Belize is a country on Central America’s eastern coast, having Caribbean Sea beaches to the east and deep jungle to the west. The huge Belize Barrier Reef, peppered with hundreds of low-lying islands known as cayes, hosts a plethora of marine life off the coast.
Costa Rica is a mountainous, rainforested Central American country with Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Costa Rica is famed for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity, despite the fact that its capital, San José, is home to cultural institutions such as the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.
San Salvador is El Salvador’s capital and largest city. It is the political, cultural, educational, and economical hub of the country. El Salvador’s Museum of Art features displays ranging from the mid-nineteenth century to modern works by Salvadoran painters.
Volcanoes, rainforests, and ancient Mayan monuments abound in Guatemala, a Central American country located south of Mexico. The majestic National Palace of Culture and the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology can be found in Guatemala City, the country’s capital.
Honduras is a Central American country bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. Copán, an ancient Mayan ceremonial site in the tropical rainforest of Guatemala, features stone-carved hieroglyphics and stelae, or large stone monuments.
The Bay Islands are a diving destination in the Caribbean Sea that are part of the 1,000-kilometer-long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Honduras’ capital city is Tegucigalpa. It is notable for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, which is set in a central valley surrounded by mountains.
The 18th-century Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel, with its baroque interior, dominates the great Plaza Morazán. The National Identity Museum chronicles the country’s history. It provides a virtual tour of western Honduras’ Copán Mayan ruins.
Mexico City is the country’s densely populated and high-altitude capital. The Templo Mayor (a 13th-century Aztec temple), the Spanish conquistadors’ baroque Catedral Metropolitana de México, and the Palacio Nacional, which holds historic murals by Diego Rivera, are all worth seeing. All of these attractions are located in and around the Plaza de la Constitución, the city’s large central square, often known as the Zócalo.
Nicaragua, a Central American country sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is noted for its stunning landscape of lakes, volcanoes, and beaches.
North of the city is the capital Managua. It is on the vast Lake Managua, as well as the famed stratovolcano Momotombo. Granada, to the south, is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and an archipelago of navigable islets teeming with tropical birds.
Its cathedral, which has been a shell since a 1972 earthquake, is located on the Revolution Plaza. The mausoleum of Sandinista leader Carlos Fonseca is nearby. The National Museum is housed at the National Palace of Culture, which was built in 1935. The crater lake and massive statue of revolutionary Augusto Sandino are highlights of the hilltop Parque Histórico Nacional Loma de Tiscapa.
Panama is a country that connects Central and South America via an isthmus. The Panama Canal, a legendary human engineering marvel, runs through the heart of the country, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and providing a vital shipping route.
Modern skyscrapers, casinos, and nightclubs contrast with colonial buildings in the Casco Viejo area and the rainforest of Natural Metropolitan Park in Panama City, the capital.
Argentina, formally the Argentine Republic, is a South American country in the southern hemisphere.
Argentina’s large, cosmopolitan capital city is Buenos Aires. The Plaza de Mayo, which is flanked with magnificent 19th-century buildings such as Casa Rosada, the renowned, balconied presidential palace, lies at its heart. The Teatro Colón, a large 1908 opera house with approximately 2,500 seats, and the modern MALBA museum, which displays Latin American art, are two other prominent attractions.
Bolivia is a South American country with a diverse landscape that includes the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, and the Amazon Basin rainforest.
La Paz, the country’s administrative capital, is located at over 3,500 meters on the Altiplano plateau of the Andes, with snow-capped Mt. Illimani in the distance. Lake Titicaca, the continent’s largest lake, is close by, straddling the Peruvian border.
Sucre is a city in Bolivia’s southern highlands. The whitewashed Casa de la Libertad, where Bolivia’s Declaration of Independence was signed, now contains galleries commemorating the city’s history as the country’s capital.
The Catedral Metropolitana, an exquisite colonial church, is also located on Plaza 25 de Mayo, the major square. The Museo Universitario Charcas USFX, located nearby, houses religious items as well as contemporary art.
Brazil is the largest country in both South and Latin America, officially known as the Federative Republic of Brazil. It is also the world’s fifth largest country.
Brasília, Brazil’s capital since 1960, is a planned city known for its white, modern architecture, much of which was built by Oscar Niemeyer. The Monumental Axis, two large avenues bordering a massive park, is laid out in the shape of an airplane. Praça dos Três Poderes, named for the three branches of government that surround it, is located in the “cockpit.”
Chile is a long, narrow country that stretches along the western edge of South America, having about 6,000 kilometers of Pacific Ocean coastline.
Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, is nestled in a valley bordered by the Andes mountain range and the Chilean Coast Range.
The 1808 Palacio de la Real Audiencia, which houses the National History Museum, and the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral are located on Plaza de Armas, the great center of the city’s ancient colonial core. Pablo Neruda’s home has been turned into a museum, La Chascona.
Colombia is a country in northwestern South America that is officially known as the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: Repblica de Colombia). The population of the country is estimated to be 51.66 million people.
Colombia’s enormous, high-altitude capital is Bogotá. The colonial-era buildings Teatro Colón and the 17th-century Iglesia de San Francisco can be found in La Candelaria, the city’s cobblestoned heart. Popular museums include the Museo Botero, which exhibits Fernando Botero’s work, and the Museo del Oro, which exhibits pre-Columbian gold items.
Ecuador is a country on the west coast of South America that straddles the equator. The Amazon jungle, Andean highlands, and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands are all part of its diversified geography.
Quito, the capital, is noted for its substantially preserved Spanish colonial center, with beautiful 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious monuments, including as the ornate Compaa de Jess Church, which is located in the Andean foothills.
The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) are a small archipelago in the South Atlantic. Its hundreds of islands and islets, with steep topography and cliff-lined shores, are home to sheep pastures and plentiful birds.
Stanley, the capital, is located on East Falkland, the largest of the islands. The Falkland Islands Museum in town features thematic displays on maritime exploration, natural history, the 1982 Falkland Islands War, and other topics.
French Guiana is a French overseas department on the northeast coast of South America, with a tropical rainforest as its principal feature. The Atlantic coast is surrounded with beaches in the Rémire-Montjoly neighborhood.
The remnants of Fort Cépérou, built in the 17th century, overlook Cayenne’s colorful Creole residences and street markets. The palm-lined main square, Place des Palmistes, is surrounded by shops and cafes.
Guyana, a country on the North Atlantic coast of South America, is known for its lush jungle. It is culturally linked to the Caribbean region because it speaks English and has cricket and calypso music.
The capital, Georgetown, is notable for its British colonial architecture, especially the St. George’s Anglican Cathedral, which stands tall and painted in timber. The facade of Stabroek Market, a source of local products, is marked by a big clock.
On the banks of the Paraguay River, the capital, Asunción, is home to the stately Government Palace and the Museo del Barro, which displays pre-Columbian ceramics and andut lacework, the latter of which is sold in many shops.
Peru is a South American country known for its Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu, an old Incan city perched high in the Andes highlands. The Sacred Valley, Inca Trail, and colonial city of Cusco are all rich in archaeological monuments in the Machu Picchu region.
Lima, Peru’s capital, is located on the country’s arid Pacific coast and boasts a well-preserved colonial center as well as notable pre-Columbian art holdings. It is a bustling metropolis and one of South America’s major cities, with its colonial center preserved.
The Museo Larco collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, which traces Peru’s ancient civilizations’ history, are both located here. The core of old Lima Centro is the Plaza de Armas and the 16th-century church.
South Georgia is a British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Around 1,400 kilometers east of the Falkland Islands, it is located.
Suriname is a small country on South America’s northeastern coast. Huge swathes of tropical rainforest, Dutch colonial buildings, and a melting-pot culture characterize it.
The capital, Paramaribo, sits on the Atlantic coast, where palm gardens flourish near Fort Zeelandia, a 17th-century trading station. Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, a colossal wood cathedral dedicated in 1885, is also located in Paramaribo.
Uruguay is a South American country with a lush interior and a coastline studded with beaches.
Montevideo‘s capital centres on Plaza Independencia, which was originally home to a Spanish citadel. It leads to Ciudad Vieja (Old City), which features art deco structures, colonial dwellings, and the Mercado del Puerto, a historic harbor market with numerous steakhouses. The seaside promenade La Rambla runs past fish markets, docks, and parks.
Venezuela is a country on South America’s northern coast with a varied range of natural features. Tropical resort islands such as Isla de Margarita and the Los Roques archipelago along its Caribbean shore. The Andes Mountains are to the northwest, as is the colonial town of Mérida, which serves as a base for visiting Sierra Nevada National Park.
Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, is a business and cultural hub in a northern mountain basin. The National Pantheon of Venezuela, founded in the 19th century in the city’s old center, is where independence leader Simón Bolvar is buried.
The 17th-century Caracas Cathedral is a monument of Romanesque architecture. The 225m-high twin towers of Parque Central are the skyline’s hallmark.