The 20 highest peaks of the American continent are in South America, all of them being “six thousand”, that is, none of them are part of the world groups of “seven thousand” and “eight thousand”, a preserve reserved for the giants of the Himalayas and other mountain ranges. Asian.

These colossi offer remarkable challenges to American mountaineers without leaving the continent and many other entertainment possibilities for the general public. Here’s everything you need to know about America’s tallest mountains.

1. Aconcagua (6960 masl)

The Aconcagua, with 6960 meters above sea level (masl) in the Cordillera de los Andes, ranks first among the highest mountains in America. It is also the highest peak in the Western and Southern Hemispheres, and in the world outside of Asia. It is located in the Las Heras Department, in the Argentine province of Mendoza.

It was first topped in 1897 by the Swiss climber Matthias Zurbriggen. The first Argentine to climb it was Nicolás Plantamura, a member of the Army, accompanied by the Chilean muleteer Mariano Pastén, the first of his nationality to reach the summit.

It has a high mortality rate due to the relative ease of climbing it, which makes some unprepared climbers try it. It has several ski centers, including Los Penitentes, Los Puquíos, Portillo, Vallecitos and Ski Arpa.

2. Snowy Ojos del Salado (6893 masl)

This stratovolcano of the Andes Mountains ranks second among the 20 highest mountains in America and is the highest peak in Chile. It is located on the border between Argentina (Catamarca Province) and Chile (Atacama Region) and is the highest volcano on the planet.

The first ascent was made in 1937 by Polish mountaineers Jan Alfred Szczepański and Justyn Wojsznis. Its location in the Chilean desert region of Atacama determines that it only has snow in winter and in its highest part.

There are no historically recorded eruptions, although fumaroles are frequent. It has a small lake at 6,390 meters above sea level, the highest body of water on Earth.

3. Mount Pissis (6793 masl)

The Quechua name for this inactive stratovolcano is Pillanhuasi and its modern name was a tribute to the 19th-century French geographer and geologist Pierre Joseph Aimé Pissis.

It is located in a branch of the Cordillera de los Andes, between the provinces of La Rioja and Catamarca, in the Argentine puna. It is a mountainous system of nine summits and the first ascent of the main peak was made by Stefan Osiecki and Jan Alfred Szczepański, who in 1937 joined a Polish expedition that crowned several South American peaks.

It has five ascent routes and in 2006, in the “Pissis for the world” event organized by the government of Catamarca, it was crowned by 28 mountaineers in a massive climb of athletes from more than 10 countries.

4. Cerro Bonete Chico (6759 masl)

It is an extinct Argentine volcano located northwest of the Province of La Rioja, near the divide with the Province of Catamarca.

At first it was thought that the first complete climb had been achieved in 1913 by the geologist Walther Penck, who worked in Argentina between 1912 and 1914, but his altimeter only marked 6410 meters above sea level, so it is believed that the Austrian was confused with the clouds .

The first confirmed ascent occurred in 1971 in an expedition carried out by mountaineers Vicente Cicchitti, Cirilo Urriche and Alfredo Brignone. Interestingly, Cerro Bonete Grande, located 12 km away, is smaller by more than 800 meters.

5. Huascarán (6757 masl)

The highest peak in Peru ranks fifth among the highest mountains in America. It is located in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes, in the jurisdiction of the provinces of Yungay and Carhuaz, Áncash Region.

The first summit was made in 1932 by German climbers Philipp Borchers, Erwin Hein, Wilhelm Bernard, Erwin Schneider and Hermann Hoerlin, accompanied by local porters Faustino Rojo and Néstor Montes, who were the first Peruvians to summit Huascarán.

In January 1962, an ice and rock avalanche caused by a sudden thaw swept through the village of Ranrahirca, killing nearly 2,900 people.

6. Snowy Tres Cruces (6749 masl)

It is a massif of extinct volcanic peaks located in the Andes Mountains, between the Argentine province of Catamarca and the Chilean region of Atacama. It has four snow-capped peaks, including Tres Cruces Sur, which is the international and highest.

The great volcanic corridor that borders the Paso de San Francisco, a mountainous passage that joins the central-north sectors of Argentina and Chile, and which also includes the volcanoes of Cerro Solo, Ojo del Salado, El Muerto, El Fraile, closes on the west side. and Incahuasi, not including other minor elevations.

The first summit of Nevado Tres Cruces was made by climbers who participated in the Polish expedition of 1937.

