Monday, February 23, 2009


Amérique Méridionale

South America

South America is the southern continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie to the northwest.
South America was named in 1570 by cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann after Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a New World unknown to Europeans.
South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi), or almost 3.5% of the Earth's surface. As of 2005, its population was estimated at more than 371,090,000. South America ranks fourth in area (after Asia, Africa, and North America) and fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America).

South America occupies the major southern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World, the Western Hemisphere, the Americas, or simply America (which is sometimes considered a single continent and South America a subcontinent). The continent is generally delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia-Panama border, or (according to some sources) by the Panama Canal which transects the Isthmus of Panama. 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.

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile
Many of the islands of the Caribbean (or West Indies) – e.g., the Leeward and Lesser Antilles – sit atop the Caribbean Plate, a tectonic plate with a diffuse topography. The islands of Aruba, Barbados, Trinidad, and Tobago sit on the northerly South American continental shelf. The Netherlands Antilles and the federal dependencies of Venezuela lie along the northerly South American shelf. Geopolitically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean are generally grouped as a part or subregion of North America. The South American nations that border the Caribbean Sea — including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana — are also known as Caribbean South America. Other islands are the Galápagos islands that belong to Ecuador and Easter Island (in Oceania but belongs to Chile), Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloé, and the Tierra del Fuego.

The Andes.

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.
South America's major mineral resources are gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin, and petroleum. The many resources of South America have brought high income to its countries especially in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity often has hindered the development of diversified economies. The fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led historically to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states, often causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export.
South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on Earth. South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, anaconda, piranha, jaguar, vicuña, and tapir. The Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species. Regions in South America include the Andean States, the Guianas, the Southern Cone, and Brazil which is the largest country by far, in both area and population.

The rise of agriculture and the subsequent appearance of permanent human settlements allowed for the multiple and overlapping beginnings of civilizations in South America.
The earliest known settlements, and culture in South America and the Americas altogether, are the Valdivia on the southeast coast of Ecuador.

Mama Ocllo and Manco Capac, the most important figures in Incan mythology
The earliest known South American civilization was at Norte Chico, on the central Peruvian coast. Though a pre-ceramic culture, the monumental architecture of Norte Chico is contemporaneous with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. The Chavín established a trade network and developed agriculture by 900 BC, according to some estimates and archaeological finds. Artifacts were found at a site called Chavín de Huantar in modern Peru at an elevation of 3,177 meters. Chavín civilization spanned 900 BC to 300 BC.
The Muisca were the main indigenous civilization in what is now modern Colombia. They established a confederation of many clans, or cacicazgos, that had a free trade network among themselves. They were goldsmiths and farmers.
Other important Pre-Columbian cultures include: Moche (100 BC – 700 AD, at the northern coast of Peru); Tiuahuanaco or Tiwanaku (100 BC – 1200 AD, Bolivia); the Cañaris (in south central Ecuador), Paracas and Nazca (400 BC – 800 AD, Peru); Wari or Huari Empire (600 – 1200, Central and northern Peru); Chimu Empire (1300 – 1470, Peruvian northern coast); Chachapoyas; and the Aymaran kingdoms (1000 – 1450, Bolivia and southern Peru).
Holding their capital at the great cougar-shaped city of Cusco, the Inca civilization dominated the Andes region from 1438 to 1533. Known as Tawantin suyu, or "the land of the four regions," in Quechua, the Inca civilization was highly distinct and developed. Inca rule extended to nearly a hundred linguistic or ethnic communities, some 9 to 14 million people connected by a 25,000 kilometer road system. Cities were built with precise, unmatched stonework, constructed over many levels of mountain terrain. Terrace farming was a useful form of agriculture.

European colonization

The city of Cusco remains largely unchanged since colonial times.
In 1494, Portugal and Spain, the two great maritime powers of that time, on the expectation of new lands being discovered in the west, signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, by which they agreed that all the land outside Europe should be an exclusive duopoly between the two countries.
The Treaty established an imaginary line along a north-south meridian 370 leagues west of Cape Verde Islands, roughly 46° 37' W. In terms of the treaty, all land to the west of the line (known to comprehend most of the South American soil) would belong to Spain, and all land to the east, to Portugal. As accurate measurements of longitude were impossible at that time, the line was not strictly enforced, resulting in a Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian.
Beginning in the 1530s, the people and natural resources of South America were repeatedly exploited by foreign conquistadors, first from Spain and later from Portugal. These competing colonial nations claimed the land and resources as their own and divided it into colonies.
European infectious diseases (smallpox, influenza, measles, and typhus)—to which the native populations had no immune resistance—and systems of forced labor, such as the haciendas and mining industry's mita, decimated the native population under Spanish control.
African slaves were brought in large quantities for several centuries for a number of reasons, both political and economical; however, it was mainly because they were much better fitted than the American natives for hard labor in tropical climate such as sugar cane plantations or gold mining.
The Spaniards were committed to convert their native subjects to Christianity and were quick to purge any native cultural practices that hindered this end; however, most initial attempts at this were only partially successful, as native groups simply blended Catholicism with traditional idolatry and their polytheistic beliefs. Furthermore, the Spaniards did impose their language to the degree they did their religion, although the Roman Catholic Church's evangelization in Quechua, Aymara, and Guaraní actually contributed to the continuous use of these native languages albeit only in the oral form.
Eventually, the natives and the Spaniards interbred, forming a mestizo class. Essentially all of the mestizos of the Andean region were offspring of Amerindian mothers and Spanish fathers. Mestizos and the Indian natives were often forced to pay extraordinary taxes to the Spanish crown and were punished more harshly for disobeying the law.
Many native artworks were considered pagan idols and destroyed by Spanish explorers; this included many gold and silver sculptures and other artifacts found in South America, which were melted down before their transport to Spain or Portugal.
Guyana was a Portuguese, Dutch, and eventually a British colony. The country was once partitioned into three, each being controlled by one of the colonial powers until the country was finally taken over fully by the British.


