The question is categorized under "Cinema," yet without reference to any particular film or genre of films. Consequently, this answer will provide a straight-forward description of South America from an educator who has been there.
South America has a very diverse geography, from the long mountainous chain running along the Pacific Coast to the Amazonian lowlands of Brazil and the Antarctic region at the southernmost tip of the continent, Cape Horn. Much of South America has very lush vegetation (not surprising in the Amazon jungle region) which contributes to its large agricultural regions and the ranches and farms of Argentina.
Besides the Amazon jungle, the most visible and noteworthy geographic feature of South America is the Andes Mountain range running through much of the continent. The Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, extends through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and southern Argentina -- 4,300 miles of continuous mountain range, with an average height of 13,000 feet. The highest peak is Mount Aconcagua, which reaches a height of almost 23,000 feet.
While the Andes run along the northern and western edges of the continent, the central upper part of South America is composed overwhelmingly of the largest and most diverse tropical rainforest in the world, covering an area of 2.1 million square miles. South of the rainforest, and extending south through northern Argentina is largely forest and grassland, with smaller mountain regions throughout which then merge into the Andes in southern Argentina.