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Large Printable Map of South America

Make a map of South America, the southern continent of the Western Hemisphere.  The largest country in South America is Brazil, which males up about half of the continent by both area and population. 

You can mark and color the map to show the Andes mountains on the west of the continent. The longest continental mountain range in the world; the Andes run from Venezuela south to Argentina and Chile.  There are several major cities located on plateaus along the Andes, among them Quito, La Paz, Bogota, and Arequipa.  Mt Chimborazo in Equador is actually the highest peak as measured from the center of the earth, because of the equatorial bulge in the earth. The Atacama desert is west of the Andes, betwem the mountains and the Pacific ocean, and is the driest place on earth.

The Amazon River, by far the largest river in the world by volume of water, starts in Peru, Ecuador and Columbia and flows east across Brazil to the Atlantic ocean.  The Orinoco River in Venezuela and Columbia actually has a natural canal that connects it to the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river.  The Parana River and the Uruguay River combine to form what is know as the  Rio de la Plata, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean.  The la Plata river system runs along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. All three of these major river drain vast wooded areas that flood seasonally.>

The city of Cuzco was a historic capital of the Inca empire.  High in the Andes lies Machu Picchu, ancient city the Incas and unknown to the Spanish Conquistadors.

Major cities in South America include Buenos Aires, Argentina;  Rio de Janiero, Brazil; San Paulo, Brazil; La Paz, Bolivia and Lima, Peru.

South America extends from north of the equator almost to Antarctica. This gives South America a large area in the tropics, through more temperate zones, and way far south to very cold parts of southern Chile and Argentina.  South America extends much farther south than any other inhabited continent. South America has the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Caribbean Sea to the north east. The Andes Mountains run along the west coast of the continent, head waters for the Amazon, the largest river (by volume) in the world, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean.  The Atacama Desert, on the west side of the Andes Mountains, is the driest desert on earth.  The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela.  South America has a breath-taking diversity of landscape and of species of plants and animals. Brazil constitutes roughly half of South America, both by land area and population.

Brazil was a colony of Portugal, while most of the rest of the countries of South America were colonies of Spain.  This is reflected in the national languages, where Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, and Spanish in most of the rest of South America.  The three small countries on the northern coast speak Guyana (English); Suriname (Dutch); and French Guiana (French).  In addition, there are many native languages spoken all over South America.

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