7. Llullaillaco Volcano (6739 masl)

It is another Andean stratovolcano located in the Altiplano, in the border area between the Argentine province of Salta and the Chilean region of Atacama. At 6,739 meters above sea level, it is the second highest active volcano on the planet, only surpassed by the Nevado del Salado.

According to legends, the first ascent was made by indigenous people between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th for ritual purposes. The first confirmed climb was made in 1952 by the Chileans Bión González and Juan Harseim.

It became famous in 2001 with the discovery near its summit of the so-called Llullaillaco Mummies, three 500-year-old mummified bodies (a 15-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy) in an amazing state of preservation.

For the preservation and exhibition of the mummies, the High Mountain Archeology Museum of Salta (Argentina) was specially created, with a high-tech air conditioning system that recreates the temperature, lighting and humidity conditions of the discovery site.

8. Cerro Mercedario (6720 masl)

It is found in the Cordillera de la Ramada, a mountainous section of the Andes located in the Calingasta Department, southwest of the Province of San Juan, Argentina. The massif was formed by the Teutonic movements of the Nazca Plate below the South American Plate.

It is made up of the main peak and other lower peaks, such as Pico Polaco, Alma Negra, La Mesa and Ramada. It is visible from Chile, where it is also called La Ligua.

It was first crowned in 1934 by Adam Karpiński and Wiktor Ostrowski, members of the first Polish expedition.

9. Walther Penck volcano (6658 masl)

It was named in honor of the Viennese geologist and climber who believed he had reached the summit of Cerro Bonete Chico in 1913 and was originally called Volcán Tipas and Cerro Tipas. Walther Penck was the first scientist to make a methodical study of the geomorphology in this sector of the Andes when he worked in Argentina from 1912 to 1914.

The 6658 masl mass of the Walther Penck Volcano is in Argentina, north of the Province of Catamarca and south of the Nevado Ojos del Salado. It is a volcanic system formed by nine peaks above 6200 meters above sea level. Its peak is 10 km from the Nevado del Salado.

10. Icahuasi Volcano (6640 masl)

It is an inactive stratovolcano located on the border between Argentina and Chile, in the volcanic avenue where other colossi of more than 6000 meters above sea level are located, such as Ojos del Salado, Nevado Tres Cruces, El Muerto, Cerro Solo, El Fraile and San Francisco.

It has a 3.5 km wide caldera and two craters, one on the summit and one arched with a lava dome on the eastern slope.

There are no historically recorded eruptions. An unconfirmed version indicates that it was climbed for the first time in the mid-19th century by the Englishman E. Flint. The first validated summit was made in 1913 by the Austrian Walther Penck, who a few days before had crowned the nearby San Francisco Volcano (6040 masl).

It should not be confused with Cerro Icahuasi, an elevation of 4,847 meters above sea level in Catamarca.

11. Yerupajá (6635 masl)

It integrates the group of highest mountains in America and is the highest peak in the Amazon basin and the second highest peak in Peru, only behind Huascarán. It is located in the Cordillera Huayhuash, within the Cordillera de los Andes, at the beginning of the Alto Marañón basin and on the limits of the Peruvian departments of Áncash, Huánuco and Lima.

His Quechua name means “white dawn” and he is also called The Butcher of the Andes. Its ascent is of a high degree of difficulty due to its almost vertical walls and imposing edges, being considered the maximum challenge among the American mountains at more than 6500 meters above sea level.

It was first topped in 1950 by James Maxwell and David Harrah, members of the Harvard Mountaineering Club. Nabor Castillo, Antonio Carmona and Vicente Hinojosa were the first Mexicans to reach the summit of Yerupajá (1979).

12. Tupungato Volcano (6570 masl)

In the language of the Huarpe Indians, the name of this Andean stratovolcano means “star viewpoint”. It is located on the border between Argentina and Chile and is the highest point in the Andes south of Aconcagua.

The first to summit Tupungato were Matthias Zurbriggen and Stuart Vines, in April 1897. Three months earlier, Zurbriggen had been the first climber to summit Aconcagua.

It has three ascent routes (North, South and West) and although the climb is technically simple, it becomes difficult at the end due to the layer of eternal snow.

13. Snowy Sajama (6542 asl)

This Bolivian stratovolcano is the highest peak in the country. It is located in the Sajama National Park, in the Department of Oruro, in the west of the country, forming part of the Cordillera Occidental.

The first ascent was made in 1939 by Austrian climbers Wilfrid Kühm and Josef Prem and it is considered an extinct volcano.

