Home > South America > Largest cities
São Paulo skyline   Almost half of the population of South America lives in Brazil, this is also reflected in the ranking of the major continental cities, given that just under half of those over a million inhabitants are located in the largest and most populated South American nation.

   São Paulo is clearly the largest metropolis on the continent, but also the Argentine capital Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro exceed ten million inhabitants, while the Peruvian capital Lima and the Colombian Bogotá approach this limit.

   After Brazil, which has 20 cities on this list, there are Argentina (5), Venezuela and Colombia (4 both); there are several capitals in the list and they often play the role of the only large urban center in the country.


City Urban aggl.  Population Urban area Country Other cities in urban area
São Paulo 22,495,000 12,214,000 3,237 Km² Brazil Guarulhos, São Bernardo do Campo,
Osasco, Santo André
Buenos Aires 16,216,000 3,072,000 3,222 Km² Argentina La Plata
Rio de Janeiro 12,486,000 6,748,000 2,020 Km² Brazil São Gonçalo, Duque de Caxias,
Nova Iguaçu
Bogotá 9,274,000 7,387,000 562 Km² Colombia Soacha
Lima 8,992,000 8,992,000 891 Km² Perú  
Santiago 7,026,000 5,220,000 1,147 Km² Chile Puente Alto, San Bernardo
Caracas 5,847,000 2,088,000 295 Km² Venezuela Petare, Baruta
Belo Horizonte 5,271,000 2,522,000 1,287 Km² Brazil Contagem, Betim
Recife 3,840,000 1,653,000 534 Km² Brazil Jaboatão dos Guararapes,
Olinda, Paulista
Fortaleza 3,621,000 2,687,000 567 Km² Brazil Caucaia, Maracanaú
Porto Alegre 3,599,000 1,488,000 899 Km² Brazil Canoas
Medellín 3,549,000 2,382,000 241 Km² Colombia Bello, Itagüí, Envigado
Salvador 3,430,000 2,886,000 435 Km² Brazil Lauro de Freitas
Brasilia 3,429,000 2,951,000 1,015 Km² Brazil  
Curitiba 3,177,000 1,949,000 839 Km² Brazil São José dos Pinhais
Asunción 3,086,000 521,000 710 Km² Paraguay Luque, San Lorenzo, Capiatá
Guayaquil 3,085,000 2,280,000 308 Km² Ecuador Durán
Campinas 2,851,000 1,193,000 940 Km² Brazil Sumaré, Americana, Hortolândia
Quito 2,670,000 2,011,000 536 Km² Ecuador  
Goiânia 2,585,000 1,530,000 831 Km² Brazil Aparecida de Goiânia
Cali 2,543,000 2,173,000 184 Km² Colombia  
Manaus 2,308,000 2,208,000 337 Km² Brazil  
Maracaibo 2,299,000 2,263,000 404 Km² Venezuela  
Belém 2,221,000 1,487,000 262 Km² Brazil Ananindeua
Santa Cruz
de la Sierra
2,025,000 1,780,000 842 Km² Bolivia  
Barranquilla 2,007,000 1,205,000 176 Km² Colombia Soledad
La Paz 1,850,000 816,000 277 Km² Bolivia El Alto
Vitória 1,691,000 366,000 337 Km² Brazil Vila Velha, Cariacica
Valencia 1,614,000 1,586,000 368 Km² Venezuela Guacara
Cordoba 1,612,000 1,317,000 500 Km² Argentina  
Santos 1,547,000 433,000 313 Km² Brazil São Vicente, Guarujá, Praia Grande
Montevideo 1,535,000 1,325,000 319 Km² Uruguay  
São Luís 1,525,000 1,047,000 440 Km² Brazil  
Rosario 1,325,000 948,000 321 Km² Argentina  
Natal 1,298,000 890,000 243 Km² Brazil Parnamirim
João Pessoa 1,150,000 814,000 202 Km² Brazil Santa Rita
Cochabamba 1,131,000 742,000 262 Km² Bolivia Quillacollo, Sacaba
Maceió 1,131,000 1,025,000 150 Km² Brazil  
Mendoza 1,126,000 115,000 350 Km² Argentina Guaymallén, Las Heras
San Miguel de Tucumán 1,121,000 549,000 259 Km² Argentina  
Barquisimeto 1,089,000 1,089,000 193 Km² Venezuela  
Teresina 1,024,000 818,000 228 Km² Brazil Timon


* data on urban agglomerations updated to 2021 (estimates), those on population according to official data or more recent estimates of the national statistical services, when different from urban agglomerations.