Geography

The Andes can be divided into three sections:
I. The Southern Andes in Argentina and Chile;
II. The Central Andes, including the Chilean and Peruvian cordilleras and parts of Bolivia;
III. The Northern Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador that consists of two parallel ranges, the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental. In Colombia, north its the border with Ecuador, the Andes split in three parallel ranges, the western, central, and eastern ranges. (The cordillera occidental, central, and oriental).


In the northern part of the Andes, the isolated Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range is often considered to be part of the Andes. The eastern range of Colombia is the only one that extends to Venezuela.[1] The term cordillera comes from the Spanish word meaning "cuerda", meaning "rope". The Andes range is about 200 km (124 mi) wide throughout its length, except in the Bolivian flexure where it is about 640 kilometres (398 mi) wide. The islands of the Dutch Caribbean Aruba, Bonaire, and CuraƧao, which lie in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela, were thought to represent the submerged peaks of the extreme northern edge of the Andes range, but ongoing geological studies indicate that such a simplification does not do justice to the complex tectonic boundary between the South-American and Caribbean plates.