Simón Bolívar, liberator of six Latin American countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
The South American possessions of the Spanish Crown won their independence between 1804 and 1824 in the South American Wars of Independence. Simón Bolívar of Venezuela and José de San Martín of Argentina were the most important leaders of the independence struggles. Bolívar led a great uprising in northern South America, then led his army southward towards Lima, the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Meanwhile, San Martín led an army from the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata across the Andes Mountains, meeting up with General Bernardo O'Higgins in Chile, and then marched northward to gain the military support of various rebels from the Viceroyalty of Peru. The two armies finally met in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where they cornered the Royal Army of the Spanish Crown and forced its surrender.
In the Portuguese colony of Brazil, Dom Pedro I (also Pedro IV of Portugal), son of the Portuguese King Dom João VI, proclaimed the country's independence in 1822 and became Brazil's first Emperor. This was peacefully accepted by the crown in Portugal.
Although Bolivar attempted to unify politically the Spanish-speaking parts of the continent into the "Gran Colombia", they rapidly became independent states without political connections between them, despite some later attempts such as the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation.

Portuguese and Spanish are the most spoken languages in South America, a geographic region which is part of the bigger cultural region of Latin America. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, which holds over 50% of the South American population. Spanish is the official language of most countries of the continent. Dutch is the official language of Suriname; English is the official language of Guyana, although there are at least twelve other languages spoken in the country such as Tamil, Hindi and Arabic. English is also spoken in the Falkland Islands. French is the official language of French Guiana.
Indigenous languages of South America include Quechua in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia; Guaraní in Paraguay and, to a much less extent, in Bolivia; Aymara in Bolivia, Peru, and less often in Chile; and Mapudungun is spoken in certain pockets of southern Chile and, more rarely, Argentina. At least three South American indigenous languages (Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani) are recognized along with Spanish as national languages.
Other languages found in South America include Tamil, Hindi and Indonesian in Suriname; Italian in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Chile; and German in certain pockets of Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Paraguay. German is also spoken in many regions of the southern states of Brazil, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch being the most widely spoken German dialect in the country; among other Germanic dialects, a Brazilian form of Pomeranian is also well represented and is experiencing a revival. Welsh remains spoken and written in the historic towns of Trelew and Rawson in the Argentine Patagonia. There are also small clusters of Japanese-speakers in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, and Ecuador. Arabic speakers, often of Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian descent, can be found in Arab communities in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and less frequently in Colombia and Paraguay.

Tapiz Winery, located in Mendoza; wine is the most popular drink in South America, and is consumed all over the continent. Argentina and Chile produce some of the world's most prestigious wine.
In most of the continent's countries, the upper classes and well-educated people regularly study English, French, German, or Italian, and are typically well-traveled. In those areas where tourism is a significant industry, English and some other European languages are often spoken. There are small Spanish speaking areas in southernmost Brazil because of the proximity of Uruguay.

Perou Audience de Charcas

Perou Audience de Lima

Plan de la Ville de Lima

Lima et ses Environs


Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.
Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a medium Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 40%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles.
The Peruvian population, estimated at 28 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

The earliest evidence of human presence in Peruvian territory has been dated to approximately 11,000 BCE. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3000 and 1800 BCE. These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures such as Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca, Wari, and Chimú. In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Andean societies were based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation and terracing; camelid husbandry and fishing were also important. Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money.

Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas"
In 1532, a group of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated Inca Emperor Atahualpa and imposed Spanish rule. Ten years later, the Spanish Crown established the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of its South American colonies. Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with silver mining as its main economic activity and Indian forced labor as its primary workforce. Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines. However, by the 18th century, declining silver production and economic diversification greatly diminished royal income. In response, the Crown enacted the Bourbon Reforms, a series of edicts that increased taxes and partitioned the Viceroyalty of Peru. The new laws provoked Túpac Amaru II's rebellion and other revolts, all of which were defeated.
In the early 19th century, while most of South America was swept by wars of independence, Peru remained a royalist stronghold. As the elite hesitated between emancipation and loyalty to the Spanish Monarchy, independence was achieved only after the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar.During the early years of the Republic, endemic struggles for power between military leaders caused political instability. National identity was forged during this period, as Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation foundered and a union with Bolivia proved ephemeral. Between the 1840s and 1860s, Peru enjoyed a period of stability under the presidency of Ramón Castilla through increased state revenues from guano exports. However, by the 1870s, these resources had been squandered, the country was heavily indebted, and political in-fighting was again on the rise.