On its slopes there are open groves of queñuas ( Polylepis tarapacana ), forming one of the highest forests in the world.

14. Ata Volcano (6501 masl)

The initials of the Asociación Tucumana de Alpinismo gave this volcano its name, after four members of that organization (R. Benvenutti O. Bravo, W. Coppens and M. Cordomí) made the first ascent in 1955.

It is located on the Argentine-Chilean border, between the Province of Catamarca and the Atacama Region.

An anecdote about their ascents occurred in 1971, when the Chileans Pedro Rosende and Sergio Kunstmann and the Japanese Koya Takeshita thought they had summited the Cazadero Volcano, learning that they had mistakenly ascended the Ata when they found an engraved aluminum pot that the climbers of the Tucuman Mountaineering Association had left as a testimony in 1955.

15. Ramada North (6500 masl)

It is a mountain of the Argentine Andes located in the Cordón de la Ramada, in the Province of San Juan, whose highest peak is Cerro Mercedario, with 6720 meters above sea level.

The Province of San Juan, called La Estrella de los Andes, is one of the favorite territories of Argentine mountaineers, as it has six six-thousanders (Mercedario, Ramada Norte, Ramada Sur, Alma Negra, La Mesa and Pico Polaco), a temptation for lovers of climbing.

Almost all the expeditions leave from the town of Barreal, in the Department of Calingasta, where it is possible to obtain equipment, supplies, transportation and guides. Another attraction of Barreal is its astronomical observatory.

16. El Muerto Volcano (6488 masl)

It is a little frequented sleeping giant due to its proximity to the famous Nevado Ojos del Salado, which exceeds it by 405 meters. It is on the border of Chile and Argentina, in the Atacama Region and the Province of Catamarca, along with other elevations of more than 6000 meters above sea level.

Its summit is formed by large amounts of lava over the craters that solidified into domes and in its known history there is no eruption.

It was crowned for the first time in 1950 by a team of climbers made up of J. Beñastino, L. Alvarado, V. Álvarez and O. Álvarez.

17. Snowy Illimani (6438 masl)

Because of its solitude, this huge four-peaked mountain near La Paz, Bolivia, looks more majestic. From above it is possible to admire the Bolivian capital, Lake Titicaca, the Altiplano, the Nevado Sajama (highest elevation in the country), the valleys that descend towards the Amazon and the borders of Peru and Chile.

The urban designers and builders of La Paz always seek to make Illimani as visible as possible, especially because of the beautiful gradation of colors that occurs during twilight.

There is no doubt that its name is pre-Hispanic, although there is no consensus on its meaning. The first recorded ascent was made in 1898 by the English mountaineer, art critic and nobleman, William Martin Conway, Baron Allington. The Aymaras consider him the greatest Achachila (protector) of La Paz.

18. Snowy Ancohuma (6427 masl)

It integrates a single massif with the Illimani in the Central or Royal Cordillera of the Bolivian Andes, in the jurisdiction of the Larecaja Province of the La Paz Department. Its name means “white water” in the Aymara language.

The first recorded ascent was made in 1919 by Rudolf Dienst and Adolf Schulze, who recounted the difficulties they had in finding a passage between the enormous glaciers. These German climbers had to crawl the last 400 meters with their clothes torn and almost frozen.

William Martin Conway had attempted the ascent in 1898, the year he reached Illimani, giving up when he was about 150 meters away.

19. Coropuna Volcano (6425 masl)

It is the highest volcano in Peru and the third highest in the country, after Huascarán and Yerupajá. This stratovolcanic complex covers an area of ​​1000 km 2 in the Cordillera Ampato of the Peruvian Andes, in the District of Salamanca, belonging to the Province of Condesuyos in the Department of Arequipa.

Due to its visibility from the sea, colonial navigators used it as a natural lighthouse and believed that it was the highest elevation in the New World.

It is believed that it was ascended by pre-Hispanic climbers because it was one of the most important ritual centers of the Inca empire.

The first recorded summit was made in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, the American explorer who made the existence of Machu Picchu known to the world. The first Peruvians to crown it (1973) were Pablo Masías Núñez del Prado, José Zegarra Hidalgo, Adrián Puma Pampa and Ubaldo Sucasaire.

20. Parinacota Volcano (6342 masl)

This stratovolcano is located on the border of Chile and Bolivia, between the Chilean region of Arica and Parinacota and the Bolivian department of Oruro and closes our list of the 20 highest mountains in America.

