South America Description
South America, the planet's 4th largest continent, includes (12) independent countries and (3) major territories; the Falkland Islands, Galapagos Islands and French Guiana. With a population of 379,500,000 (2009 est), it is the fifth most populous continent falling below Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
The continent contains the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes, and the second driest place on earth (only Antartica is drier) , the Atacama Desert in Chile.
In addition, it includes the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca; and, excluding research stations in Antarctica, the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile.