In this article, we talk about List Of South American Countries And Capitals. The South American continent has 12 countries and 3 recognized territories. The population of South America currently stands at 431,110,793. There is a lot for you to find out about this amazing continent and I hope this article provides you with some insight into the continent.
SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES AND CAPITALS AND CURRENT PRESIDENTS
List of South American Countries And Capitals
- Capital is Buenos Aires
- Capital is Sucre (de jure)
- Capital is Brasilia
- Capital is Santiago
- Capital is Bogotá
- Capital is Quito
- Capital is Georgetown
- Capital is Asunción
- Capital is Lima
- Capital of Paramaribo
- Capital is Montevideo
- Capital is Caracas
List of South American Countries And Presidents
- Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina (2015–present)
- Evo Morales, President of Bolivia (2006–present)
- Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil (2019–present)
- Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile (2018–present)
- Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia (2018–present)
- Lenín Moreno, President of Ecuador (2017–present)
- Falkland Islands (Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
- Governor – Nigel Phillips, Governor of the Falkland Islands (2017–present)
- David A. Granger, President of Guyana (2015–present)
- Mario Abdo Benítez, President of Paraguay (2018–present)
- Martín Vizcarra, President of Peru (2018–present)
- Dési Bouterse, President of Suriname (2010–present)
- Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay (2015–present)
- Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela (2013–present)
- #1. Argentina
- Capital city: Buenos Aires
- Area: 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq. mi)
- Population: 45,106,251
The massive Argentina is the first South American nation on this list. The terrain of Argentina encompasses the Andes mountains, glacial lakes and also Pampas grassland which is the traditional grazing ground of its famous beef cattle. Also, Argentina is well known for its tango dance and music. The capital city of Argentina is Buenos Aires, a big, cosmopolitan city that is centered on the Plaza de Mayo. The city is lined with stately 19th century buildings such as CasaRosada, which is the iconic, balconied presidential Palace. In the Pampas, there are estancias (ranches) as well as Spanish colonial Córdoba which was founded in 1573. The city is now a university town. Mendoza is the engine of Argentina’s wine country and is known for Malbecs and other red wines. In the Andes region of the country, the 6,962m Aconcagua is the highest peak of the Western Hemisphere. At the border shared with Brazil, the dramatic Iguazu Falls thunder 82m into tropical jungle. The Alpine-style town Bariloche is known as base for skiing, hiking as well as exploring the Lake District. Patagonia’s vast steppes stretch as far as Península Valdés which is home to whales and penguins, and also Tierra del Fuego, an island chain located off the country’s southernmost tip.
- #2. Bolivia
- Capital city: Sucre
- Area: 1,098,581 square kilometers (424,164 sq. mi)
- Population: 11,338,929
Located in the central part of South America, Bolivia is a country with varied terrain that spans the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and also the Amazon Basin rainforest. Its administrative capital, La Paz, is situated at a height of over 3,500m, on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau with the snow-capped Mt. Illimani in the background. The glass-smooth Lake Titicaca, is near the administrative capital and is the largest lake on the continent, straddling the border with Peru. You can explore Lake Titicaca by kayak, and catamarans ferry passengers to the rugged Isla del Sol, at its south end, which features traditional villages as well as Incan ruins. The pre-Incan site of Tiwanaku and its monoliths as well as underground temples sit nearby. Further down south, you can observe the white expanse of the Salar de Uyuni salt flat from Incahuasi Island at its center. The tropical, biodiverse Yungas area which borders the Cordillera Real mountains, is a popular location for hiking, as is the namesake volcano of the Sajama National Park. Sucre which is the Capital city of Bolivia is well known for its colonial architecture.