Together with the Pomerape, another stratovolcano of 6,282 meters above sea level, it forms the so-called Nevados de Payachatas, which are deities for the indigenous people of the Altiplano. The first to reach the summit of Parinacota (1928) were Carlos Terán (Bolivia) and Joseph Prem (Austria).

What are the tallest mountains in North America?

The highest summit of the subcontinent formed by Canada, the United States and Mexico is Mount Denali, with 6190 meters above sea level, located in the Alaska Range, USA. It was officially called Mount McKinley until August 2015, when the name was changed to recognize his indigenous name. The Denali is followed in height in North America by Mount Logan (the highest peak in Canada, with 5,959 meters above sea level) and the Pico de Orizaba or Citlaltépetl, the highest Mexican elevation with 5,636 meters above sea level.

What are the highest mountains in South America?

The four highest peaks in South America are divided between Argentina and Chile with Aconcagua (Argentina, 6,960 masl), Nevado Ojos del Salado (Argentina/Chile, 6,893 masl), Mount Pissis (Argentina, 6,793 masl) and Cerro Bonete Chico (Argentina, 6759 masl). The fifth subcontinental position is for Peru with the Huascarán (6757 masl). The above are also the mountains of America, according to Wikipedia, which occupy the top five places in height.

What are the highest mountains in Central America?

The first three Central American elevations are volcanoes, the Tajumulco (4220 masl), the Tacaná (4092 masl) and the Acatenango (3976 masl). The first is in Guatemala, in the department of San Marcos, and is considered extinct as there are no confirmed eruptions. The Tacaná is on the border of Guatemala and Mexico and is an active stratovolcano, with several eruptions and fumaroles during the last three centuries. Acatenango is another Guatemalan volcano with several recorded eruptions during the 20th century.

The map of the main mountains of America

What is the greatest height in America?

The highest summit of the American continent is Pico Aconcagua, with 6960 meters above sea level, located in western Argentina in the Province of Mendoza. It is also the highest planetary summit outside of Asia.

What are the main mountains of South America?

The main mountains of each South American country are: Aconcagua (Argentina, 6,960 masl), Nevado Ojos del Salado (Chile, 6,893 masl), Huascarán (Peru, 6,757 masl), Nevado Sajama (Bolivia, 6,542 masl), Chimborazo Volcano (Ecuador, 6,268 masl), Pico Cristóbal Colón (Colombia, 5,776 masl), Pico Bolívar (Venezuela, 4,978 masl) and Pico de la Neblina (Brazil, 2,995 masl). In the other South American nations, the maximum elevations are below 2000 meters above sea level.

What is the highest mountain in North America?

One of the victims of the tendency to assign original indigenous names to the main geographical eminences was the 25th president of the United States, William McKinley. Mount McKinley, the highest summit in North America with 6,190 meters above sea level, was renamed Mount Denali in 2015. Among the mountains of North America, Denali is also distinguished by the difficulty to climb it, since you have to climb 4,000 meters from the base camp , at very low temperatures given its proximity to the Arctic Circle.

The mountain systems of America

The Cordillera de Los Andes extends for 7,240 km between southern Chile and Argentina and northern Venezuela and Colombia, connecting with the Central American Cordillera, which contains the Central American volcanic arc and continues to the Sierra Madre del Sur in Mexico. The Neovolcanic Belt, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental are other Mexican mountain systems, while in the United States and Canada the main ranges are the Rocky Mountains, the Alaska Range and the Appalachian Range.

North American mountain system

In Mexico, the Sierra Madre Occidental dominates the landscape from Jalisco in the south to Sonora in the north, penetrating into US territory as far as Arizona, while the Sierra Madre Oriental runs more or less parallel to the Gulf of Mexico coast, between the Rio Bravo and the Neovolcanic Axis. The Rocky Mountains go from New Mexico (USA) to British Columbia (Canada) and the Appalachians run through the North American east, while the Alaska Range, in the center-south of that immense state of the American Union, contains to Denali and four other summits above 4000 masl

The mountain system of Central America

From south to north, the Central American Mountain Range begins in Panama, with two sections, Talamanca and Tabasará. In Costa Rica, it is divided into four more or less parallel chains (Guanacaste, Talamanca, Volcánica Central and Tilarán), while in Nicaragua it forms two divisions, Guanacaste and Talamanca. The Honduran part is made up of three chains (North, Central and South) and in El Salvador there are three systems called Coastal, Central and Fronterizo. The Guatemala, the Central American Cordillera contains the highest volcanoes of the subcontinent.

