The South America continent is generally defined as being south from the Darién watershed along the Colombia–Panama border & most all of mainland South America sits on the South American tectonic plate.
South America also includes some nearby islands; in the caribbean there are the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Trinidad & Tobago.
Other islands that are included as a protected territory of a South American nation are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador & Easter Island, in the Pacific Ocean governed by Chile. Robinson Crusoe Island & Chiloé are also Chilean governed islands, while Tierra del Fuego is split between Argentina & Chile, the most southern city on our planet , Ushuaia being on the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego.
In the Atlantic Ocean off the South American coast of Brazil are the islands of Fernando de Noronha, Trindade, Martim Vaz, also the Saint Peter a& Saint Paul Archipelago.
The much contested territories in the Southern Atlantic whose sovereignty is disputed by Argentina- the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom. They are referred to in Argentina as the Malvinas. South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands are associated with South America & considered a northern extension of Antarctica.
South America is home to the the world's longest continental mountain range - the Andes, whose highest mountain is Aconcagua at 6,962 m or 22,841 ft; the world's highest waterfall - Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river (by volume)- the Amazon River; the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert; the largest rainforest, the Amazon; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia 4058m or 13313 ft ; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca (3811 m or 12503 ft) & 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, natural gas & petroleum. These resources found in South America have brought significant 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 & home to a plethora of interesting & unique species of animals including the llama, anaconda, piranha, jaguar, vicuña & tapir. The Amazon rainforests possess an amazing biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area & population. The remaining countries & territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States, the Guianas & the Southern Cone.