- #3. Brazil
- Capital city: Brasilia
- Area: 8,515,767.049 km2 (3,287,956 sq. mi)
- Population: 212,033,438
Brazil is a large South American country. It stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to vineyards and the massive Iguaçu Falls in the south. One of its cities, Rio de Janeiro is symbolized by its 38m Christ the Redeemer statue that stands atop Mount Corcovado. The city is also famous for its busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. Another highlight of this city is its enormous, raucous Carnaval festival, that features parade floats and flamboyant costumes, as well as samba music and dance. The vibrant São Paulo is filled with shops, restaurants and cultural institutions that include the notable Museum of Art. Brasília, the capital city of Brazil was founded recently in 1960 and is a planned city with modernist buildings by Oscar Niemeyer. In the northeastern part of Brazil, the state of Bahia is famous for beaches and the dense Amazon rainforest. The area reflects African influences in its capoeira martial arts, axé dance music and mmoqueca which is a coconut milk-seafood stew. The capital of Bahia state, Salvador, still has its 16th and 17th century core. Farther north of the country is Alagoas’ coral reefs, Maranhão’s sand dunes and also the Portuguese colonial town Olinda. Western Pantanal’s wetlands are home to caimans and jaguars.
- #4. Chile
- Capital city: Santiago
- Area: 756,950 sq. km (292,183 sq. mi)
- Population: 18,303,392
Located along the western edge of South America, Chile is a long, narrow country with more than 6,000km of Pacific Ocean coastline. Santiago, the capital city of Chile sits in a valley and is surrounded by both the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range mountains. The city’s palm-lined Plaza de Armas is home to the neoclassical cathedral as well as the National History Museum. The very massive Parque Metropolitano has swimming pools, a botanical garden, as well as zoo. Valparaiso, a city close to Santiago features beaches, resorts and also La Sebastian a which is one of the several homes-turned-museums of poet Pablo Neruda. Patagonia, the rugged and sparsely populated southern region of Chile that extends into neighboring Argentina, allows for hiking among the granite towers of Torres del Paine, glaciers and also a steppe. Mountain resorts like Portillo and Valle Nevado are quite popular for skiing and also climbing. Chile is a major wine producer in the world and is home to dozens of wineries that are spread out over multiple regions. About 3,700km off the coast, the isolated Easter Island is famous for its giant, mysterious moai statues.
- #5. Colombia
- Capital city: Bogotá
- Area: 439,736 sq. mi (1,138,910 sq. km)
- Population: 49,850,000
Colombia sits at the northern tip of the South American continent. The country has a landscape that is marked by rainforests, Andes mountains and also numerous coffee plantations. In the high-altitude capital city of Colombia, Bogotá, the Zona Rosa district is famous for its restaurants and shops. Cartagena, located on the Caribbean coast, features a walled colonial Old Town, a 16th century castle, as well as coral reefs located nearby. You will find dramatic mountain scenery around the Eje Cafetero which is also known as the CoffeeTriangle,. The area is a laid-back region of coffee plant covered slopes and wild orchids, plus biking as well as horseback riding trails. The Barragán River rapids offer whitewater rafting while rock climbing and hang gliding is possible in Santander. Visitors to Colombia can also explore the vast Amazon Rainforest through regional hubs such as Leticia. In the North near Santa Marta are the ruins of Ciudad Perdida also known as Teyuna. It is a “lost city” with ancient jungle-covered terraces. Nearby, the coastal Tayrona Natural Park offers diverse wildlife, snorkeling and also surfing.