Angamos, a decisive battle during the War of the Pacific.
Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, losing the provinces of Arica and Tarapacá in the treaties of Ancón and Lima. Internal struggles after the war were followed by a period of stability under the Civilista Party, which lasted until the onset of the authoritarian regime of Augusto B. Leguía. The Great Depression caused the downfall of Leguía, renewed political turmoil, and the emergence of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA). The rivalry between this organization and a coalition of the elite and the military defined Peruvian politics for the following three decades.
In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against president Fernando Belaunde. The new regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development but failed to gain widespread support. In 1975, Velasco was forcefully replaced as president by General Francisco Morales Bermúdez, who paralyzed reforms and oversaw the reestablishment of democracy. During the 1980s, Peru faced a considerable external debt, ever-growing inflation, a surge in drug trafficking, and massive political violence. Under the presidency of Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000), the country started to recover; however, accusations of authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights violations forced his resignation after the controversial 2000 elections. Since the end of the Fujimori regime, Peru has tried to fight corruption while sustaining economic growth; since 2006 the president is Alan García.

Peru covers 1,285,220 km² (496,193 sq mi). It neighbors Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
The Andes mountains run parallel to the Pacific Ocean, dividing the country into three geographic regions. The costa (coast), to the west, is a narrow plain, largely arid except for valleys created by seasonal rivers. The sierra (highlands) is the region of the Andes; it includes the Altiplano plateau as well as the highest peak of the country, the 6,768 m (22,205 ft) Huascarán.The third region is the selva (jungle), a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east. Almost 60% of the country's area is located within this region, (70 million hectares) giving Peru the fourth largest area of tropical forest in the world after Brazil, Congo and Indonesia.
Most Peruvian rivers originate in the Andes and drain into one of three basins. Those that drain toward the Pacific Ocean are steep and short, flowing only intermittently. Tributaries of the Amazon River are longer, have a much larger flow, and are less steep once they exit the sierra. Rivers that drain into Lake Titicaca are generally short and have a large flow. Peru's longest rivers are the Ucayali, the Marañón, the Putumayo, the Yavarí, the Huallaga, the Urubamba, the Mantaro, and the Amazon.

The peaks of the Andes are the source of many Peruvian rivers.
Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current cause great climatic diversity within the country. The costa has moderate temperatures, low precipitations, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches. In the sierra, rain is frequent during summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The selva is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall. Because of its varied geography and climate, Peru has a high biodiversity with 21,462 species of plants and animals reported as of 2003; 5,855 of them endemic. The Peruvian government has established several protected areas for their preservation.

Plan de la Rade de Pisco

Rade d'Arica et Environs

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic (Spanish: República Argentina, Spanish pronunciation: [reˈpuβlika aɾxenˈtina]), is a country in South America, constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city. It is the second largest country in South America and eighth in the world by land area and the largest among Spanish-speaking nations, though Mexico, Colombia and Spain are more populous. Its continental area is 2,766,890 km² (1,068,302 sq mi), between the Andes mountain range in the west and the southern Atlantic Ocean in the east and south. Argentina borders Paraguay and Bolivia to the north, Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast, and Chile to the west and south. Argentina also claimed 969,464 km² (374,312 sq mi) of Antarctica, known as Argentine Antarctica, overlapping other claims made by Chile (Chilean Antarctic Territory) and the United Kingdom (British Antarctic Territory); all such claims have been suspended by the Antarctic Treaty of 1961.

The total surface area of Argentina (not including the Antarctic claim) is 2,766,891 km², of which 2,736,691 km² is land and 30,200 km² (1.1%) is water.
Argentina is about 3,900 km (about 2,500 mi) long from north to south, and 1,400 km (about 870 mi) from east to west (maximum values). It can roughly be divided into four parts: the fertile plains of the Pampas in the center of the country, the source of Argentina's agricultural wealth; the flat to rolling, oil-rich plateau of Patagonia in the southern half down to Tierra del Fuego; the subtropical flats of the Gran Chaco in the north, and the rugged Andes mountain range along the western border with Chile.
The highest point above sea level in Argentina is located in Mendoza. Cerro Aconcagua, at 6,962 meters (22,834 ft). It is the highest mountain in the Americas, the Southern,[13] and Western Hemisphere.[14] The lowest point is Laguna del Carbón in Santa Cruz, −105 meters (−344 ft) below sea level.[15] This is also the lowest point on the South American continent. The geographic center of the country is located in south-central La Pampa Province.
Argentina's easternmost continental point is northeast of the town of Bernardo de Irigoyen, Misiones (26°15′S 53°38′W), the westernmost in the Mariano Moreno Range in Santa Cruz (49°33′S 73°35′W). The northernmost point is located at the confluence of the Grande de San Juan and Mojinete rivers, Jujuy (21°46′S 66°13′W), and the southernmost is Cape San Pío in Tierra del Fuego (55°03′S 66°31′W).[16]
The country has a territorial claim over a portion of Antarctica (unrecognized by any other country), where, from 1904, it has maintained a constant presence.

