The Andes Mountains

The Andes Mountains is the world's longest exposed mountain range [6] that stretches along the whole west side of South America, starting from the south end of Chile to the very top of Colombia. Due to the subduction of the Nasca and Pacific tectonic plates, there are many active volcanoes in the Andes mountains, which are a part of the the Ring of Fire[3]. With over 1000 species of amphibians, 600 species of mammals, 1,700 species of birds, 600 species of reptiles, and 400 species of fish [6], the Andes are home to a great variety of animals. Not only do the Andes contain diverse animals, but also it has differing climate. Throughout the Andes, the climate depends on location, altitude, and nearness to the sea [6]. Starting from the south, it is rainy and cool. Going up towards the central part it is usually dry and not as humid, however as the Andes reach towards the north, it becomes rainy and warm [6]. The climate is not set in stone and can change in any part [6]. For centuries the people of South America have lived on and used the Andes to their advantage. The Incas started developing the Andes in the 1400s, starting their new empire. However when the spanish conquistadors and Pizarro defeated them, they never found the lost city of Machu Pichu, to which this day still sits on the Eastern side of the Andes in Peru. One of the major cities in Peru that resides in the Andes is Cusco. Because of the such high altitude and land, it is very difficult to build roads to drive on. The only type of way that the people in the Andes travel around is by foot on trails [4]. Also much of Peru's exports of copper, zinc, iron, gold, and silver all come from the mountains of the Andes. Throughout past centuries, the people of South America have developed the land and have made the Andes of what they are today.

DSCN0447.JPGDSCN0122.JPGexternal image Cuernos%20Del%20Paine,%20Andes%20Mountains,%20Chile.jpgexternal image 100_0423_0232_edited.jpg