guiana is a French overseas region. It is normal to group Central America and the Caribbean as part of North America, and I follow the same definition.

America-South Map of South America. Sandalsand has been to countries marked with a green colour, and not the yellow countries. (Map source: Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (user Luan))

Photo galleries

Open the box to view Sandalsand’s picture galleries from this region.

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1988 Chile

1988 Bolivia

1987 Peru

1987 Ecuador

1987 Brazil



Posts from South America

In Latin America, even atheists are Catholics. (Carlos Fuentes)

A fact sheet

This is from Wikipedia’s introduction to this region.


Map and numbers

South America (orthographic projection).svg

  • Area: 17,840,000 km2
  • Population: 420,458,044 (2016)
  • Population density: 21.4/km2
  • Nominal GDP: $3.94 trillion (2017)
  • PPP GDP: $6.57 trillion (2017)
  • GDP per capita: $9,330 (2017)
  • Demonym: South American
  • Countries: 12
  • Dependencies: 3



South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas.

It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie to the northwest.

South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi). Its population as of 2016 has been estimated at more than 420 million. South America ranks fourth in area (after Asia, Africa, and North America) and fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America). Brazil is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent’s population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Peru. In recent decades Brazil has also concentrated half of the region’s GDP and has become a first regional power.



Wikipedia on a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Date: 2018-06-22