Political map of Argentina showing the area it controls. The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) are controlled by the United Kingdom but are claimed by Argentina.
The country is traditionally divided into several major geographically distinct regions:
The plains west and south from Buenos Aires. Called the Humid Pampa, they cover most of the provinces of Buenos Aires and Córdoba and large portions of the provinces of Santa Fe and La Pampa. The western part of La Pampa and the province San Luis are also mostly plains (the Dry Pampa); but they are drier and used mainly for grazing. The Sierra de Córdoba in the homonymous province (extending into San Luis) is the most important geographical feature of the pampas.
Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco region in the north of the country is seasonal dry/wet, mainly cotton growing and livestock raising. It covers the provinces of Chaco and Formosa. It is dotted with subtropical forests, scrubland, and some wetlands, home to a large number of plant and animal species. The province of Santiago del Estero lies in the drier region of the Gran Chaco.
The land between the Paraná and Uruguay rivers is called Mesopotamia, and it is shared by the provinces of Corrientes and Entre Ríos. It features flatland apt for grazing and plant growing, and the Iberá Wetlands in central Corrientes. Misiones Province is more tropical and belongs within the Brazilian Highlands geographic feature. It features subtropical rainforests and the Iguazú Falls.
The steppes of Patagonia, in the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, are of tertiary origin. Most of the region is semiarid in the north to cold and arid in the far south, but forests grow in its western fringes which are dotted with several large lakes. Tierra del Fuego is cool and wet, moderated by oceanic influences. Northern Patagonia (Río Negro, south of the homonymous river, and Neuquén) can also be referred as the Comahue region.
West-central Argentina is dominated by the imposing Andes Mountains. To their east is the arid region known as Cuyo. Melting waters from high in the mountains form the backbone of irrigated lowland oasis, at the center of a rich fruit and wine growing region in Mendoza and San Juan provinces. Further north the region gets hotter and drier with more geographical accidents in La Rioja Province. The region's easternmost border is marked by the Sierras Pampeanas, a series of three low mountain ranges that spread from north to south in the northern half of the province of San Luis.
NOA or Northwest
This region is the highest in average elevation. Parallel mountain ranges, several of which have peaks higher than 20,000 feet (6,000 m), dominate the area. These ranges grow wider in geographic extent towards the north. They are cut by fertile river valleys, the most important being the Calchaquí Valleys in the provinces of Catamarca, Tucumán, and Salta. Farther north Jujuy Province near Bolivia lies mainly within the Altiplano plateau of the Central Andes. The Tropic of Capricorn goes through the far north of the region.

Because of longitudinal and elevation amplitudes, Argentina is subject to a variety of climates. As a rule, the climate is predominantly temperate with extremes ranging from subtropical in the north to subpolar in the far south. The north of the country is characterized by very hot, humid summers with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts. Central Argentina has hot summers with thunderstorms (western Argentina produces some of the world's largest hail), and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Higher elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions.
The hottest and coldest temperature extremes recorded in South America have occurred in Argentina. A record high temperature of 49.1 °C (120.4 °F), was recorded at Villa de María, Córdoba, on 2 January 1920. The lowest temperature recorded was −39 °C (−38.2 °F) at Valle de los Patos Superior, San Juan, on 17 July 1972.
Major wind currents in Argentina include the cool Pampero Winds blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions. The Zonda, a hot dry wind, affects west-central Argentina. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6,000 meter descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h, fueling wildfires and causing damage; when the Zonda blows (June-November), snowstorms and blizzard (viento blanco) conditions usually affect the higher elevations.
The Sudestada ("southeasterlies") could be considered similar to the Nor'easter, though snowfall is rarely involved (but is not unprecedented). Both are associated with a deep winter low pressure system. The sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the coasts of central Argentina and in the Río de la Plata estuary.
The southern regions, particularly the far south, experience long periods of daylight from November to February (up to nineteen hours) and extended nights from May to August. All of Argentina uses UTC-3 time zone. The country does observe daylight saving time occasionally.

Ville de Buenos Ayres

Carte du Detroit de Le Maire

Carte de la Rivière de la Plata

Carte Réduite du Detroit de Magellan

Carte Réduite de la Partie la plus Méridionale de l'Amérique


Brazil occupies an immense area along the eastern coast of South America and includes much of the continent's interior region, sharing land borders with Uruguay to the south; Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest; Bolivia and Peru to the west; Colombia to the northwest; Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and the overseas department of French Guiana to the north.The factors of size, relief, climate, and natural resources make Brazil geographically diverse. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world—after Russia, Canada, China and the United States—and third largest in the Americas; with a total area of 8,511,965 kilometers (5,289,090 mi), including 55,455 kilometers (34,458 mi) of water. It spans four time zones; from UTC-5, in the state of Acre and UTC-4, in the central states; to UTC-3, in the eastern states, the official time of Brazil, and UTC-2, in the Atlantic islands.
Brazilian topography is also diverse, including hills, mountains, plains, highlands, and scrublands. Much of Brazil lies between 200 metres (660 ft) and 800 metres (2,600 ft) in elevation. The main upland area occupies most of the southern half of the country.[ The northwestern parts of the plateau consist of broad, rolling terrain broken by low, rounded hills.The southeastern section is more rugged, with a complex mass of ridges and mountain ranges reaching elevations of up to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). These ranges include the Mantiqueira Mountains, the Espinhaço Mountains, and the Serra do Mar. In north, the Guiana Highlands form a major drainage divide, separating rivers that flow south into the Amazon Basin from rivers that empty into the Orinoco River system, in Venezuela, to the north. The highest point in Brazil is the Pico da Neblina at 3,014 metres (9,890 ft), and the lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil has a dense and complex system of rivers, one of the world's most extensive, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic Ocean. Major rivers include the Amazon, the largest river in terms of volume of water, and the second-longest in the world; the Paraná and its major tributary, the Iguaçu River, where the Iguaçu Falls are located; the Negro, São Francisco, Xingu, Madeira and the Tapajós rivers.

