There are twelve sovereign states in South America and two – French Guiana and The British Falkland Islands – colonies. This continent is a place of extremes and holds an impressive list of world records: The Amazon River, for one, is the largest volume of water to flow through any landmass. Also located here: the tallest waterfall (Angel Falls), the largest rainforest, driest place, longest mountain range, and highest capital on earth: that of Bolivia (La Paz). Many animals are indigenous to this region, too, like the llama, jaguar, anaconda, and the piranha. South America has both modern, shimmering metropolises, such as Rio, and uncontacted tribes living in isolation from the rest of us. Many of these can be found in Brazil, a country that takes up about half of the space on the continent. There is almost nothing you can’t find in South America, from megacities to deserts, from rainforests to frigid mountaintops. Discovering South America is a pleasure. However, deciding where to start can be daunting. Let our guides help you.