The Andes Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world. They form a continuous highland along the western coast of South America. The Andean Region extends from Caribbean Venezuela, through the Atacama Desert to cold, windy and wet Cape Horn.
The Guiana Shield is one of the three cratons of the South American Plate. It is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America that forms a portion of the northern coast. The higher elevations are known as the Guiana Highlands.
La Selva, or Peruvian Amazonia, is the area between the eastern foothills of the Peruvian Andes and the rain forests of the Amazon Basin. It is here that the lower slopes of the western Andes merge with the heavily forested tropical lowlands.