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South American Wonders of the World

Natural Wonders of South America


Visit 95 natural world wonders of South America, from the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil, to the Salto Grande Waterfall in Chile.

Angel Falls (indigenous name: Parakupa-vena or Kerepakupai merú which means the fall from the highest point, in Pemon language

Angel Falls-the highest in the world, water free-falls [1]

South America's natural forces can be witnessed in countless forms.You'll find them cascading over the Devil's Throat of the Iguazu Falls, flooding Llanos grasslands, pitting pirahanas in flooded forest treetops, ornamenting the snowy peaks of volanoes and freezing walls of ice in the deep Patagonian south.
Henry Pittier Park has the honor of having started the history of National Parks in Venezuela.
Henri Pittier Park shoreline [2]


South America is fourth largest of the world's continents. It is the southern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World, the Western Hemisphere, or simply the Americas. The continent is compact and roughly triangular in shape, being broad in the north and tapering to a point—Cape Horn, Chile—in the south. [3]
South America is the southern continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. 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 was named in 1580 by cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann after Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a New World unknown to Europeans. [4]


Interactive map of South America

New descriptions are added regularly. Last addition 1/16/2010

Columbia- Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth largest in South America. It is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by Panama and the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is the only country in South America to touch both Atlantic and Pacific oceans. [4] Brazil-country of South America that occupies half the continent's landmass. It is the fifth largest nation in the world, exceeded in size only by Russia, Canada, China, and the United States, though its area is greater than that of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. The country contains no desert, high-mountain, or arctic environments. [5]

Sierra Nevada De Santa Marta, Magdalena / Cesar / Le Guajira, Colombia
El Cocuy National Park, Arauca / Boyaca, Colombia
Choco Forest, Choco, Colombia
Los Nevados National Park, Tomila / Quindio / Risaraldi, Colombia
Amacayacu National Park, Amazonas, Colombia


Rio Solimoes & Rio Negro Confluence, Amazonas, Brazil
Amazon Basin, Brazil / Peru / Equador / Colombia / Venezuela / Bolivia
Amazon Bore, Amapa / Para, Brazil
Anavilhanas Archipelago, Amazonas, Brazil
Flooded Forest, Amazonas, Brazil
Igapo Forest, Amazon Basin, Brazil
Emas National Park, Goias, Brazil
The Pantanal, Brazil / Bolivia / Paraguay
The Cerrado, Brazil
Lencois Maranhenses, Maranhao, Brazil
Corcovado, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil
Caraca National Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Caatinga, Brazil
Aparados Da Serra National Park-Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil
St. Peter's and St. Paul's Rocks, Atalantic Ocean, Brazil



Venezuela-Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north, especially in the capital Caracas which is also the largest city. Other major cities include Maracaibo, Valencia, Maracay, Barquisimeto and Ciudad Guayana.[4]

Sierra Nevada De Mérida, Meridia, Venezuela
Henri Pittier National Park, Aragua State, Venezuela
The Llanos, Venezuela / Colombia
Orinoco Delta, Delta Amacuro, Venezuela
Guacharo Caves, Monagos / Sucre, Venezuela
Angel Falls, Bolivar State, Venezuela
Autana Tepui, Amazonas, Venezuela
Pico Da Neblina, Amazonas, Brazil / Amazonas, Venezuela


Guyana- officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and previously known as British Guiana, is a state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally associated with the Anglophone Caribbean. It is the only state of the Commonwealth of Nations on mainland South America.[4] Equador- officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, by Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 965 kilometres (600 mi) west of the mainland.[4]

Shell Beach, Barima-Waini, Guyana
Iwokrama Mountains, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana
Kanuku Mountains, Upper Takutu / Upper Essequibo, Guyana


Esmeraldas Region, Esmeraldas, Equador
San Rafael Falls, Sucumbios, Ecuador
Imuya lake, Sucumbios, Equador
Maquipucuna Reserve, Pichincha, Ecuador
Cotopaxi Volcano, Cotopaxi, Equador
Galapagos Islands, Pacific ocean, Equador
Galapagos Rift, Pacific ocean, Equador
Machalilla National Park, Manabi, Ecuador
Sangay National Park, Morona Santiago / Chimborazo / Tungurahua, Ecuador
Cajas Plateau, Azuay, Ecuador
Podocarpus National Park, Loja & Zamora, Ecaudor









French Guiana-French Guiana was originally inhabited by a number of indigenous American people. It was settled by the French during the 17th century. Its infamous Île du Diable (Devil's Island) was the site of penal settlements from 1852 until 1951.[4]

