South America, the world’s fourth biggest continent, is a sub-region of the Americas. Situated mostly in the southern hemisphere, it is hemmed in by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The region is comprised of twelve independent countries and three foreign territories.The majority of South Americans live by the coasts. Due to European colonization, the main languages are Spanish and Portuguese. Indigenous people still live traditionally in more remote areas, and the Amazon Rainforest hides some uncontacted cultural groups. The historical influences of Africa, Asia and Europe flavour South American cuisine, and are also woven into the rich musical styles and colourful festivals of the different countries.An extremely bio-diverse area, South America is the home of various unique animal species, including piranhas, llamas, jaguars and anacondas. The Amazon area contains both the earth’s largest rainforest and the river with the greatest volume, while Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest location in the world.