The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world. They form a continuous highland along the western edge of South America. It extends from Chile to Venezuela through Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. This range is about 7,000 km long, about 200 to 700 km wide, and of an average height of about 4,000 m.
The Andes is the location of several high plateaus – some of which host major cities such as Quito, Bogotá, Arequipa, Medellín, Sucre, Mérida and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the world’s second-highest after the Tibetan plateau. The Andes are the world’s highest mountain range outside of Asia. The highest mountain outside Asia, Mount Aconcagua, rises to an elevation of about 6,961 m above sea level.
The Andes are also part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western “backbone” of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.
These can be divided into three sections:
- The Southern Andes (South of Llullaillaco) in Argentina and Chile;
- The Central Andes in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
- The Northern Andes (north of the Nudo de Pasto) in Venezuela and Colombia, which consist of three parallel ranges, the western, central, and eastern (the cordillera occidental, central, and oriental).
Interesting Facts about The Andes
1. The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world and outside of Asia.
2. Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
3. The great majority of the Andean mountain chains are volcanic. The highest active volcano in the world, Ojos del Salado, which stands at 6, 900m.
4. The highest elevation in the Andes is Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, which is 6,961 meters (22,838 feet) above sea level. It is the highest mountain outside Asia.
5. The only mountains that are taller than the Andes are the Himalayan Mountains and their adjacent ranges, including the Hindu Kush.
6. Andes Mountains are home to many birds like Flamingo, Andean Flicker, the Condor, and the Hill star Hummingbird. Fauna includes Mountain Lion, the Red Perll, and Llamas.
7. Potatoes and tomatoes, two of the most widespread crops on our planet, originated from the Andes. Coca tea is served everywhere in the high Andes and is the one effective reliever of symptoms of altitude sickness.