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Regional Information: The Americas: Southern America

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Southern America includes the twelve countries of Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands and Paraguay. It is all but surrounded by water, apart from a section that joins South America to Central America. To the north, Southern America faces the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The east also faces the Atlantic. The west coast looks out on the Pacific Ocean.

Southern America is a land of lush pockets of rainforests, served by rushing rivers that more often than not cascade in a series of waterfalls over the sides of steep valleys. The main rivers within Southern America are the Amazon, Orinoco, Paranda and the Rio Negro. Without a doubt the most famous rainforest is the Amazon, home to all number of exciting wildlife, flora and indigenous tribes people.

The boasted wildlife of Southern America includes anacondas, scarlet macaws, jaguars, tapirs and spider monkeys. The great Andes mountain chain stretches almost the entire far west coast of Southern America from north to south. Other impressive areas of high elevation include the Guiana Highlands, Brazilian Highlands and the Pampas. In the far south of Southern America in an area known as Patagonia, huge glaciers form at certain times of the year. These glaciers break-up as the temperature rises, creating masses of gigantic icebergs. Southern America is the possessor of vast reserves of valuable natural resources including gold, silver, copper, and zinc. These form an important economical resource for the continent as a whole.

The climate of Southern America varies from region to region although it can be said that most of the countries share a hot, tropical climate with a great deal of annual rainfall. That said, some regions of Chile go without rain for years at a time and are amongst the driest regions on earth. The areas of high elevations experience a cooler, more temperate climate.

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