South America - A Brief Overview For Tourists

South America is one of the most amazing places on earth and the New World as it’s often referred to, is renowned as more than worth a visit once in a life time. To get you excited we’ve compiled a list of some intriguing and exciting facts about the continent to get you interested.

The Name
The name South America is thought to have a number of origins and nobody knows exactly where it comes from. However, we can make a good guess and it is thought to have originated from a merchant from the UK who financed John Cabot’s discovery to Newfoundland in 1497 – his name was Richard Amerike.
The alternative consideration is that it was a name given by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemuller and was name after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Geography Stats
South America is the name of the area that occupies the southern portion of the landmass and because of its shape – a triangle – it has less coastline than any other continent for its size.
However the area has plenty of natural features worth noting and is home to the world’s highest waterfall – Angel Falls in Venezuela. It can also boast the longest mountain range – the Andes – and the driest place on the planet – Atacama Desert. The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest, while La Paz in Bolivia is the highest capital. So, there are plenty of interesting geographical places to go and see when on a trip to the continent.

People Stats
The most commonly spoken languages in the continent are Portuguese and Spanish – caused by the fact that most of the continent was colonized by Spanish and Portuguese explorers. However, Dutch is also spoken in Suriname, English in Guyana and French in French Guiana. Some of the countries also still speak native languages too.

There are 385m people in South America and these people live on an area of 17,840,000KM squared, which makes it a relatively sparsely populated continent.

The nations of South America have seen amazing economic growth and also plenty of economic downsides too. Even though growth is often around the 10% mark, inflation rates are regularly higher. There is also a large gap between the poor and the wealthy in the region, though notable natural wealth.

Clothing in South America has been influenced by Spanish, American, European and African dress due to the area’s history and also globalisation. However, items such as ‘ruanas’ part of traditional Columbian clothes and Sombreros are quite common throughout the continent and can be seen throughout the nations in the continent. These clothes are generally in bright in colour and intricately decorated.

There is a rich history of music in the area and samba from Brazil, tango popular in Argentina and others such as Bossanova are very popular throughout the continent and can be heard quite often.
South America is as much of a melting pot in a lot of ways as the USA and offers so much in the way of natural beauty and also man made interests and is more than worth a trip.