Awala-Yalimapo, French Guiana


Boliva- is a landlocked country in central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, and Chile and Peru to the west.[4]

Lake Titacaca, Peru / Bolivia
Federico Ahlfeld Falls, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Yungas, La Paz, Bolivia
Altiplano, Boliva / Chile / Peru
Red lake, Potosi, Bolivia


South America is thought to have been first inhabited by people crossing the Bering Land Bridge from Asia, which is now the Bering Strait. Some archaeological finds do not fit this theory and have led to an alternative theory of Pre-Siberian American Aborigines. The first evidence for the existence of agricultural practices in South America dates back to circa 6500 BC, when potatoes, chillies and beans began to be cultivated for food in the highlands of the Amazon Basin.[4]

Peru-Peru is essentially a tropical country, with its northern tip nearly touching the Equator. Despite its tropical location, a great diversity of climate, of way of life, and of economic activity is brought about by the extremes of elevation and by the southwest winds that sweep in across the cold Peru Current (or Humboldt Current), which flows along its Pacific shoreline. [5] Chile-Chile's relief is for the most part mountainous, with the Andes range dominating the landscape. Because of the country's extreme length it has a wide variety of climates, from the coastal desert beginning in the tropical north to the cold subantarctic southern tip. Chile is also a land of extreme natural events: volcanic eruptions, violent earthquakes, and tsunamis originating along major faults of the ocean floor periodically beset the country. [6]
Sechura Desert, Piura, Peru
Pachacota Gorge, Ancash, Peru
Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Peru
Valley of the Volcanoess, Arequipa, Peru
The Sphinx / White Mountain Range, Peru
Colca Canyon, Arequipa, Peru
Paracas National Reserve, Ica, Peru
Manu Biosphere Reserve, Cusco / Madre De Dios, Peru
Tammbopata National Reserve, Puno / Madre De Dios, Peru
Tamba Blanquilla, Madre De Dios, Peru
Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca, Puno, Peru
Lake Titacaca, Peru / Bolivia
Federico Ahlfeld Falls, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Yungas, La Paz, Bolivia
Altiplano, Boliva / Chile / Peru
Red lake, Potosi, Bolivia

Moon Valley, Atacama, Chile
Atacama Desert, Atacama, Chile
Atacama Salt Flat, Antofagasta, Chile
Tatio Geysers, Antofagasta, Chile
Lake Chungara, Tarapaca, Chile
Antuco Volcano, Bio-Bio, Chile
Malalcahuello Natural Reserve, Araucania, Chile
Salar De Surire, Tarapaca, Chile
Torres Del Paine National Park, Magallanes Y La Antartica Chilena, Chile
Salto Grande Waterfall, Magallanes Y La Antartica Chilena, Chile
Laguna San Rafael, Aisen, Chile
Fjordland, Chile
Balmaceda Glacier, Aisen / Magallenes Y La Antartica Chilena, Chile
Beagle Channel, Chile / Argentina
Nieve Penitentes, Chile / Argentina

The earliest known South American civilization was at Norte Chico, on the central Peruvian coast. Though a pre-ceramic culture, the monumental architecture of Norte Chico is contemporaneous with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. The Chavín established a trade network and developed agriculture by 900 BC, according to some estimates and archaeological finds. Artifacts were found at a site called Chavín de Huantar in modern Peru at an elevation of 3,177 meters. Chavín civilization spanned 900 BC to 300 BC.[4]

Argentina-country of South America, covering most of the southern portion of the continent. The world's eighth largest country, Argentina occupies an area more extensive than Mexico and the U.S. state of Texas combined. It encompasses immense plains, deserts, tundra, and forests, as well as tall mountains, rivers, and thousands of miles of ocean shoreline. Argentina also claims a portion of Antarctica, as well as several islands in the South Atlantic, including the British-ruled Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).[4]
Beagle Channel, Chile / Argentina
Nieve Penitentes, Chile / Argentina
Iguazu Falls, Argentina / Brazil
Ibera Marshes / Corrientes, Argentina
The Pampas, Argentina
Valdes Penninsula, Chubut, Argentina
Puta Tumbo, Chubut, Argentina
Mount Fitzroy, Santa Cruz, Argentina
Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz, Argentina


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1. Flickr-Angel Falls- -Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 6/27/2009
2. Flickr-Henri Pittier- Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 6/22/2009
3. "South America." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.
4. Wikipedia  text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
5. "Peru." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.
6. "Chile." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.


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