The wildlife of Brazil is all the natural flora and fauna in the South American country. Home to 60% of the Amazon Rainforest, which contains more than one-third of all species in the world, Brazil is considered to have the greatest biodiversity of any country on the planet. It has most known species of plants (55,000), freshwater fish (3000) and mammals (over 520). It also ranks third on the list of countries with the most number of bird species (1622) and fifth with the most reptile species (468). Approximately two-thirds of all species worldwide are found in tropical areas, often coinciding with developing countries such as Brazil. Brazil is second only to Indonesia as the country with the most endemic species.

There is general consensus, that Brazil has the highest number of both terrestrialrt by the sheer size of Brazil and the great variation in ecosystems such as Amazon Rainforest, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. The numbers published about Brazil'sed between 96,660 and 128,843 invertebrate species in Brazil. Accor Being a species-rich ecosystem for fauna and flora, Brazil houses many thousands of species, with many (if not most) of them still undiscovered. Due to the relatively explosive economic and demographic rise of the country in the last century, Brazil's ability to protect its environmental habitats has increasingly come under threat. Extensive logging in the nation's forests, particularly the Amazon, both official and unofficial, destroys areas the size of a small country each year, and potentially a diverse variety of plants and animals. However, as various species possess special characteristics, or are built in an interesting way, some of their capabilities are being copied for use in technology (see bionics), and the profit potential may result in a retardation of deforestation.

The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale and varied topography, but the largest part of the country is tropical. Analysed according to the Köppen system, Brazil hosts five major climatic subtypes: equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, and temperate; ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate coniferous forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil. Many regions have starkly different microclimates.
An equatorial climate characterizes much of northern Brazil. There is no real dry season, but there are some variations in the period of the year when most rain falls. Temperatures average 25 °C (77 °F),[23] with more significant temperature variations between night and day than between seasons. Over central Brazil rainfall is more seasonal, characteristic of a savanna climate. This region is as large and extensive as the Amazon basin but, lying farther south and being at a moderate altitude, it has a very different climate. In the interior northeast, seasonal rainfall is even more extreme. The semiarid climate region generally receives less than 800 millimetres of rain, most of which falls in a period of three to five months and occasionally even more insufficiently, creating long periods of drought. From south of Bahia, near São Paulo, the distribution of rainfall changes, where some appreciable rainfall occurs in all months. The south has temperate conditions, with average temperatures below 18 °C (64 °F) and cool winters; frosts are quite common, with occasional snowfalls in the higher areas.

Carte de l'Isle de Sainte Catherine

Carte de l'Isle Grande

Carte de la Baye de tous les Saints

Carte du Bresil I

Entrée de la Rivière de St Francois

Guyane Portugaise

Isle de Saint Sebastien

Plan de Fernambouc

Plan de la Baye de Rio Janeiro

Suite du Brésil

Ville de Saint Salvador Capitale du Brésil


Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (Spanish: República de Chile), is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow coastal strip wedged between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage at the country's southernmost tip. It is one of only two countries in South America that does not have a border with Brazil. The Pacific forms the country's entire western border, with a coastline that stretches over 6,435 kilometres. Chilean territory extends to the Pacific Ocean which includes the overseas territories of Juan Fernández Islands, the Salas y Gómez islands, the Desventuradas Islands and Easter Island located in Polynesia. Chile claims 1,250,000 km² (482,628 sq mi) of territory in Antarctica.
Chile's unusual, ribbon-like shape — 4,300 km (2,672 mi) long and on average 175 km (109 mi) wide — has given it a hugely varied climate, ranging from the world's driest desert — the Atacama — in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a snow-prone Alpine climate in the south, with glaciers, fjords and lakes. The northern Chilean desert contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The relatively small central area dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This area also is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century, when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. The Andes Mountains are located on the eastern border.
Prior to the coming of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while the indigenous Araucanians (also known as Mapuches) inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanian Indians were completely subjugated. The country, which had been relatively free of the coups and arbitrary governments that blighted the South American continent, endured a 17 year military dictatorship (1973-1990), one of the bloodiest in 20th-century Latin America that left more than 3,000 people dead and missing.
Currently, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations. Within the greater Latin American context it leads in terms of human development, competitiveness, quality of life, political stability, globalization, economic freedom, low perception of corruption and comparatively low poverty rates. It also ranks high regionally in freedom of the press and democratic development. Its status as the region's richest country in terms of gross domestic product per capita (at market prices and purchasing power parity) is however countered by its high level of income inequality, as measured by the Gini index.

