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South America is a continent of superlatives. The Amazon River is the world's longest river. Brazil boasts one third of the world's rainforests. Tiny Ecuador is home to more species of birds and plants than in the entire United States. There's Angel Falls, the world's tallest waterfall in Venezuela. And, Potosi, the world's highest city, is in Bolivia. Add an incredible mixture of mountains, jungles and even desert and it's easy to see why South America is a popular cruise destination. Some cruises to South America travel from North America along the west coast of South America. Some cruises visit the extraordinary Galapagos Islands. Other cruises cover the east coast often including the Amazon River. There are also small ship cruises along the Amazon River.