Meaning “high plain” in Spanish, the Altiplano is an area of inland drainage at almost 4,000 m above sea level in the central Andes that spans parts of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. It contains several cities, the largest lake in South America (Titicaca) and the largest salt flat (Salar de Uyuni), as well as bubbling volcanoes. It is the second largest mountain plateau in the world, after that of Tibet. While it may be hard to believe, the Altiplano’s wind-sheared expanses have been inhabited for thousands of years. Although its harsh climate and high altitudes don’t make for an easy lifestyle, the Andean Altiplano is home to millions, including the Quechua Indians. Major economic activities include mining, llama herding and tourism. Those wishing to visiting the Andean Altiplano must spend a few days acclimatizing to the high-altitude conditions otherwise they could fall ill.
Feb 8, 2016