Quiz: Can you match the South American country to its capital?
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Can you match the South American country to its capital?
By: Bambi Turner
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Perhaps more than any other continent on Earth, South America is truly a hodge-podge of cultures. Centuries of colonization brought a decidedly European flavor to a land already rich in native culture and history. Take our quiz to see if you can match the South American country to its capital city!

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The capital of Brazil is not Rio, surprisingly. Which of these cities is actually the capital of this super-sized South American nation?

Rio may be the biggest city in Brazil -- and actually served as the capital city from 1763 to around 1960 -- but it's Brasilia that serves as the country's capital today. Brasilia is also the richest city in Brazil, based on GDP per capita. It's known for being a well-planned modern city and has been celebrated by UNESCO for its brilliant modernist architecture.

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This country in the northern part of South America, whose capital is Georgetown, is the only nation on the continent where English is the official language.

Georgetown, Guyana is known for both its gardens and its rich colonial architecture. Though English is the official language throughout the country, most residents also speak a native tongue known as Guyanese Creole.

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The name of this Argentinian capital means "fair winds."

Buenos Aires, Argentina sits on the coast where it receives plenty of fresh sea breezes, which helped earn the city its name. Buenos Aires offers a rich blend of European culture in South America and is known for Teatro Colon, its world-famous opera house.

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One third of Peru's entire population lives in the metro area of this capital city.

Lima is not only Peru's capital, but also it's largest city. Once home to the mighty Incan Empire, it's now a bustling metro area. Many are surprised to know that Lima actually sits on a large swath of desert, nestled between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean.

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This country's capital city of Bogota was founded way back in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors.

Colombia, Bogota sits in the northwest portion of South America. One of the city's biggest claims to fame is its Ibero-American Theater Festival. Held every two years, it's one of the biggest performing arts festivals on the planet.

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Venezuela sits on the northern edge of South America. What is its capital city?

Despite rich oil reserves, Venezuela experienced an economic and political meltdown in 2015. Crowds of protesters filled the streets of Caracas, the capital city, as the value of currency plummeted and families struggled with food shortages.

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This archipelago off the southeast coast of South America has its administrative and government hub in the capital city of Stanley.

While the Falkland Islands are a British territory, they are also self-governed, with most major government offices located in the capital city of Stanley. As a British territory, the nation is protected by the mother land when it comes to war or foreign issues, but is permitted to maintain an internal government for domestic issues.

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Which island nation has Oranjestad as its capital city?

Though not technically a part of South America, the Dutch nation of Aruba sits just off the northern edge of the continent. Locals refer to its capital city of Oranjestad as "Playa."

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What South American country's capital city is divided along one of the world's most famous canals?

The country of Panama, which calls Panama City as its capital, is located at the point where South and Central America meet. Its capital city, which sits just a few miles north of the equator, also sits next to the Panama Canal -- a body of water which allows ships to pass between the two continents.

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This island nation off the northern coast of South America claims Bridgetown as its capital and largest city.

The capital city of Bridgetown, Barbados got its name in the 17th century. When British explorers arrived on the island, it had already been abandoned by the natives, who left only a primitive bridge behind.

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La Paz is a major center of government in this South American country, but the actual capital city is Sucre.

Located on the west coast of South America, Bolivia maintains many of its administrative offices in La Paz. In 1825, the city of Sucre was established as the country's capital city when the nation became independent. Sucre is now home to much of the nation's judicial branch, while the executive branch remains settled in La Paz.

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Which of these cities is both the capital of Ecuador and the highest capital city in the world?

Situated in the mighty Andes mountains, Quito serves as Ecuador's capital city. It also holds the distinction of being the highest capital city in the world, and one of the closest capitals to the equator.

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This capital city of Paraguay is named after an important day for Catholics.

Paraguay is one of only two land-locked countries in South America. It's capital, Asuncion, is named for the Feast of the Assumption in the Catholic faith, and was founded way back in 1537.

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The name of this Suriname capital city means "large river inhabitants."

