Discover the Andes

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A transect through the Peruvian Andes

by Martin Gumpoldsberger and Severin Platzer

General information

The Peruvian Andes form the backbone of the country. They are bounded by the Pacific coast in the southwest and the Amazon Basin in the northeast, two areas standing in sharp contrast to each other. Even though the Andes are strongly connected to the forelands in their outer parts, they also display their very individual features, almost decoupled from the rest of the world. This is particularly the case in Boliva, northern Chile and Argentina, and southern Peru. But what makes the Andes so special here, what makes them different from other parts such as the Cordillera Blanca or the Andes of southern Patagonia? This contribution provides an overview of the broad patterns of geology, climate, geomorphology, and vegetation of the southern Peruvian Andes, linking to the contributions on the specific sites where more detailed pieces of information are provided.


The diversity of southern Peruvian landscapes

This lake is the highest navigable water body on earth. It contains some inhabited islands.

Grab the photo by holding the symbol near the upper left corner, and drag the symbol into the corresponding circle in the map.


This profile shows a simplified and distorted representation of reality and does not claim to be complete or correct. Its purpose is to display the key features of the Andes of southern Peru in a simple way.

References and links

Andean orogeny and climate [Access source]

This contribution was revised and extended by Martin Mergili.