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The Andes Mountains in the Atacama Region

The Andes of Atacama (1)

Museo Virtual, Chile

W. Griem, 2006 - 2021

Atacama - Laguna Verde in the Andes Mountains

Cordillera de los Andes: Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) near Paso San Francisco in the Atacama Region, Chile.
Photo: W. Griem (2011; Ca50D3300) - Large Photo

Information Photo:
Camera Canon 50D | Lens:20mm | Focal length: 20mm +pol. | Shutter speed: 1:400 | ISO100
F: f/5.6 | Original size: 4752 x 3168 | Date: 2010/09/16/14:14hrs.

The Pre Cordillera - Information:
The "pre-cordillera" of the Andes is located between the longitudinal valley and the depression of the salt flats with an extension east - west of 80 to 120 km. Generally the highest mountains reach no more than 5300 m (Co. Bravo Alto). There are some roads in this sector to cross the pre-cordillera:

Routes to the main mountain range:

a) El Salvador - La Ola (mostly like (b))
b) Diego de Almagro - Montandon - Pedernales, Maricunga
c) Qda. Chañaral Alto - Co. La Ola (complicated or cut)
d) Qda. Paipote - Salar de Maricunga
e) Qda. Paipote - Laguna Santa Rosa - Negro Francisco
f) Qda. Carrizalillo - La Guardia - Laguna Negro Francisco
g) Valle Copiapó - Iglesia Colorada- Semilla o Cachito
h) Vallenar - Alto del Carmen - San Félix o El Transito

The Andes Mountains in Atacama, Chile

Cordillera principal, from the road to Paso San Francisco (W. Griem, 2009; Panasonic7678) - Large Photo

Information Photo:
Camera Panasonic DMC-FZ18 | Focal length: 9mm | Shutter speed: 1:300 | ISO100
F: f/5.6 | Original size (px): 3264 x 2448 | Date: 2009/03/01/15:36hrs.

The Andes: p.1 | p.2

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Perhaps the most impressive excursion in Atacama leads into the Andean main chain. A series of volcanoes over 6000 m high offer an unforgettable spectacle. When the weather is good, a blue sky opens up, which is hard to find elsewhere.

The Andes' main mountain range is marked in the Atacama Region by a chain of volcanoes, with maximum heights from 6000 meters to 6893 meters.
The most important passes (San Francisco and Pircas Negras) reach altitudes of 4723 and 4200 meters above sea level, respectively. Also, there are extensive plains in this sector, which show heights between 4200 and 4600 meters. The climate is quite harsh, and frequent heavy snowfalls characterize winter. The same phenomenon, but not so frequent, can occur during the summer. The nights are cold, and the amount of rainfall is much higher than in Copiapó. Also, the reduced amount of oxygen that produces an inevitable miscarriage may even be dangerous. Some people do not feel the height, but others suffer a lot; nausea, headache is the most common symptoms and should be lowered immediately.
o reach the high cordillera, you first have to go through the pre-cordillera. The extensive salt lakes and their areas of flattening are adjoining the pre-cordillera. (In the south of the lagoon "Negro Francisco," these drainless, endorheic basins are missing.
In the Atacama region area, about eight routes are leading to or into the main cordillera. The most comfortable one is undoubtedly the "Camino International," which also has a particular position because of its beautiful view and morphological features.

Road in the Andes Mountains in Atacama
Road from Maricunga to Pedernales in winter - Atacama Region, Chile

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