Top Ten South American Cities

Top Ten South American Cities


  1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

           Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the 2nd largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent. Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the 4th largest conurbation in Latin America, with a population of around 13 million. The city of Buenos Aires is not a part of the Buenos Aires Province, nor is it its capital; rather, it is an autonomous district. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalized and removed from Buenos Aires Province. The city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Belgrano and Flores. The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires. Its citizens first elected a Chief of Government (Mayor) in 1996; before, the Mayor was directly appointed by the President of the Republic. People from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteños (people of the port). Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European style architecture and rich cultural life.
    Links: Top Ten Argentinean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buenos_aires,
  2. Montévideo, Uruguay

    Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento. According to the census of 2004, Montevideo has a population of 1,325,968 (about half of Uruguay’s population). It has an area of 530 square km (200 sq mi) and extends 20 km (12 mi) from west to east. The southernmost cosmopolitan capital city in the Americas and 3rd most southern in the world, it is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata, “Silver River.” The city was under brief British rule in 1807 and was involved in the first major naval battle in WWII: the Battle of the River Plate. It is also the place where the Montevideo convention was signed, in 1933, by 19 nations of the Americas. The city hosted the 1st FIFA World Cup in 1930. Montevideo has a rich architectural and cultural heritage, the latter including tango and candombe. According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, in 2007 Montevideo provided the highest quality of life in Latin America. Described as a “vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life,” it is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay: its first university, the Universidad de la República, was founded in 1849. The architecture of Montevideo reflects its history, ranging from colonial to Art Deco, and influenced by Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and British immigrants.
    Links: Top Ten Uruguayan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montevideo,
  3. Santiago, Chile

           Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation (Greater Santiago). It is located in the country’s central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706.04 ft) above mean sea level. Although Santiago is the capital, legislative bodies meet in the coastal town of Valparaíso, a one-hour drive to the west. Chile’s steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into one of Latin America’s most modern metropolitan areas, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers and impressive high-rise architecture. It has a very modern transport infrastructure, including the steadily growing underground Santiago Metro, an effort at modernizing public bus transport and a free flow toll-based ring road and inner city highway system, part of which is tunneled underneath a large section of the city’s main river Mapocho connecting the Eastern and Western extremes of the city in a 25-minute drive. Santiago is the regional headquarters to many multinationals, and a financial center. Santiago has a diverse, cosmopolitan culture.
    Links: Top Ten Chilean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago,
  4. São Paulo, Brazil

           São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world’s 7th largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the 2nd most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among the five-largest metropolitan areas on the planet. São Paulo is the capital of the state of São Paulo, which is the most populous Brazilian state, and exerts strong regional influence in commerce and finance as well as arts and entertainment. São Paulo maintains strong international influence and is considered an Alpha World City. The name of the city honors Saint Paul. The metropolis has significant cultural, economic and political influence both nationally and internationally. It houses several important monuments, parks and museums such as the Latin American Memorial, the Museum of the Portuguese Language, São Paulo Museum of Art and the Ibirapuera Park. The Paulista Avenue is the most important financial center of São Paulo. The city holds many high profile events, like the São Paulo Art Biennial, the Brazil Grand Prix Formula 1 Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Fashion Week, ATP Brasil Open, and the São Paulo Indy 300. It is home to the São Paulo Stock Exchange, the Future Markets, and the Cereal Market Stock Exchanges (the 2nd largest stock exchange in the World, in market value). São Paulo has been home to several of the tallest buildings in Brazil, including the building Mirante do Vale, Italia, Altino Arantes, North Tower of the UNSCOM (United Nations Center Enterprise) and many others. The city’s Latin motto, which it has shared with the battleship and the aircraft carrier named after it, is Non dvcor, dvco, which translates as “I am not led, I lead.” The city, which is also colloquially known as “Sampa” or “Cidade da Garoa” (city of drizzle), is also known for its unreliable weather, the size of its helicopter fleet, its architecture, gastronomy, severe traffic congestion and multitude of skyscrapers.
    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten South American Museums, Top Ten Brazilian Museums, National ParksTop Ten Cathedrals, Top Ten Bridges, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A3o_Paulo,
  5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

           Rio de Janeiro is the 2nd largest city of Brazil, and the 3rd largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th largest in the Americas and 26th in the world. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1815 during the Portuguese colonial era, 1815 to 1821 as the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, and 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. Rio is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa or “Marvelous City.” Rio de Janeiro represents the 2nd largest GDP in the country (and 30th largest in the world in 2008), estimated at about R$ 343 billion (IBGE/2008) (nearly US$ 201 billion), and is the headquarters of two major Brazilian companies, Petrobras and Vale, and major oil companies and telephony in Brazil, besides the largest conglomerate of media and communications companies in Latin America, the Globo Organizations. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the 2nd largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific production according to 2005 data. Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer (‘Cristo Redentor’) atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums. The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro, which will mark the first time a South American city hosts the event. Rio’s Maracanã Stadium will also host the final match for 2014 FIFA World Cup. Rio de Janeiro will also host World Youth Day in 2013.
    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions, Sculptures, Top 100 South American Sculptures, Top Ten Carnival Celebrations, Beaches, Top Ten South American Beaches, Top Ten Theatres, Top Ten Arenas, Top Ten Soccer Stadiums, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_de_Janeiro,
  6. Brasília, Brazil

           Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,562,963 (3,716,996 in the metropolitan area) as of 2008, making it the 4th largest city in Brazil. Brasília hosts 124 foreign embassies. As the national capital, Brasília is the seat of all three branches of the Brazilian government. The city also hosts the headquarters of many Brazilian companies. Planning policies such as the location of residential buildings around expansive urban areas, as well as building the city around large avenues and dividing it into sectors, have sparked a debate and reflection on life in big cities in the 20th century. The city’s design divides it into numbered blocks as well as sectors for specified activities, such as the Hotel Sector, the Banking Sector or the Embassy Sector. The city was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. On April 22, 1960, it formally became Brazil’s national capital. Viewed from above, the main portion of the city resembles an airplane or a butterfly. Residents of Brasília are known as brasilienses or candangos (the latter referring to those not born in the city, but migrated there when the city was established). In local usage, the word “Brasília” usually refers only to the First Administrative Region within the Distrito Federal (Federal District), where the most important government buildings are located. Brasília has a unique status in Brazil, as it is an administrative division rather than a legal municipality like nearly all cities in Brazil.
    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions, Top Ten Cathedrals, Sculptures, Top 100 South American Sculptures, Top Ten Stadiums, Top Ten Soccer Stadiums, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bras%C3%ADlia,
  7. Lima, Peru

           Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population fast approaching 9 million, Lima is the 5th largest city in Latin America, behind Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Lima is home to one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America. It has been defined as a beta world city by GaWC international rankings. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as la Ciudad de los Reyes, or “the City of Kings”. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area. Lima is home to the oldest higher learning institution in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.Located principally in the city centre or Cercado de Lima and Rímac areas, the Historic Centre of Lima is among the most important tourist destinations in Peru.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_centre_of_Lima, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima,
  8. Bogotá, Colombia

    Bogotá, Distrito Capital, from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital city of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district and no longer belongs administratively to that department. Bogotá is the most populous city in the country, with an estimated 7,304,384 inhabitants (2009). Bogotá and its metropolitan area, which includes municipalities such as Chía, Cota, Soacha, Cajicá and La Calera, had an estimated population of 8,566,926 in 2009. In terms of land area, Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia, and one of the biggest of Latin America. It figures amongst the 30 largest cities of the world and it is the 3rd highest capital city in South America (after La Paz and Quito) at 2,625 meters (8,612 ft) above sea level. With its many universities and libraries, Bogotá has become known as “The Athens of South America.” Bogotá owns the largest moorland of the world, which is located in the Sumapaz Locality.
    Links: Top Ten Colombian Attractions, Top Ten Gold Artifacts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogot%C3%A1,
  9. Historic Centre of San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

           San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of  approximately 2,504,991 in 2005, Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. It is also the capital of the Pichincha province and the seat of Metropolitan District of Quito. In 2008, the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations. The elevation of the city’s central square (Plaza de La Independencia) is 2,800 m (9,200 ft), making Quito the 2nd highest administrative capital city in the world after La Paz, Bolivia, and the highest legal capital (ahead of Sucre, also in Bolivia, and Bogotá, Colombia). The central square of Quito is located about 25 kilometers (16 mi) south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 km (0.62 mi) of zero latitude. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world), to avoid confusion, as the word ecuador is Spanish for equator.
    Links: Top Ten Ecuadorean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quito,
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