South America Travel Guide
Pre-Columbian societies, such as the Incan, were as advanced as the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors, but had no immunity to the diseases they brought. This caused a massive depopulation of the continent that both empires divided in 1494 with the Treaty of Tordesillas. They exploited the natural resources of South America for over 300 years, before Napoleon conquered both homeland countries and weakened their power. At this time almost all of the different regions of South America started declaring and fighting for independence, which was achieved by 1825. The remainder of the 1800’s are laced with civil wars and international wars as the various countries fought to carve up the old empires.
Geographically, South America is dominated by a spine of mountains running along the Pacific Ocean, known as the Andes Mountains, and the Amazon Rainforest, which is home to the second longest and the widest river in the world. Here you will also find Lamas and Alpacas, which are distant cousins to the camels of the Middle East and Mongolia.
If you would like to learn more about a particular country just click on it in the map below. Of course, you can also jump over to the South America Travel Video page.