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Landlocked South American Countries 2024

South America is surrounded by both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and many countries rely heavily on their coastal areas to export goods and products. South America has two landlocked countries, Bolivia and Paraguay. Bolivia is bordered by Brazil to the north, Peru to the east, Paraguay to the southeast, Chile to the west, and Argentina to the south. Paraguay has Bolivia to its northwest, Brazil to its east, and Argentina to the southwest. Because of the challenges of being landlocked, these countries face economic concerns that other South American countries do not face.

Why Being Landlocked Matters

Much of the world's economy is driven by freight transport, and that requires access to a port and coastal area. Being landlocked can impact a country’s economic development, making the exportation of goods more difficult. This can lead to less trade and slower economic growth. In fact, 16 of the 31 landlocked developing countries remain some of the poorest in the world due to these logistics concerns.

When a country is landlocked, transportation, both of people and products, costs more. Because transportation cannot include large ocean-going vessels, it must rely on ground or air options, and these are more costly.

Impact of Being Landlocked on Bolivia

Because of its landlocked location and the fact that it does not have any sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean, Bolivia pays an additional 55.7% per container it ships and receives compared to its neighbor Chile. This increases the overall cost of living significantly for the country.

Impact of Being Landlocked on Paraguay

Paraguay has a river running through the country, which helps lessen the effects of being landlocked slightly. That said, it still has to rely on road and river transport for importing and exporting because it doesn’t have a coastal region, and the poor infrastructure in the country impacts the overall effectiveness of these forms of transport.

  • As South America is both vertically oriented and almost completely surrounded by oceans, few of its countries are landlocked (and none are double landlocked).
  • Being landlocked puts a country at a distinct disadvantage in terms of international trade, as it severely limits the country's opportunities to import and export goods over water.

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Bordering Countries
# of Bordering Countries
BoliviaArgentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru5
ParaguayArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil3

How many South American countries are landlocked?

Two countries in South America are landlocked - Bolivia and Paraguay.

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