Largest Cities in South America

The South American continent is dominated by the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world. They run through seven countries. Brazil, the largest country, covers almost half of the continent.

  • French Guiana
  • Falkland Islands
Area 17,803,212 km2
Population 316,253,000
Population density 17 per km2
Countries 12
Largest country Brazil, 8 511 996 km2
Smallest Country Suriname, 163 263 km2
Languages Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua, Guarani, Aymara
Highest mountain Aconcagua at 6,959 meters
Longest river Peninsula Valdes, 40 meters below sea level
Highest temperature 49 0 C in Rivadavia, Argentina
Lowest temperature -33 0 C in Sarmiento, Argentina

Biggest Cities in South America by Population

Rio de Janeiro is the largest city in South America, with a population of around 6.7 million people. Located in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is known for its vibrant culture, beaches and stunning views. The city has many attractions including the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain and the colorful Selaron Steps in Santa Teresa neighborhood. Additionally, visitors can explore Rio’s markets selling local goods such as jewelry, textiles, spices and handicrafts made by locals from around Rio de Janeiro.

Santiago is the second largest city in South America with a population of around 5.5 million people. It is located in Chile and is known for its modern feel and beautiful landscape surrounded by mountains on three sides. Santiago offers visitors plenty to do including exploring its bustling markets selling local goods such as jewelry, textiles, spices and handicrafts made by locals from around Santiago. Additionally, there are some great restaurants serving traditional Chilean cuisine such as pastel de choclo (corn pie) and cazuela (meat stew).

Bogotá is third largest city in South America with a population of around 7 million people. It is located in Colombia and is known for its rich history as well as its vibrant culture with influences from both Europe and Latin America. There are many great things to do in Bogotá including exploring its markets selling local goods such as jewelry, textiles, spices and handicrafts made by locals from around Bogotá as well as visiting historical sites like La Candelaria which houses some of the oldest buildings in Colombia.

Ranking City Country Continent Population
1 Sao Paulo Brazil South America 22,043,139
2 Buenos Aires Argentina South America 15,153,840
3 Rio De Janeiro Brazil South America 13,458,186
4 Bogota Colombia South America 10,978,471
5 Lima Peru South America 10,719,299
6 Santiago Chile South America 6,767,334
7 Belo Horizonte Brazil South America 6,084,541
8 Brasilia Brazil South America 4,645,954
9 Porto Alegre Brazil South America 4,137,528
10 Recife Brazil South America 4,127,202
11 Fortaleza Brazil South America 4,073,576
12 Medellin Colombia South America 4,000,374
13 Salvador Brazil South America 3,839,187
14 Curitiba Brazil South America 3,678,843
15 Asuncion Paraguay South America 3,336,673
16 Campinas Brazil South America 3,300,905
17 Guayaquil Ecuador South America 2,994,329
18 Caracas Venezuela South America 2,939,103
19 Cali Colombia South America 2,782,091
20 Goiania Brazil South America 2,690,122
21 Belem Brazil South America 2,334,573
22 Barranquilla Colombia South America 2,273,025
23 Manaus Brazil South America 2,260,899
24 Maracaibo Venezuela South America 2,258,110
25 Grande Vitoria Brazil South America 2,075,968
26 Valencia Venezuela South America 1,910,299
27 Baixada Santista Brazil South America 1,892,425
28 Quito Ecuador South America 1,873,874
29 La Paz Bolivia South America 1,857,908
30 Montevideo Uruguay South America 1,752,499
31 Santa Cruz Bolivia South America 1,712,799
32 Cordoba Argentina South America 1,572,055
33 Rosario Argentina South America 1,532,239
34 Grande Sao Luis Brazil South America 1,485,874
35 Natal Brazil South America 1,456,955
36 San Jose Costa Rica South America 1,399,740
37 Joao Pessoa Brazil South America 1,378,360
38 Bucaramanga Colombia South America 1,331,564
39 Maceio Brazil South America 1,323,150
40 Cochabamba Bolivia South America 1,304,018
41 Joinville Brazil South America 1,303,252
42 Florianopolis Brazil South America 1,239,442
43 Barquisimeto Venezuela South America 1,214,473
44 Maracay Venezuela South America 1,203,338
45 Mendoza Argentina South America 1,172,730
46 Cartagena Colombia South America 1,062,733
47 Teresina Brazil South America 1,021,340
48 Aracaju Brazil South America 1,009,491
49 San Miguel De Tucuman Argentina South America 985,767
50 Valparaiso Chile South America 983,862
51 Cucuta Colombia South America 933,491
52 Arequipa Peru South America 923,110
53 Ciudad Guayana Venezuela South America 917,811
54 Campo Grande Brazil South America 896,975
55 Londrina Brazil South America 885,627
56 La Plata Argentina South America 884,165
57 Concepcion Chile South America 880,833
58 Trujillo Peru South America 864,744
59 Barcelona Puerto La Cruz Venezuela South America 793,752
60 Sorocaba Brazil South America 786,108
61 Sao Jose Dos Campos Brazil South America 721,906
62 Ribeirao Preto Brazil South America 714,222
63 Maturin Venezuela South America 694,827
64 Uberlandia Brazil South America 687,007
65 Salta Argentina South America 684,862
66 Jundiai Brazil South America 678,632
67 Mar Del Plata Argentina South America 665,818
68 Chiclayo Peru South America 637,366
69 Feira De Santana Brazil South America 602,239
70 Cuiaba Brazil South America 588,677
71 Ibague Colombia South America 586,298
72 Pereira Colombia South America 579,731
73 Cabimas Venezuela South America 578,333
74 Juiz De Fora Brazil South America 575,592
75 Santa Fe Argentina South America 563,028
76 Villavicencio Colombia South America 544,226
77 San Juan Argentina South America 537,024
78 Valledupar Colombia South America 533,564
79 Santa Marta Colombia South America 527,437
80 Vale Do Aco Brazil South America 521,855
81 Porto Velho Brazil South America 510,530

South America Climate

South America is characterized by its great variety of climates: the warm, humid climate of Amazonia or the Caribbean, the dry, cold air of Patagonia, the dryness of the Atacama, the icy winds of Tierra del Fuego and so on and so forth. The explanation lies in the high number of latitudes that traverse the continent, in the temperature differences between the surrounding oceans and the enormous presence of the Andes.

Map of South America

At 3,810 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is one of the highest lakes in the world where shipping is possible. The border between Peru and Bolivia runs right through the lake.

Extreme weather contrasts prevail on the South American continent. In parts of Colombia, more than 11,700 millimeters of precipitation fall annually, while the Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest place on earth.

The Quecha Indians in Ecuador and Peru live in settlements that are among the highest in the world. These Andean inhabitants have also adapted physically to the low oxygen content of the mountain air.

Both tomatoes and potatoes are originally from South America. The Andean Indians still grow potatoes at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters.