Travel With Us In This South American Geography Quiz

Olivia Cantor

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About This Quiz

South America is one of the most colorful continents in the world. There’s so much to see, do, and feel here. The continent also houses many natural resources and formations in addition to celebrations of various festive cultures. Think you know enough about this continent? Take this quiz to find out!

South America is, of course, located at the bottom part of North America. But what connects the two continents?

The region called Central America is actually composed of seven independent countries. The entire region connects North America to South America.

Just like North America, South America was discovered by the pioneering explorer Amerigo Vespucci. What was his nationality?

The Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci is credited with discovering both North and South America. That’s why the continents are named after him.

The highest waterfall known to humankind is located in South America. What is its name?

Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the world, thanks to its nearly-1000 meter height. It’s located in the Bolivar State of Venezuela. Jump that!

Which South American country boasts having won many beauty pageant titles?

Out of the countries in the world, Venezuela seems to have the most beautiful women in their midst. Imagine having seven Miss Universe and seven Miss International title holders. That’s a lotta pretty!

South America has three major territories within its continent. Which of the following is not one of these territories?

The Marianas Trench is actually a deep ocean area, so it’s not inhabitable. South America’s three territories are all island areas.

What is the predominant language spoken in South America?

Spanish is the predominant language spoken in South America. But the continent also preserved the pre-Spanish languages of their native indigenous peoples.

Which South American country is highly featured in the Broadway musical Evita?

Argentina is the main setting for the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, Evita. It’s about the rule of the country's former president, Juan Peron, and his very colorful wife, Eva Peron, or Evita, as she’s known there.

One of the three island territories of South America has the name of its colonizer, referenced in its official country name. Which is it?

French Guiana was originally a slave colony occupied by the French during the 1600s. Today the country is officially part of the France administrative region, located outside of Europe.

Which country is home to the ancient civilization called the Inca Empire?

Peru is one ancient country indeed. It was home to the thriving culture of the Inca Empire before the European colonizers arrived some 400-500 years ago. Imagine that!

What is the capital of Argentina?

Bustling Buenos Aires is Argentina’s capital city, housing a multitude of cultures that make up the diversity celebrated in this vibrant place. The arts make up the primary reason why this capital is also likened to the French capital. Buenos Aires is referred to as the "Paris of South America.”

The largest river in the world is located in South America. What is its name?

The Amazon River touches four countries in South America. Experts consider it the largest river in the world and also the longest one. Fancy that!

What is the capital of Bolivia?

Bolivia’s capital, Sucre, is also known as “The City of Four Names.” It was previously known by other names, with the name change depending on the city's historical era.

This South American country hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Brazil’s hosting of the 2016 Summer Olympics was both colorful and controversial. But it was also historic, as it marks the first time that the Olympics was hosted in a South American country.

In which Brazilian city was the 2016 Summer Olympics held?

Rio de Janeiro was the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Since the country loves soccer, it was also the host of past World Cup events.

What is the capital of Peru?

Lima is the largest city in Peru, and it serves as its capital. The city has already hosted many international gatherings and events important to the arts and politics.

The term “Pre-Columbian era” is often used to describe the history of South America prior to being discovered by European navigators. But who among those navigators is the term literally referring to?

Christopher Columbus was a significant -- but controversial -- Italian explorer of the 1400s. That’s why South Americans make distinctions pinned to his name, to refer to their pre-colonial history, before he came and conquered!

What is the second most popular language used in South America?

Next to Spanish, a large number of people on the continent speaks Portuguese. English is only the third language officially spoken here.

This country’s name sounds like they’re always eating spicy food!

Chile might not make it to the global headlines often, but it is one of the most significant countries in South America. It enjoys a very prosperous economic stance. It’s also one of the United Nations’ founding member states.

The longest mountain range is also found in this continent. What is it called?

The Andean Mountain range, also known as the Andes, spans seven countries in the continent. That’s a lotta peaks!

What is the capital of Paraguay?

Paraguay is steeped into religion, if you look closely at its historical development. It’s the Jesuits who introduced Christianity to the indigenous people here.

This South American institution is touted as one of the oldest surviving — and functioning — schools in the world.

The National University of San Marcos was established around 1551. it’s one of the top universities in Peru, and one of the oldest in the world.

What is the capital of Brazil?

Contrary to popular notions and belief, Rio de Janeiro is not the capital of Brazil. It’s Brasilia, which is also rich in culture.

This South American country is often highlighted as a rich source of two things: great coffee, and illegal drugs.

Colombia is very rich in natural resources, and coffee is one of the country's main exports. However, cocaine also became an export, no thanks to the drug cartels there.

One of the more prolific contemporary writers from South America is Paulo Coelho. What is the title of his famous 1988 novel?

The Alchemist is Paulo Coelho’s famous 1988 novel. It features the simple story of a shepherd boy who wants to pursue his dreams. The story explores one’s pursuit of destiny.

This famous bossa nova-sounding Brazilian song about a beautiful girl popularized a famous Brazilian beach.

The famous beach of Ipanema was etched in pop music, thanks to the song "Girl From Ipanema." The song was composed by bossa nova legends Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Astrud Gilberto's version was the international hit.

This famous author of the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude was a Colombian.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most famous Latin American novelists to come from South America. He is the prime mover of the magic realist movement in literature, as evident in his novels.

Some parts of South America touch upon this imaginary -- but important -- line.

The Equator is the imaginary line that divides the earth equally and horizontally. A total of 11 countries are touched upon by this line, with three of those countries are located in in South America.

Perhaps because it’s one of the three countries in South America that touches upon the Equator, this country was named after it.

The Equator passes through the country called Republica del Ecuador, or the Republic of the Equator. They speak Spanish there, obviously.

Titicaca is the name of this famous body of water which, in ancient times, was believed to be the “birthplace of the sun.” What kind of body of water is it?

Lake Titicaca is shared by both Peru and Bolivia. It is considered as South America’s largest lake.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was one of the first two cities in the world to be declared as a “World Heritage Site.” Which United Nations body awards this distinction?

A “World Heritage Site” accolade is bestowed upon an area by UNESCO for having cultural significance to the world. Since Quito preserved its ancient cultural structures, it is now protected and regarded in this important manner.

Aside from coffee and cocaine -- and Sofia Vergara -- Colombia also produces many of these precious green gemstones.

Colombia is also mining many emerald gemstones for world export. The country also has great deposits of coal in its part of the Andes mountains.

Unlike the majority of countries in South America conquered by the Spanish and/or Portuguese, the country of Suriname was formerly a colony of which European country?

Suriname came under the Netherlands' rule, unlike its neighbors that came under the Spanish or Portuguese rule. It’s no wonder their official language is Dutch.

What is the capital of Venezuela?

Caracas mixes a host of interesting cultures in Venezuela. That’s why it’s also touted as the “cultural capital” of the country, where one can enjoy great cuisines and great works of art and performances.

What is the capital of Colombia?

Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, is home to the country's major media outlets. They also love biking, since the city has numerous bike-friendly routes and paths. Hurray for that!

This international pop superstar, who sang the theme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hails from Colombia. Who is she?

Shakira is a well-loved Colombian pop superstar with international fame. She has served as a coach in the American talent show "The Voice" and has won Grammy Awards to boot. Way to go, Waka Waka!

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