A long and narrow coastal Southern Cone country on the west side of the Andes Mountains, Chile stretches over 4,630 kilometers (2,880 mi) north to south, but only 430 kilometers (265 mi) at its widest point east to west. This encompasses a remarkable variety of landscapes. It contains 756,950 km² (292,260 sq mi) of land area.
The northern Atacama Desert contains great mineral wealth, primarily copper and nitrates. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This area also is the historical center from which Chile expanded in the late nineteenth century, when it integrated the northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests, grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. The Andes Mountains are located on the eastern border. Chile is the longest north-south country in the world, and also claims 1,250,000 km² (482,628 sq mi) of Antarctica as part of its territory. However, this latter claim is suspended under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty, of which Chile is signatory.
Chile controls Easter Island and Sala y Gómez Island, the easternmost islands of Polynesia, which it incorporated to its territory in 1888, and Robinson Crusoe Island, more than 600 km (373 mi) from the mainland, in the Juan Fernández archipelago. Easter Island is nowadays a province of Chile. Also controlled but only temporally inhabited (by some local fishermen) are the small islands of Sala y Gómez, San Ambrosio and San Felix. These islands are notable because they extend Chile's claim to territorial waters out from its coast into the Pacific.

Carte de l'Entree du Golphe du Chiloe et du Port de Cachao

Carte de l'Isle de Juan Fernandes

Carte du Chili

Isle du Chiloe et Environs

Pinco ou Port de la Conception au Chili

Plan de la Ville de Santiago

Plan du Port de Coquimbo

Plan du Port de Valparaiso

Port de Baldivia


Colombia , officially the Republic of Colombia , is a country in north-western South America. Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the north west by Panama; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia also shares maritime borders with Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth largest in South America (after Brazil, Argentina, and Peru). It has the 29th largest population in the world and the second largest in South America, after Brazil. Colombia has the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico and Spain.
The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonisation which ultimately led to the creation of the Viceroyalty of New Granada (comprising modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama) with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 "Gran Colombia" had collapsed with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903.
Colombia has a long tradition of constitutional government, and the Liberal and Conservative parties, founded in 1848 and 1849 respectively, are two of the oldest surviving political parties in the Americas. However, tensions between the two have frequently erupted into violence, most notably in the Thousand Days War (1899-1902) and La Violencia, beginning in 1948. Since the 1960s, government forces, left-wing insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries have been engaged in the continent's longest-running armed conflict. Fuelled by the cocaine trade, this escalated dramatically in the 1990s. However, the insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, and in recent years the violence has been decreasing. Many paramilitary groups have demobilised as part of a controversial peace process with the government, and the guerrillas have lost control in many areas where they once dominated. Meanwhile Colombia's homicide rate, for many years the highest in the world, has almost halved since 2002.
Colombia is a standing middle power with the fourth largest economy in South America. It is very ethnically diverse, and the interaction between descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, African slaves and twentieth-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East has produced a rich cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia's varied geography. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Ecologically, Colombia is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth largest in South America. It is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by Panama and the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is the only country in South America to touch both Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region of the world subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Colombia is dominated by the Andes mountains. Beyond the Colombian Massif (in the south-western departments of Cauca and Nariño) these are divided into three branches known as cordilleras (from the Spanish for "rope"): the Cordillera Occidental, running adjacent to the Pacific coast and including the city of Cali; the Cordillera Central, running between the Cauca and Magdalena river valleys (to the west and east respectively) and including the cities of Medellín, Manizales and Pereira; and the Cordillera Oriental, extending north east to the Guajira Peninsula and including Bogotá, Bucaramanga and Cúcuta. Peaks in the Cordillera Occidental exceed 13,000 ft (4,000 m), and in the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental they reach 18,000 ft (5,500 m). At 8,500 ft (2,600 m), Bogotá is the highest city of its size in the world.
East of the Andes lies the savanna of the Llanos, part of the Orinoco River basin, and, in the far south east, the jungle of the Amazon rainforest. Together these lowlands comprise over half Colombia's territory, but they contain less than 3% of the population. To the north the Caribbean coast, home to 20% of the population and the location of the major port cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena, generally consists of low-lying plains, but it also contains the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, which includes the country's tallest peaks (Pico Cristóbal Colón and Pico Simón Bolívar), and the Guajira Desert. By contrast the narrow and discontinuous Pacific coastal lowlands, backed by the Serranía de Baudó mountains, are covered in dense vegetation and sparsely populated. The principal Pacific port is Buenaventura.
Colombian territory also includes a number of Caribbean and Pacific islands.