- #6. Ecuador
- Capital city: Quito
- Area: 248,360 Km2 (95,892 sq. miles)
- Population: 17,100,000
Straddling the equator on South America’s west coast, Ecuador is a country with a diverse landscape. Its landscape encompasses the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and also the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. Quito is the capital and sits at the foothills of the Andean at an elevation of 2,850m. The city is well known for its largely intact Spanish colonial center that features decorated 16th and 17th century palaces as well as religious sites such as the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church. Guayaquil, a Pacific port city is home to high-rises and lively restaurants and bars located along its Malecón waterfront esplanade. Ecuador’s jungle lodges afford you an organized way to explore the Amazonian rainforest and also visit tribal villages. Cotopaxi National Park with its volcanoes, as well as El Cajas in the Sierra highlands, are sites for hiking and climbing. Located about 1,000km off the Pacific coast are the Galápagos Islands that are teeming with uninhibited birds, reptiles and also mammals. Some of these endemic species famously helped to inspire Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution
- #7. Guyana
- Capital city: Georgetown
- Area: 215,000 square kilometers (83,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 785,502
Guyana is a country located on South America’s North Atlantic coast. The country is defined by its dense rainforest. It is an English-speaking country, with cricket and calypso music, and is culturally connected to the Caribbean region. The capital city, Georgetown, is famous for British colonial architecture, which includes the tall, painted-timber St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. The façade of Stabroek Market, a source of local produce is marked by a large clock. Guyana is home to Kaieteur Falls, with a straight 226m plunge. Located on the Essequibo River to the east is Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Centre, an ecotourism destination that offers a canopy walkway through the rainforest. Also, it has Essequibo River petroglyphs as well as wildlife trails up Turtle Mountain with local Makushi guides. Mount Roraima, a flat-topped mountain whose walls rise strikingly from the surrounding jungle is located in the Western part of the country. In the south of Guyana is the Rupununi, an area of savanna, wetlands and also elusive jaguars. Shell Beach on the northwest coast is a nesting site for several turtle species.
- #8. Paraguay
- Capital city: Asunción
- Area: 406,750 sq. km (157,047 sq. mi)
- Population: 6,980,000
Sandwiched between Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, Paraguay is a landlocked South American country that is home to large swaths of swampland, subtropical forest and chaco as well as wildernesses comprising savanna and scrubland. The capital is Asunción, a city located on the banks of the Paraguay River and home to the grand Government Palace and also the Museo del Barro where pre-Columbian ceramics and ñandutí lacework are displayed. South of Asunción is the Ybycuí National Park which features waterfalls and a rainforest. In the far south of Paraguay, near Encarnación, there are ruins of a couple of Jesuit missions built in the 17th century. Located on the banks of the Paraná River in the Eastern part of Paraguay is Ciudad del Este, which offers duty-free shopping as well as proximity to the huge Itaipu Dam and, across the border in Brazil, the renowned Iguazú Falls. To the north of Paraguay is the Cerro Corá National Park which has flat-topped hills as well as pre-Columbian petroglyphs. In the Western part of Paraguay which is sparsely populated, you will find the Defensores del Chaco National Park and its jaguars, armadillos and also Jabiru storks.
- #9. Peru
- Capital city: Lima
- Area: 1,285,220 sq. km (496,226 sq. mi)
- Population: 32,843,170
Home to a section of the Amazon rainforest and also the Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city situated high up in the Andes mountains, Peru is a country situated in South America. The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and also the colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites. Situated on the country’s arid Pacific coast is Lima, the capital city with a well preserved colonial center and also important collections of pre-Columbian art. In southern Peru, the vast Lake Titicaca which Peru shares with Bolivia offers sapphire waters as well as folkloric festivals at high altitude. The city of Arequipa is a good spot for outdoor recreation, like climbing volcanoes and also viewing Andean condors at Colca Canyon. The Sacred (Urubamba) Valley offers quite a lot of hiking, rafting and mountain-biking opportunities. In the southern desert of Peru, small planes fly visitors over the Nazca Lines which are huge ancient pictograms. In the northeast of the country, Iquitos serves as the gateway to Peru’s Amazon basin.
- #10. Suriname
- Capital city: Paramaribo
- Area: 165,000 square kilometers (64,000 square miles)
- Population: 558,368
This small country is situated on the northeastern coast of South America. Suriname is defined by vast swaths of tropical rainforest and Dutch architecture from colonial era. The country is also a melting-pot of culture. Located on its Atlantic coast is the capital city, Paramaribo, where palm gardens grow close to 17th century trading post, Fort Zeelandia. Also, Paramaribo is home to Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, a towering wood cathedral that was consecrated in the year 1885.
