How many countries in south america?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 21, 2024

Introduction to South America

South America is a vibrant continent located in the Western Hemisphere, primarily in the Southern Hemisphere. Known for its diverse cultures, ecosystems, and historical significance, South America is a fascinating subject for study. One of the basic questions often asked about this continent is the number of countries it includes.

Total Number of Countries

South America is comprised of 12 sovereign countries. Each of these countries has its unique cultural, historical, and geographical attributes. Here's a detailed list of the countries:

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


Argentina, the second-largest country in South America, is famous for its tango music and dance, diverse landscapes ranging from the Andes mountains to the Pampas grasslands, and vibrant cities like Buenos Aires.


Bolivia is known for its rich indigenous culture and diverse ecosystems, including the Andes mountain range, the Amazon Basin rainforest, and the Altiplano plateau. The country has two capital cities: Sucre (constitutional capital) and La Paz (seat of government).


Brazil, the largest country in South America, is renowned for its Amazon rainforest, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, and its festive Carnival celebration. It is also the only Portuguese-speaking country on the continent.


Chile stretches along the western edge of South America, boasting a diverse range of climates and landscapes, from the Atacama Desert (one of the driest places on Earth) to the glaciers of Patagonia.


Colombia is distinguished by its coffee plantations, the Andes mountains, and its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Bogotá, its capital, is a high-altitude city known for its cultural and historical attractions.


Ecuador is named after the equator, which runs through the country. It's famous for the Galápagos Islands, a unique archipelago with diverse wildlife that influenced Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.


Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America. It features dense rainforests, the impressive Kaieteur Falls, and a rich blend of cultural influences from its diverse population.


Paraguay is a landlocked country known for its Guarani culture, the Paraguay River, and its bilingual population (Spanish and Guarani). Asunción is its capital and largest city.


Peru is most famous for the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The country also boasts a rich history, diverse ecosystems, and cultural heritage from its indigenous populations.


Suriname is the smallest country in South America and is characterized by its tropical rainforests, Dutch colonial architecture, and a diverse population that includes East Indians, Creoles, Javanese, and Maroons.


Uruguay is noted for its progressive social policies, beautiful Atlantic coastlines, and vibrant capital city, Montevideo. It is one of the most economically developed countries in South America.


Venezuela is known for its vast oil reserves, the Angel Falls (the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall), and diverse ecosystems ranging from the Andes mountains to Caribbean coastlines.

Unique Territories and Regions

In addition to the 12 sovereign countries, South America also includes several territories and regions that belong to other countries. These include:

  • Falkland Islands (United Kingdom)
  • French Guiana (France)
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom)

These territories, while not sovereign countries, contribute to the continent's geopolitical landscape and cultural diversity.

Political and Economic Unions

Several political and economic unions exist within South America to promote cooperation and shared development. The most notable ones include:

  • MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market): Includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela (suspended), with Bolivia in the process of joining.
  • UNASUR (Union of South American Nations): A regional intergovernmental organization aimed at integrating the 12 South American countries.
  • CAN (Andean Community): Comprising Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, focusing on economic and social integration.

Geographical Diversity

South America's geography is incredibly diverse, featuring some of the world's most impressive natural wonders:

  • The Andes: The longest continental mountain range in the world.
  • The Amazon Basin: Home to the Amazon rainforest and river, the largest rainforest and river system on Earth.
  • The Atacama Desert: One of the driest places in the world.
  • Patagonia: A region shared by Argentina and Chile, known for its stunning landscapes and unique wildlife.
  • The Pantanal: The world's largest tropical wetland, located mostly in Brazil with parts in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Cultural Tapestry

South America's cultural landscape is as varied as its geography. The continent is home to a rich tapestry of indigenous cultures, colonial histories, and modern influences. Some key cultural highlights include:

  • Indigenous Heritage: The Quechua and Aymara in the Andes, the Guarani in Paraguay, and numerous Amazonian tribes.
  • Colonial Influence: Spanish and Portuguese colonial history is evident in architecture, language, and religion.
  • Modern Urban Culture: Cities like Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and Bogotá are cultural hubs featuring art, music, and cuisine.

Environmental Concerns

South America faces several environmental challenges, including deforestation, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Efforts are underway to address these concerns through conservation initiatives, sustainable development practices, and international cooperation.

Economic Landscape

The economies of South American countries vary widely. Brazil is the largest economy on the continent, with significant agricultural, mining, and industrial sectors. Other countries, such as Chile and Uruguay, are known for their stable economies and high human development indices.

Travel and Tourism

South America is a popular destination for travelers seeking adventure, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Key attractions include:

  • Machu Picchu (Peru): The iconic Incan citadel.
  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Known for its beaches, Carnival, and the Christ the Redeemer statue.
  • Patagonia (Argentina/Chile): A paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Galápagos Islands (Ecuador): Famous for their unique wildlife.
  • Amazon Rainforest (Brazil/Peru/Colombia): A biodiverse wonderland.

South America, with its 12 sovereign nations, offers a rich mosaic of cultural, geographical, and historical wonders. From the towering Andes to the dense Amazon rainforest, and from bustling metropolises to serene landscapes, the continent is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. The unique blend of indigenous and colonial influences adds to the continent's allure, making it a captivating subject for study and travel alike.

Related Questions

Where is south america?

South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, predominantly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the northwest and north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast, east, and southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The continent is connected to North America through the Isthmus of Panama, a narrow strip of land that acts as a bridge between the two continents.

Ask Hotbot: Where is south america?

What countries are in south america?

South America, a continent rich in cultural heritage, natural wonders, and historical significance, consists of 12 sovereign nations. This vast landmass, stretching from the Caribbean Sea in the north to the icy realms of Antarctica in the south, offers a diverse tapestry of languages, landscapes, and traditions. Understanding the countries within South America provides insight into the continent's complex identity and its global contributions.

Ask Hotbot: What countries are in south america?

How many countries are in south america?

South America is a diverse continent known for its rich culture, history, and geography. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, North America and the Caribbean Sea to the northwest, and Antarctica to the south. It is the fourth largest continent by area and the fifth most populous, offering an intriguing mix of urban sophistication, ancient civilizations, and natural wonders.

Ask Hotbot: How many countries are in south america?

How many countries are there in south america?

South America, a continent rich in cultural diversity, natural beauty, and historical significance, is home to a number of countries, each with its unique identity. Understanding the number of countries in this continent and exploring their individual characteristics can provide a deeper appreciation of South America's role in the global mosaic.

Ask Hotbot: How many countries are there in south america?