The climate of Colombia is primarily determined by its proximity to the equator, with tropical and isothermal climate predominating. Other influences are the trade winds and the effect of the Intertropical Convergence Zone on precipitation. Colombia is also affected by the El Niño and La Niña phenomena.
Temperatures generally decrease about 3.5°F (2°C) for every 1,000-ft (300-m) increase in altitude above sea level, presenting perpetual snowy peaks to hot river valleys and basins. Rainfall is concentrated in two wet seasons (roughly corresponding to the spring and autumn of temperate latitudes) but varies considerably by location. Colombia's Pacific coast has one of the highest levels of rainfall in the world, with the south east often drenched by more than 200 in (500 cm) of rain per year. On the other hand rainfall in parts of the Guajira Peninsula seldom exceeds 30 in (75 cm) per year. Rainfall in the rest of the country runs between these two extremes.
The hot and humid Colombian Pacific coast, one of the rainiest regions in the world.
Altitude not only affects temperature but is also one of the most important influences on vegetation patterns. The mountainous parts of the country can be divided into several vegetation zones according to altitude, although the altitude limits of each zone may vary somewhat depending on the latitude. Below 3,300 ft (1,000 m) are the tropical crops of the tierra caliente (hot land). The most productive land and the majority of the population can be found in the tierra templada (temperate land, 3,300-6,600 ft or 1,000-2,000 m), which provide the best conditions for the country's coffee growers, and the tierra fría (cold land, 6,600-10,500 ft, 2,000-3,200 m), where wheat and potatoes dominate. Beyond this lie the alpine conditions of the zona forestada (forested zone, 10,500-12,800 ft, 3,200-3,900 m) and then the treeless grasslands of the páramos (12,800-15,100 ft, 3,900-4,600 m). Above 15,100 ft (4,600 m), where temperatures are below freezing, is the tierra helada, a zone of permanent snow and ice.
Colombian flora and fauna also interact with climate zone patterns. Scrub woodland of scattered trees and bushes dominates the semi-arid north-eastern steppe and tropical desert. To the south, savanna (tropical grassland) vegetation covers the eastern plains, the Colombian portion of the Llanos. The rainy areas in the south east are blanketed by tropical rainforest. In the mountains, the spotty patterns of precipitation in alpine areas complicate vegetation patterns. The rainy side of a mountain may be lush and green, while the other side, in the rain shadow, may be parched. As a result Colombia is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Baye de Carthagene

Baye de Porto Belo

Baye de Porto Belo et Costes Voisines

Carte des Provinces de Tierra Firme, Darien, Cartagene et Nouvelle Grenade

Plan de la Baye de Zisapata

Plan et Ville de Chagre

Rade du Darien et les Isles Voisines

Ville de Cartagene


Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, by Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America (with Chile) that does not have a border with Brazil. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 965 kilometers (600 miles) west of the mainland. Ecuador straddles the equator, from which it takes its name, and has an area of 256,371 square kilometers (98,985 mi²). Its capital city is Quito; its largest city is Guayaquil. Ecuador is one of only 17 megadiverse countries in the world according to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Ecuador has three main geographic regions, plus an insular region in the Pacific Ocean:
▪ La Costa, or the coast, comprises the low-lying land in the western part of the country, including the Pacific coastline.
▪ La Sierra ("the highlands") is the high-altitude belt running north-south along the center of the country, its mountainous terrain dominated by the Andes mountain range.
▪ La Amazonía, also known as El Oriente ("the east"), comprises the Amazon rainforest areas in the eastern part of the country, accounting for just under half of the country's total surface area, though populated by less than 5% of the population.
▪ The Región Insular is the region comprising the Galápagos Islands, some 1,000 kilometers (620 mi) west of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean.
Ecuador's capital is Quito, which is in the province of Pichincha in the Sierra region. Its largest city is Guayaquil, in the Guayas Province. Cotopaxi, which is just south of Quito, features one of the world's highest active volcanoes. The top of Mount Chimborazo (6,310-m above sea level) is considered to be the most distant point from the center of the earth, given the ovoidal shape of the planet (wider at the equator).

Although the country is not particularly large, there is great variety in the climate, largely determined by altitude. The Pacific coastal area has a tropical climate, with a severe rainy season. The climate in the Andean highlands is temperate and relatively dry; and the Amazon basin on the eastern side of the mountains shares the climate of other rain forest zones.
Because of its location at the equator, Ecuador experiences little variation in daylight hours during the course of a year.
Ecuador is one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world according to Conservation International.[2] With 1,600 bird species (15% of the world's known bird species) in the continental area, and 38 more endemic in the Galápagos. In addition to 25,000 species of plants, the country has 106 endemic reptiles, 138 endemic amphibians, and 6,000 species of butterfly. The Galápagos Islands are well known as a region of distinct fauna, famous as the place of birth of Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being on the UNESCO list, the Galapagos are endangered by a range of negative environmental effects, threatening the existence of this exotic ecosystem. Additionally, oil exploitation of the Amazon rain forest has led to the release of billions of gallons of untreated wastes, gas, and crude oil into the environment, contaminating ecosystems and causing detrimental health effects to indigenous peoples.

