South America

South America makes up the southern half of the Americas and a large part of Latin America. It's home to the world's longest mountain range, biggest waterfall and largest river -- even these mammoths pale in comparison to the stunning variety of life forms thriving in the rainforest.

To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.

The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.

Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?

I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.

Text by Steve Smith.

Marcio Dufranc Photography
Praça da Paz, 5, Unicamp, Campinas, Brasil
Felipe Nardon
Parque da Gare
Renato Gomes
Fabrica da Cerveja Bohemia em Petropolis - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
Renato Gomes
Hotel Quitandinha
Renato Gomes
Catedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara em Petropolis
Renato Gomes
Catedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara em Petropolis vista por dentro
Renato Gomes
Catedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara em Petropolis vista da ponte
Walter Scavuzzo
La Gran Cabaña - Estacionamiento.
Walter Scavuzzo
Piscina en La Gran Cabaña
Marcio Dufranc Photography
Rogerio Villanova Áudio e Acústica
Marcio Cabral
Olho dagua water spring 3
Jorge Santos
capela menino jesus de praga
Marcio Cabral
Olho D'agua water spring3
Jucatulli
Vitoria Es
Marcio Cabral
Iguazu falls
Marcio Cabral
Resurgence of Silver River
Daniel da Costa Gomes Martins
Rua Grande - São Luís (MA)
David Lopes
St. Rita in Rio Grande do Norte - Brazil
Rolf Ris
Machu Picchu
Farjoun, Daniel
Prainha at Rio de Janeiro - Brazil