The Andes

The Andes are the world's longest continental mountain range. They lie as a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. The range is over 7,000 km (4,300 miles) long, 200 km (120 miles) to 700 km (430 miles) wide and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft).


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Over its length, the Andean range is split into several ranges, often two great ranges, named Cordillera Oriental and the Cordillera Occidental, often separated by an intermediate depression. The Andes Mountains extend over seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, known as Andean States.


The Andes mountain range is the highest mountain range outside of Asia. The highest peak being Aconcagua, rises to 6,962 m (22,841 ft) above sea level. The summit of Mount Chimborazo in the Ecuadorean Andes is the point on the Earth's surface most distant from its center, because of the equatorial bulge.