- #11. Uruguay
- Capital city: Montevideo
- Area: 176,000 square kilometers (68,000 sq. mi)
- Population: 3,479,238
Famous for its verdant interior and beach-lined coast, Uruguay is a country in South America. The capital city Montevideo, revolves around Plaza Independencia that was once home to a Spanish citadel. It leads to Ciudad Vieja (Old City), which has art deco buildings, colonial homes and also Mercado del Puerto, an old port market that has many steakhouses. East of the capital city, the upscale resort town of Punta del Este features lots of beaches and glitzy nightclubs. Situated close to the border with Brazil, the former fishing village of Punta del Diablo is a well-known surfing destination with a relaxed beach scene. Nearby Cabo Polonio National Park shelters sea lions, seals and penguins. Located along the Río de la Plata is Colonia del Sacramento which features a picturesque Barrio Histórico (Historic Quarter), with buildings from when it was a Portuguese settlement. In Uruguay’s countryside, activities like horseback riding and farm stays offer you a glimpse into the local gaucho (cowboy) lifestyle.
- #12. Venezuela
- Capital city: Caracas
- Area: 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq. mi)
- Population: 32,685,170
Venezuela is a country situated on the northern coast of the South American continent. The country has diverse natural attractions. Situated along its Caribbean coast are tropical resort islands such as Isla de Margarita and the Los Roques archipelago. In the northwest of the country are the Andes Mountains and also the colonial town of Mérida which is a base for visiting Sierra Nevada National Park. Caracas is the capital of the country and is located to the north. Gran Sabana region in the southeast features large stretches of savannah interspersed with imposing mesas that called “tepuis,” and Canaima National Park which is the home of Angel Falls, ranked as the highest waterfall in the world. Located in the Southeast of the Andes are Los Llanos which are seasonally flooded plains with distinct wildlife that includes caiman, capybara, anaconda as well as several bird species. In the south of Venezuela, there are vast expanses of the Amazon rainforest, and to the east is the mostly uninhabited Orinoco Delta, whose myriad rivers thread through dense rainforest and are popular for adventure travel.
List of dependent territories of South America
- Falkland Islands (UK)
- Capital city: Stanley
- Area: 4,700 square miles (12,000 km2)
- Population: 2,921
The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) is a British Overseas Territory in South America. The islands are a remote South Atlantic archipelago. The islands have a rugged terrain and cliff-lined coasts. Falkland Islands hundreds of islands and islets are home to sheep farms as well as abundant birdlife. The capital city, Stanley, sits on East Falkland which is the largest island. Falkland Islands Museum located in Stanley has themed galleries that are devoted to maritime exploration, natural history, and the 1982 Falklands War as well as other subjects. A whalebone arch sits by Stanley’s waterfront, near the entrance of Christ Church Cathedral which is a brick-and-stone structure that was built in 1892. The other main island known as West Falkland, and hundreds of islets complete the archipelago, which draws in wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts, many of them on their way to Antarctica. There are large colonies of rockhopper, gentoo and king penguins on the beaches, while boat trips offer you the chance to see baleen whales, Peale’s and Commerson’s dolphins, as well as sooty shearwater seabirds. Sea Lion Island is well known for its elephant seals. Also, the islands offer seasonal sea trout fishing, links-style golfing and also cold-water surfing
- French Guiana (France)
- Capital city: Cayenne
- Area: 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq. mi)
- Population: 295,075
This is an overseas territory of the department of France located on the northeast coast of South America. It is composed mainly of tropical rainforest. Ruins of 17th century Fort Cépérou overlook the capital city, Cayenne, which has colorful Creole houses and street markets. Shops and cafes are situated all around the palm-filled main square, Place des Palmistes. Atlantic coast beaches line the Rémire-Montjoly suburb. Located in the northwest of the territory is the coastal town of Kourou which is home to the Guiana Space Centre. The Guiana Space Centre is a spacecraft launch site and museum that offers guided tours. Offshore are the Îles du Salut which comprises 3 small islands with the ruins of a notorious penal colony that is known as Devil’s Island that was portrayed in Henri Charrière’s book “Papillon.” Huge leatherback turtles are known to come ashore notably in the Awala-Yalimapo commune located on the Suriname border, during nesting season. Situated upriver is Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, a small colonial-style settlement from where pirogue boat trips head inland to go and explore villages and the Amazonian rainforest.
