Home>>South America Atlas>> South America Topography Map

Printable South America Map Collection


South America Topography Map

South America Country Map Collection


South America occupies the southern portion of the American landmass. The continent is generally delimited on the northwest by the Darien watershed along the Colombia-Panama border. Some sources instead suggest the Panama Canal. Geopolitically and geographically all of Panama-including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus-is typically included in North America alone and among the countries of Central America.Almost all of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate. South America's triangular shape gives it the shortest coastline, for its size, of any of the continents.

Traditionally, South America also includes some nearby islands. Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Trinidad, Tobago, and the federal dependencies of Venezuela sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are often considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean are generally grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean Plate, even though San Andreas[disambiguation needed] and Providencia are politically part of Colombia and Aves Island is controlled by Venezuela.Other islands that are included with South America are the Gal®Ępagos Islands that belong to Ecuador and Easter Island (in Oceania but belongs to Chile), Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloe are also Chilean islands, while Tierra del Fuego is split between that country and Argentina. In the Atlantic, Brazil owns Fernando de Noronha, Trindade and Martim Vaz, and the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associated with either South America or Antarctica.

South America is home to the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes (whose highest mountain is Aconcagua at 6,962 m [22,841 ft]); the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert; the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca; and, excluding research stations in Antarctica, the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile.