Physical Features and Wildlife Mountains and Highlands • The highest point in the region is in Colombia. • On the western side are the Andes which reach 18,000 feet. • The Andes form a cordillera (a mountain system made up of roughly parallel ranges) • Some of the Andes’ snowcapped peaks are active volcanoes where eruptions and earthquakes occur frequently.
Venezuela’s highest elevation is in the Guiana Highlands, which stretch into Guyana and Suriname.
Plains, Rivers, and Wildlife • East of the Andes is an area of plains known as the Llanos. • This area is mostly grassland with few trees. • At a low elevation and not much vegetation, these plains flood easily.
The Orinoco River is the region’s longest river. • It runs through Venezuela to the Atlantic Ocean. Caribbean South America is home to some remarkable wildlife. • There are hundreds of bird species, meat-eating fish called piranhas, and crocodiles live in and around the Orinoco River.
Climate and Vegetation • Most of the region has warm temperatures year-round because of its location near the Equator. • However, the higher in elevation you go the cooler it becomes. • In the southern part of Colombia there are rain forests which make up a part of the Amazon Basin.
Resources • Rich soil and moderate climates help make Caribbean South America a prosperous agricultural region. • Major crops include rice, coffee, bananas, and sugarcane.
This region also has mineral resources like oil, iron ore, and coal. • Venezuela and Colombia have large oil-rich areas. • Forests throughout the area provide timber. • The region’s seas provide plentiful fish and shrimp while the region’s rivers are used to generate hydroelectric power.