, the planet's 4th largest continent, includes (12) independent countries and (3) major territories; the Falkland Islands, Galapagos Islands and French Guiana.
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 driest place on earth, 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.