The Continental Divide of the Americas is the principal hydrological divide of the Americas, extending from the northern reaches of North America to the southern reaches of South America. It separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific from those river systems that drain into the Atlantic.
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The Bolivian Andes is composed primarily of two ranges or cordilleras. The Cordillera Occidental is characterized by volcanic activity. The much older Cordillera Oriental, also known as the "Cordillera Real," is an impressive snow-capped series of granite mountains.
The Chilean Andes and Argentine Andes form most of the border between Chile and Argentina, making up the highest section of the Andes range. The Dry Andes, Wet Andes, Patagonian Andes and Fuegian Andes are climatic and glaciological subdivisions.
The Colombian Andes consist of three parallel mountain chains: Cordillera Occidental, Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental. The Andean Natural Region is Colombia's most populated natural region, containing most of the country's urban centers.
The Cordillera Blanca is a mountain range in Peru that is part of the larger Andes mountain system. It is located in the north-central part of the Cordillera Occidental (the westernmost part of the Peruvian Andes) and is the world's highest tropical mountain range.
The Cordillera de Vilcabamba is a small mountain range located within the Cordillera Central of the Peruvian Andes in the Cusco region of Peru. The range extends northwestward from the city of Cusco and contains Machu Pichu.
The Cordillera Huayhuash is a mountain range within the Peruvian Andes. The range is a compact but spectacular cluster of summits comprising dozens of snowy peaks, considered by many adventure and nature lovers as one of the most spectacular trekking circuits in the Andes.
The Cordillera Negra is part of the Cordillera Occidental, one of three ranges in the Peruvian Andes system of west-central Peru. The range has rocky peaks with very little winter snowfall. The gullies of the range are gloomy, dark, and mostly dry.
The Cordillera Vilcanota is a mountain range in southeastern Peru that constitutes one of the southern branches of the Cordillera Occidental. Vinicunca, or "Rainbow Mountain," is a natural landmark. Ausangate, significant in Incan mythology, is the tallest peak in the range.
The Ecuadorian Andes are divided into parallel volcanic cordilleras that form Ecuador's central Andean highlands region. This Sierra natural region contains ten major basins that contain roughly half of Ecuador's population.
The Peruvian Andes, part of the greater Andes system of South America, are formed by three main cordilleras that traverse the entire country. The Sierra natural region features fertile river valleys, high plains, deep canyons and the Altiplano plateau.