Paramaribo sits along the Suriname River and is named for the natives who lived along its banks. More than half the population of Suriname calls Paramaribo home, and the city center has been named a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its rich Dutch Colonial architecture.

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Montevideo is the capital city of this country and also the southernmost capital city in the Americas.

Founded in the late 17th century, no one knows for sure where Montevideo, Uruguay got its name. The only thing known for sure is that the "monte" likely means hill, but there are numerous possible explanations for the "video" portion of the name.

16.0 of 30
Which of these spicy cities serves as the capital of French Guiana?

When the Spanish initially colonized parts of South America, they skipped right over French Guiana, believing that the land was too hot and void of riches. Instead, the French claimed the region for themselves and established a capital city at Cayenne.

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The British territory of South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands sits way off the southeast coast of South America. What is its capital city?

It makes sense that a British territory like the Sandwich Islands would have a regally named capital city like King Edward Point. Located far off the coast of South America in the Atlantic, the capital city is home to an impressive research center used to investigate sustainable fishing practices.

18.0 of 30
The capital city of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is called Port of...

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago sit just a few miles north of Venezuela. The capital city of Port of Spain is the only capital city in the world named after a country other than the country it's located within.

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Which island nation off the northern coast of South America calls St. George's its capital city?

Situated just north of Venezuela off the South American coast, Grenada was founded by the French in the 1650s. Today, its capital city of St. George's sits on a tranquil horseshoe-shaped bay.

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Sandwiched between Mexico and Honduras, this country's capital is the most populous in Central America.

Guatemala's capital of Guatemala City is the largest and most populous city in Central America. Once home to the Mayans, the city was transformed in the 18th century when the Spanish built a Central Square, a palace and cathedrals in the European style.

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This capital of Chile offers views of the Andes from almost every point in the city.

Chile is a slim country that stretches along the western coast of South America. Almost at its center is Santiago, its capital city. Known for its 19th century neoclassical architecture, Santiago also offers amazing views of the Andes.

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What is the capital of the island nation of Dominica?

Dominica sits just off the northern coast of South America, south of Guadeloupe. The French and British fought over the land during colonization, but the French won out when naming its capital city Roseau. Today, Roseau offers a blend of French and British influence.

23.0 of 30
Belize City served as the capital of Belize until this city was built as a replacement in the 1960s.

After much of Belize City was destroyed in a hurricane, the capital of Belize moved to the planned city of Belmopan, which remains one of the smallest capital cities in the Americas by population.

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Located north of Nicaragua, El Salvador maintains much of the central government at this capital city.

Built in the 16th century, San Salvador offers an intriguing blend of architectural styles, from colonial to modernist, Gothic to art deco.

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What country's capital city is Tegucigalpa?

Situated in Central America just east of El Salvador, Honduras maintains many administrative buildings in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. The name of the city means "hills of silver" in the language of the native Nahuatl people.

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Which island, located north of Venezuela, maintains its capital city at Fort-de-France?

Martinique's capital city of Fort-de-France is named for French naval bases constructed during the 17th century and was originally known as Fort-Royal.

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The name of this St. Lucia capital means "safe harbor."

St. Lucia sits northeast of Venezuela. Its capital city of Castries was established in the 17th century and named for the calm, sheltered harbor that draws visitors to the island to this day.

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San Jose is the capital of this Central American country, which sits between Panama and Nicaragua.

The capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica is named for Joseph of Nazareth. It became the capital of the country in 1823, making it one of the newest capital cities in Latin America.

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Willemstad, capital of this tiny island nation, was established way back in 1634.

Willemstad, Curacao blends Dutch and Caribbean influence for a truly unique cultural vibe. When you visit, check out the pastel-painted colonial buildings, which were built in the Dutch style, and dine on rich local cuisine ripe with African and Caribbean flavors.

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Managua, the capital of this country, means "near the water."

Nicaragua is located north of Panama and Costa Rica in Central America. Its capital city of Managua was established in 1852, but progress in the city has been slow thanks to a combination of civil war and natural disasters.

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