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (UK)
- Capital city: King Edward Point
- Area: 3,903 km²
This small British Overseas Territory is located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, that consists of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands that are known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia spans a length of 165 km and width of 35 km and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands are located about 700 km southeast of South Georgia. The territory’s total land area is put at 3,903 km². Distance to the Falkland Islands is about 1,300 km north-west from its nearest point. There are no permanent native population in the territory however, a very small non-permanent population resides in South Georgia. Currently, the inhabitants of the area are three officers of the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Other are a team of scientists and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases located at Bird Island and at the capital city, King Edward Point along with postal staff, and three museum staff at Grytviken.
History of South America
The South American continent is believed to have been formerly joined with Africa from the late Paleozoic Era to the early Mesozoic Era, until the Pangaea supercontinent began to rift and break apart around 225 million years ago. It is therefore not surprising that both South America and Africa share similar fossils and rock layers. It is believed that the first humans arrived in South America when people were crossing the Bering Land Bridge (now the Bering Strait) around 15,000 years ago from the territory that is present-day Russia. These people migrated south through North America, and eventually arrived in South America through the Isthmus of Panama. The first evidence pointing to the existence of the human race in South America dates back to about 9000 BC, when the cultivation of squashes, chili peppers and beans for food began in the highlands of the Amazon Basin. Evidence from pottery further suggests that manioc, which remains a staple food till today, was being cultivated on the continent as early as 2000 BC. South American cultures started to domesticate llamas, vicuñas, guanacos, and alpacas in the highlands of the Andes circa 3500 BC. These animals were used for transportation of goods in addition to being sources of wool and meat. Norte Chico was one of the earliest known South American civilizations. It was situated on the central Peruvian coast. Although it is a pre-ceramic culture, the monumental architecture of Norte Chico is contemporaneous with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. It was followed by Chavín around 900 BC, according to some estimates and archaeological finds. Artifacts also were found at a site called Chavín de Huantar in modern Peru at an elevation of 3,177 meters (10,423 ft). Chavín civilization spanned 900 BC to 300 BC. Some of the other ancient South American cultures worthy of mention are: the Cañaris, the Chimú Empire, the Chachapoyas, and also the Aymaran kingdom.
- South American European colonization
In the year 1494, Portugal and Spain, two sister nations and the two great maritime European powers of that time, on the expectation of discovery of new lands in the west, signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, by which they both agreed, with the support of the Pope, that all land outside Europe should be an exclusive duopoly between the two countries. This treaty established an imaginary line along a north-south meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, roughly 46° 37’ W. According to terms of the treaty, all land to the west of the line which is known to comprise most of the South American soil would belong to Spain, while all land to the east will go to Portugal. Due to the impossibility of accurate measurements of longitude at that time, the line was not strictly enforced, and this led to a Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian. Starting from the 1530s, the people as well as natural resources of South America were repeatedly exploited by foreign conquistadors who arrived first from Spain and then later from Portugal. These two competing colonial nations claimed all the land and resources as their own and then divided it in colonies. European infectious diseases such as smallpox, influenza, and measles, which the natives had no immune resistance to brought about large-scale depletion of the native population under Spanish control. Also systems of forced labor, like haciendas and mining industry’s mit’a contributed to the depopulation. After this reduction in population, African slaves who had developed immunities to these diseases, were quickly brought in as replacement. The Portuguese first arrived in Brazil on the 22nd of April 1500 and was led by Pedro Álvares Cabral.