Ecuador's mainstream culture is defined by its mestizo majority and, like their ancestry, is a mixture of European and Amerindian influences infused with African elements inherited from enslaved ancestors. Ecuador's indigenous communities are integrated into the mainstream culture to varying degrees, but some may also practice their own autochtonous cultures, particularly the more remote indigenous communities of the Amazon basin. Spanish is spoken as the first language by more than 90% of the population and as first and second language by more than 98%. One part of Ecuador's population can speak Amerindian languages, but just as a second language. Two percent of the population speaks only Amerindian languages because they have never attended school.
The Panama hat is of Ecuadorian origin, and is known there as "Sombrero de paja toquilla", or a Jipijapa. It is made principally in Montecristi in the Province of Manabi. Its manufacture (particularly that of the Montecristi superfino) is considered a great craft.
Notable people born in Ecuador include painters Tábara, Guayasamín, Kingman, Rendón, Arauz, Constanté, Viteri, Molinari, Maldonado, Gutierrez, Endara Crow, Villacís, Egas, Villafuerte and Faini; animator Mike Judge; poet and statesman José Joaquín de Olmedo y Maruri, scholar Benjamín Urrutia, world traveler Claudia Velasco, and tennis player Pancho Segura.

The food in Ecuador is diverse, varying with altitude and associated agricultural conditions. Pork, chicken, beef, and cuy (guinea pig) are popular in the mountain regions and are served with a variety of grains (especially rice and corn or potatoes). A popular street food in mountain regions ishornado, consisting of potatoes served with roasted pig. Fanesca, a fish soup including several types of bean, is often eaten during Lent and Easter. During the week before the commemoration of the deceased or "día de los muertos", the fruit beverage "Colada Morada" is typical, accompanied by "Guaguas de Pan", which is stuffed bread shaped like children.
The food is somewhat different in the southern mountain area, featuring typical Loja food such as "repe", a soup prepared with green bananas; "cecina", roasted pork; and "miel con quesillo" or "cuajada" as dessert.
A wide variety of fresh fruit is available, particularly at lower altitudes, including granadilla, passionfruit, naranjilla, several types of bananas, uvilla, taxo, and tree tomato.
Seafood is very popular at the coast, where prawns, shrimp and lobster are key parts of the diet. Plantain- and peanut-based dishes are the basis of most coastal meals, which are usually served in two courses. The first course is caldo soup, which may be aguado (a thin soup, usually with meat) or caldo de leche, a cream vegetable soup. The second course might include rice, a little meat or fish with a menestra (lentil stew), and salad or vegetables. Patacones (fried green plantains with cheese) are popular side dishes with coastal meals.
Some of the typical dishes in the coastal region are: ceviche, pan de almidón, corviche, guatita, encebollado and empanadas; in the mountain region: hornado, fritada, humitas, tamales, llapingachos, lomo saltado, and churrasco.
In the rainforest, a dietary staple is the yuca, elsewhere called cassava. The starchy root is peeled and boiled, fried, or used in a variety of other dishes. Many fruits are available in this region, including bananas, tree grapes, and peach palms. It's also used as a bread and has spread throughout the nation, most notably, to Quito where a company sells the native pan de yuca in a new sense; different types sold with frozen youghurt.
Aguardiente, a sugar cane-based spirit, is probably the most popular national alcohol. Drinkable yogurt, available in many fruit flavors, is popular and is often consumed with pan de yuca, a light bread filled with cheese and eaten warm.

Carte de la Baye de Guajaquil

Plan de la Ville de St François de Quito

Province de Quito

Suite de la Province de Quito

Suite de la Province de Quito

French Guiana

French Guiana is an overseas department of France, located on the northern coast of South America. Like the other DOMs, French Guiana is also an overseas region of France, one of the 26 regions of France, and is an integral part of the French Republic. Like metropolitan France, its currency is the euro. The prefecture is Cayenne.

Though sharing cultural affinities with the French-speaking territories of the Caribbean, French Guiana cannot be considered to be part of that geographic region, with the Caribbean Sea actually being located several hundred kilometres to the west, beyond the arc of the Lesser Antilles.
French Guiana consists of two main geographical regions: a coastal strip where the majority of the people live, and dense, near-inaccessible rainforest which gradually rises to the modest peaks of the Tumac-Humac mountains along the Brazilian frontier. French Guiana's highest peak is Bellevue de l'Inini (851 m). Other mountains include Mont Machalou (782 m), Pic Coudreau (711 m) and Mont St Marcel (635 m), Mont Favard (200 m) and Montagne du Mahury (156 m). Several small islands are found off the coast, the three Iles du Salut Salvation Islands which includes Devil's Island and the isolated Iles du Connétable bird sanctuary further along the coast towards Brazil.
The Barrage de Petit-Saut hydroelectric dam in the north of French Guiana forms an artificial lake and provides hydroelectricity. There are many rivers in French Guiana.

French Guiana was originally inhabited by a number of indigenous American peoples. Settled by the French during the 17th century. Its infamous Île du Diable (Devil's Island) was the site of penal settlements from 1852 until 1951. A border dispute with Brazil arose in the late nineteenth century over a vast area of jungle, leading to the short-lived pro-French independent state of Counani in the disputed territory and some fighting between settlers, before the dispute was resolved largely in favour of Brazil by the arbitration of the Swiss government. In 1946, French Guiana became an overseas department of France. The 1970s saw the settlement of Hmong refugees from Laos. A movement for increased autonomy from France gained some momentum in the 1970s and 1980s.

Carte de l'Entrée de la Rivière de Kourou

Carte de l'Isle de Cayenne et de ses Environs

Carte de l'Isle de Cayenne