Explore South America - South America DestinationsSouth America consists of 15 countries and territories – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. Of these, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, while French Guiana falls under the jurisdiction of France.
Culture in South American countries has strong Spanish and Portuguese influences, and while Spanish is the predominant official language, it is believed that Portuguese is the most widely spoken. A range of indigenous languages are also spoken in South American countries, with the most common being Quechua, Guarani and Aymara. English is the official language of Guyana and is spoken in the Falkland Islands and, as the name suggests, French is the official language of French Guiana. South American countries can largely take credit for the very popular Latin American music and dance, with the samba and bossa nova originating in Brazil, the sensual tango coming from Argentina and Uruguay, with the cumbia having its roots in Colombia as a courtship dance.
Due to their fascinating culture, spectacular landscape and impressive biodiversity, South American countries are becoming increasingly popular as tourist destinations. Some of the most popular attractions in this part of the world include Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking the Urubamba Valley in Peru; the Amazon Rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest in the world, stretching through Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana; the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Buenos Aires in Argentina; Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, in Canaima National Park, Venezuela; Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest lake on the border of Bolivia and Peru; Torres del Paine National Park in Chile; and the renowned Galapagos Islands offshore from Ecuador.