The Andes Mountains. The longest continual mountain range in the world, and neighbour to rainforests, deserts, glaciers and volcanoes, ancient civilisations and modern capital cities. It stretches across seven South American nations and offers visitors unrivalled landscapes, world-class trekking, award-winning vineyards, glistening salt flats, and a chance to experience true Andean culture. Covering an astonishing 3.371 million km², it can be overwhelming trying to narrow down a specific destination or area of the Andes to explore. So, we’ve put together a guide to the Andes, broken down into some of our favourite destinations. Where will you explore next?
Where to go in the Andes?
Home to Machu Picchu, Peru has arguably the most popular and well-known tourist attraction in the Andes. Whether trekking the Inca Trail, or travelling by train from the stunning capital of Cusco, this is one destination you definitely won’t want to miss.
While Machu Picchu is a main draw for tourists, Peru has many other attractions in the Andes well worth your precious days of holiday. Lake Titicaca is one of our all-time favourite destinations in Peru if you’re after culture, and also happens to be the highest navigable lake in the world. Dotting Lake Titicaca’s waters, the Uros floating islands are home to a community of pre-Incan people who still make their living from fishing and selling traditional handicrafts.
Ecuador is a fantastic destination if you want to visit the Andes, and is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in the range. The Avenue of Volcanoes is undoubtedly a highlight. A region where you can visit emerald lakes in dormant volcanoes, relax in natural hot springs, and visit the stunning snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano. We’d recommend a ride on the the Devil’s Nose train route for some of the best railway views in all of Latin America.
Many of our customers combine an adventurous holiday to the Andes with a trip to see the wildlife of the Galapagos. The famed archipelago is only a short flight from the mainland. Take a look at our Highlights of Ecuador holiday for more info.
The Andes Mountains in Argentina are a favourite for adventure enthusiasts. The highest peak in the Andes, Mount Aconcagua, is located in Argentina – as are some of the best ski resorts in the southern hemisphere. Skiing in Argentina is a great alternative to the resorts of Europe and North America, and can even be combined with a trip to see Iguazu Falls.
Argentina has become almost synonymous with the famed landscape of Patagonia. The region offers visitors the chance to see the stunning Torres Del Paine National Park, walk along the Perito Moreno Glacier, and even go horse riding along the backdrop of dramatic peaks.
The Andes Mountains in Chile offers the best of everything. The Chilean Lake District with its twelve crystal blue lakes, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, is ideal for active travellers. From mountain biking to hang gliding to fantastic ski resorts, it’s truly an adventurer’s paradise.
Chile’s Puerto Natales is a great base to explore the Chilean side of Torres del Paine National Park and the Southern Chile Ice fields.
The Andes Mountains cover such a large area of the South American continent, that it’s practically impossible to cover all of the amazing attractions the Andes offers. If you want to visit the longest, and arguably most spectacular mountain range in the world – get in touch. We’ll help you plan an Andes holiday you’ll never forget.