|Highest Point||Aconcagua (6962 m/22,841 ft)|
|Area||17,803,153 sq km / 6,873,804 sq mi|
Area may include lowland areas
|Extent||13,549 km / 8,419 mi North-South|
6,129 km / 3,808 mi East-West
|Center Lat/Long||23° 34' S; 63° 24' W|
|Map Link||Microsoft Bing Map|
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South America is in the middle of the continents ranked by area--smaller than Asia, Africa, and North America, but bigger than Antarctica, Europe, and Australia/Oceania. However, for a relatively small landmass, South America presents an embarassment of geographical riches: the biggest river in the world, the largest rainforest, the driest desert, and, dominating its western edge, the longest single mountain range in the world: the Andes.
For the most part, the Andes are synonomous with mountains in South America. Stretching from northeastern Venzuela to the Strait of Magellan, the 4,000 mile arc of the Andes is up there with the Himalaya/Central Asia complex and the western North American cordilleran system as one of the dominant mountain groupings of the world.
Argentina's Aconcagua (22,835'/6960m) is famous as the highest peak in the western hemisphere, but Andean peaks rise to over 20,000'/6100m in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador as well, and Colombia (18865'/5750m) and Venzuela (16427'/5007m) are not far behind. Make no mistake, these are big, glaciated, and serious mountains for almost their entire length.
Two broad highland areas in eastern South America are insignificant mountaineering-wise when compared to the Andes, but they do cover large areas of the continent. The Guiana Highlands of Brazil, Venzuela, and Guyana are famous as the site of Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall. They are also a mysterious, inaccesible, jungle-shrouded wilderness of cliff-sided plateaus that have inspired imaginary words from the time of Raleigh's El Dorado, through Conan Doyle's Lost World, to the present. Pico da Neblina (9888'/3014m) is the highest in the Guiana Highlands, but Roraima (9219'/2810m), looking like a ship's prow splitting the jungle, is perhaps the most famous peak.
The Brazilian Highlands, centered on the state of Minas Gerias, rise to 9144'/2787m at Bandeira, but they are more noted for their mineral wealth than for any real mountainous terrain.
|Map of South America|
Click on neighboring ranges to navigate to them.
Note: Range borders shown on map are an approximation and are not authoritative.
|Other Ranges: To go to pages for other ranges either click on the map above, or on range names in the hierarchy snapshot below, which show the parent, siblings, and children of the South America.|
|The World||Level 0 (Parent)|
|         North America||Level 1 (Sibling)|
|         South America||Level 1|
|                 Coastal South America||Level 2 (Child)|
|                 Andes||Level 2 (Child)|
|                 Guiana Highlands||Level 2 (Child)|
|                 Brazilian Highlands||Level 2 (Child)|
|                 Southeast South America||Level 2 (Child)|
|         Europe||Level 1 (Sibling)|
|         Asia||Level 1 (Sibling)|
|         Africa||Level 1 (Sibling)|
|         Australia-Oceania||Level 1 (Sibling)|
|         Antarctica||Level 1 (Sibling)|
Major Peaks of the South America
|Ten Highest Peaks|
|2.||Ojos del Salado||6893||22,615||Andes|
|10.||Tres Cruces Central||6631||21,755||Andes|
|Sub-peaks are excluded from this list. List may not be complete, since only summits in the PBC Database are included.|
Photos of Peaks in the South America
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