A large, uplifted plateau in the Bolivian and
Peruvian Andes of South America. The plateau has an area of
about 65,536 square miles (170,000 km2), and an average
elevation of 12,000 feet (3,660 m) above sea level. The Altiplano
is a sedimentary basin caught between the mountain
ranges of the Cordillera Oriental on the east and the
Cordillera Occidental on the west. Lake Titicaca, the largest
high-altitude lake in the world, is located at the northern end
of the Altiplano.
The Altiplano is a dry region with sparse vegetation, and
scattered salt flats. Villagers grow potatoes and grains, and a
variety of minerals are extracted from the plateau and surrounding
mountain ranges.
See also ANDES.
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