Andes is the longest mountain range in the world that travels to a length of 7000 km with a width of 700 km to its maximum. Starting from the North of Southern America toward its Southern Tip, Andes stretches itself long enough to engulf seven major South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Venezuela lies on the Northern side of Andes range, while Argentina and Chile lies to the Southern tip of the range. Andes is also a host to a few major cities in South America including Quito, Bogotá, Medellín, Arequipa, Sucre Merida, and La Paz. Ancient city of Cusco also lies in the Andes mountain range in Peru.
Division of Andes
The mountain region is divided into three sub region i.e. the Southern Andes, central region, and the Northern region of Andes. Argentina and Chile lies in the Southern region of Andes, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia lies in the central region, while Venezuela and Colombia lies in the northern area of the mountain region.
Mountains in Andes
The World’s longest mountain range of Andes also hosts some of the highest mountains with elevation of more than 6500 meters above sea level. Aconcagua mountain peak in Argentina has an elevation of 6,962 meters above sea level. There are many other high mountains in Argentina with elevation more than 6500 meters. The World’s highest volcanic mountain of Ojos del Salado also lies in the mountain range on the Argentine-Chile border. Below is the list of top 10 highest mountain peaks in Andes mountain range.
- Aconcagua (6,962 meters)
- Ojos del Salado (6,962 meters)
- Monte Pissis (6,792 meters)
- Huascarán (6,768 meters)
- Bonete (6,759 meters)
- Tres Cruzes (6,758 meters)
- Llullaillaco (6,739 meters)
- Mercedario (6,720 meters)
- Cazadero (6,658 meters)
- Incahuasi (6,638 meters)
Things to do in Andes
Andes span across seven countries of South America; there are many great ancient cities and modern municipalities are built in the region including Quito, the capital of Ecuador and Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, are also build in the Agnes region.
Cusco and the Sacred Valley
Beside the modern cities, there are some beautiful Ancient cities in Andes such as the ancient city of Cusco in Peru. Nearby the ancient city of Cusco lies the Sacred Valley just 80 Kilometers Northwest of the city. Sacred Valley is the host of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, an ancient sanctuary built on the Machu Picchu Mountain.
In the year 1911, While traveling across the Sacred Valley, Hiram Bingham discovered an amazing man-made wonder of Machu Picchu, the sacred valley for the Nobles of Inca Empire. Traveling with his team and a local guide, he made his way from the Cusco City into the Urubamba Valley, there a farmer told them about some religious ruins at the site of Machu Picchu mountains. What Hiram Bingham discovered was not just some common ruins, Macchu Picchu valley contain 150 building turned into ruins during the war between the Inca empire forces and the Spanish conquerors in the later half of the 15th century. In 1983, UNESCO incorporated Machu Picchu as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007, Machu Picchu won its places in the New7Wonders of the World.
Hiking and Trekking in Andes
People can trek on Andes mountain region from each different country in the region. Inca trek on Andes is considered the best on Andes as you will be discovering the beautiful ancient Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu ruins. The top 5 mountain treks on Andes mountain region are listed below:
- Inca Trek (Peru)
- Ausangate Trek (Peru)
- Ice Field Trek, Southern Patagonia, Argentina
- Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina
- Huascarán National Park, Peru
Hiking on these treks is a great activity for the tourists. Beside these 5 treks, there are many more beautiful mountains to hike in Andes such as Chachani, El Cocuy National Park, Villarica and Quilotoa mountains. Guides are needed to hike these treks because some mountain may take you more than 4000 meters above sea level, and a few are volcanoes. People should equip with all the accessories and stuff along with them during their hiking tours on Andes mountain region.