The Andean America is the region extending in the Andes, in the western portion of the continent of South America, from Venezuela to Chile. The region is made up of large mountain ranges and high altitude plateaus. It is approximately 7,500 kilometers long, 300 kilometers wide and altitudes exceeding 7,000 meters.

Andean American Countries

Called Andean countries, six countries are located in Andean America. They are:

  • Venezuela
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Bolivia
  • Chile

The region has a population of approximately 144 million, made up of Indians, mestizos and whites of Spanish origin. For rankings of top countries, please visit biggest nations by area.

Natural Aspects

The Andes has recent geological formation and has several volcanoes with the occurrence of earthquakes. In some parts it ceases to form a branching mountain range. It is between the branches that are the high altitude plateaus called highlands, and the valleys. The Bolivian highland has altitudes ranging from 3,700 to 4,000 meters, with winter temperatures of -10 ° C and generally features cold temperate area. However, this highland is located in the tropical area of ​​the earth.

The Bolivian and Peruvian highlands constitute an important area of ​​man’s fixation. The Incas, for example, developed their empire in these highlands. Cusco, Peru, situated at 3 416 meters altitude was the capital of the Inca empire. The mineral resources of the region were widely exploited by the Spanish colonizers, with the use of Inca labor. The 1,000 km long Atacama Desert is located in northern Chile to the Peruvian border. It is the highest and most arid desert in the world, with temperatures ranging from 0 ° C to 40 ° C.


The Andean countries have diversified but mineral based economies. The various minerals explored are: oil, tin, iron and manganese ore, zinc, tungsten, mercury, molybdenum, silver, coal, natural gas, aluminum and gold.

The oil is explored in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Venezuela is the sixth largest producer in the world, accounting for 4.7% of production. In Peru, oil is explored in the Peruvian Amazon and transported to the coast by pipelines. In Ecuador, oil is the main export product. In Colombia, it is exploited by several foreign companies. Peru is the second largest silver producer in the world, third in tin, fourth in lead and fourth in zinc. It has prominence among the great producers of fish. This is because its coastline is favored by the cold plankton Humboldt Sea Current, which favors the concentration of large schools of fish in its waters.

Bolivia is the world’s fifth largest producer of tin, the world’s fifth largest producer of tungsten, and it exploits silver, lead and gold. It has a high concentration of natural gas. A pipeline built between Bolivia and Brazil extends over 1 960 km from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to the coast of the state of São Paulo, in the municipality of Paulínia. The pipeline also extends to Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro.

Colombia has the largest reserves of coal in Latin America and is the world’s first producer of emeralds.

Chile’s main export is copper, which represents 30% of the total value of its exports. Wine production also began to have a large share in exports. Fishing and fruit production are greatly stimulated.

The industrial activity is located in the main cities: Santiago and Valparaiso (Chile), Lima Callao and Arequipa (Peru), La Paz (Bolivia), Quito (Ecuador) and Caracas (Venezuela).

Social Features

Andean America is formed by a society with large social gaps, where a significant portion of its population lives in poverty. Chile is different in its overall social indicators. This is because the country has the lowest child mortality rate and the highest Human Development Index (HDI) rate. Most of the population is concentrated in the plateaus and coastal regions. In Ecuador 80% of the population lives in urban areas. In Chile 33% of the country’s population lives in the capital city of Santiago.

Working conditions in Bolivia’s tin mines, one of its main export products, are difficult. To endure work in the depths of the earth, the mining worker chews coca leaves. Their life expectancy is low, at 30 or 40 years already have lung problems. One of the major social problems is drug trafficking. The increase in coca acreage and the number of people engaged in this activity in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia is believed to be closely related to the worsening social conditions of much of the population.


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