- South American Independence from Spain and Portugal
The European Peninsular War of 1807–1814 which was a theater of the Napoleonic Wars, was responsible for changing the political situation of both the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. First, Napoleon invaded Portugal however, the House of Braganza was able to evade capture by escaping to Brazil. Also, Napoleon captured King Ferdinand VII of Spain, after which he appointed his own brother instead. The appointment of Napoleon’s brother provoked severe popular resistance, and this led to appointment of Juntas to rule in the name of the captured King. This led to many cities in the Spanish colonies considering themselves equally authorized to appoint local Juntas like those of Spain. This started the Spanish American wars of independence between the patriots, who favored such autonomy, and the royalists, who were in support of Spanish authority over the Americas. The Juntas, both in Spain and the Americas however promoted the ideas of the Enlightenment. Ferdinand VII returned to the throne five year after the war started and began the Absolutist Restoration which gave the royalists the upper hand in the conflict. Eventually the independence of South America was secured by both Simón Bolívar (Venezuela) and José de San Martín (Argentina), who happened to be the two most important Libertadores. Bolívar led a great uprising in the north and then marched his army southward towards Lima which was the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. San Martin on his part led an army across the Andes Mountains, along with Chilean expatriates, and successfully liberated Chile. He then organized a fleet to reach Peru by sea, and also sought the military support of various rebels from the Viceroyalty of Peru. The two armies eventually met in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where they cornered the Royal Army of the Spanish Crown and forced it to surrender. In the Portuguese Kingdom of Brazil, Dom Pedro I also known as Pedro IV of Portugal, the son of the Portuguese King Dom João VI, proclaimed the independent Kingdom of Brazil in 1822. This kingdom later became the Empire of Brazil.
- Art and Architecture of South American
Although South America is a vast and diverse continent, there are several consistent themes in its art history. The art, subject matter as well as style have roots in the indigenous cultures and go back to thousands of years. While art forms began as utilitarian objects, like ceramic vessels and clothing, they quickly began to represent the unique values as well as religions as the cultures became more sophisticated. In the 15th century for example, the Incas of the Andes region, became adept metal workers, combining religious observation, practical use as well as a distinct style of art to create pieces that can still be seen today. Following colonization of South America by Europeans, the art forms merged and led to a style that reflects the rich and complex cultures of the continent.
- South American Culture
Generally, South Americans are culturally influenced by their indigenous peoples, the historic connection they have with the Iberian Peninsula and Africa, and also by waves of immigrants coming from all over the globe. Due to the continent’s ethnic mix, South American cuisine is known to be influenced by Africa, South America India, South Asia, East Asia and also Europe. Bahia in Brazil, is famously known for its West African influenced cuisine.
- South American Music
It is a known fact that South American nations have a rich variety of music. Some of the most famous music genres out of South America include vallenato and cumbia from Colombia, pasillo from Colombia and Ecuador, samba, bossa nova and música sertaneja from Brazil, and tango from Argentina and Uruguay. Equally worthy of mention is the non-commercial folk genre Nueva Canción movement that started in Argentina and Chile but quickly spread to other parts of Latin America.
- South American Sport
Although a wide range of sports are played all over the continent, the most popular of them all is football. Baseball enjoys huge following in Venezuela. Other notable sports enjoyed on the continent include basketball, cycling, polo, volleyball, futsal, motorsports, rugby, handball, tennis, golf, field hockey, boxing and cricket. The first Olympic Games to be held in South America hosted was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the year 2016. South America is known as a football powerhouse as it shares with Europe supremacy over the sport. All past winners of the FIFA World Cup and all winning teams in the FIFA Club World Cup have come from just these two continents. Brazil leads the way I terms of trophies won at the FIFA World Cup with a total of five titles, followed by Argentina and Uruguay who both have two titles each.
Conclusion on List Of South American Countries And Capitals
This is a convenient point to stop on the List of South American Countries And Capitals. You can read more on this continent if you enjoyed reading this article.
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