The mountain system of South America

In South America, the mountainous relief is dominated by the Andes Mountain Range, which crosses seven countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela) outlining the Pacific and the Caribbean. It is divided into three subsystems, the Austral Andes, which include the Patagonian Andes and the Fueguinos (from Tierra del Fuego); the Central Andes, which include the Argentine-Chilean, Peruvian and Bolivian Andes; and the northern Andes, from the Gulf of Guayaquil north to the Colombian and Venezuelan Andes. In Los Andes are the highest volcanoes on the planet.

Major volcanoes in North America

The plateau at 2,400 meters above sea level of Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, United States) is the caldera of the largest volcano in America, a monster that has been quiet for more than 600,000 years. In Mexico, Citlaltépetl is the highest volcano in North America (5,747 meters above sea level), followed by Popocatépetl (5,500 meters above sea level), which has recently been very active. Mount Santa Elena (Washington state, USA), at 2,550 meters above sea level, is an active stratovolcano that erupted in 1980, killing 57 people.

The main volcanoes of Central America

Although it is listed as inactive, the eruption of the Santa María Volcano (Guatemala, 3772 masl) in 1902 is included among the five most powerful in the world in the last 200 years. Mount Pelée (Island of Martinique, 1,397 meters above sea level) completely devastated the city of Saint Pierre in 1902, killing almost all of its inhabitants (30,000 people). The Arenal Volcano (Costa Rica, 1,670 masl) shows notable activity, while Cerro Negro (Nicaragua, 726 masl) had 23 eruptive periods between 1867 and 1999.

The main volcanoes of South America

The 10 highest volcanoes on Earth are located in South America in the Andes Mountains. These are, from largest to smallest, Nevado Ojos del Salado, Mount Pissis, Cerro Bonete Chico, Nevado Tres Cruces, Llullaillaco, Walther Penck Volcano, Icahuasi, Tupungato Volcano, Nevado Sajama and Ata Volcano. Among the most active volcanoes are Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia, 5,321 masl), Cotopaxi (Ecuador, 5,897 masl), Tungurahua (Ecuador, 5,023 masl) and Reventador (Ecuador, 3,562 masl).

What is the difference between mountain and mountain range?

A mountain is a natural elevation of the land or a topographical eminence of at least 700 meters between the base and the summit. A mountain range is a succession of mountain systems or mountains. The highest mountain in the world is Mount Everest (Nepal/China, 8,848 meters above sea level), while the longest mountain range is the Andes (South America, 7,240 km long). In the Cordillera de Los Andes there are 108 peaks over 6000 meters above sea level

What is the highest snow-capped mountain in the American continent?

Although not commonly referred to as a snow-capped mountain, Aconcagua is the highest continental peak and has a snow cover on its top, the extent of which depends on the season and other conditions. In fact, one of the translations of the Aymara words “kon kawa” is “mountain snowy”. In the winter of the southern hemisphere (June – September), the temperature in Aconcagua is never higher than 0 °C and it is hit by frequent storms of wind and snow.

What are the highest mountains in the American continent?

The 20 tallest mountains in America are those included in the list above. The first five are Aconcagua (Argentina, 6,960 masl), Nevado Ojos del Salado (Chile/Argentina, 6,893 masl), Monte Pissis (Argentina, 6,793 masl), Cerro Bonete Chico (Argentina, 6,759 masl) and Huascarán (Peru, 6,757 masl). ).

What are the main mountains of the American continent?

In all countries there is a special consideration for its highest mountain, which gives it the category of “main”. It occurs with Aconcagua in Argentina, Citlaltépetl in Mexico and Mount Denali in the United States. Among the main mountains of America is the Chimborazo Volcano in Ecuador, which has a characteristic that makes it unique in the world. Chimborazo marks the world’s greatest distance between the center of the Earth and a mountain peak, surpassing even Mount Everest. This is because the diameter of the planet is not the same everywhere and the differences in latitude favor the Ecuadorian volcano.

What is the greatest height in the American continent?

The Aconcagua (Argentina) has its summit at 6960 meters above sea level, being the highest in the American continent and the highest on the planet excluding the Asian Himalayan System.

What are the heights of the American continent?

After Aconcagua, follow the Nevado Ojos del Salado (6,893 masl) and Mount Pissis (6,793 masl), the former on the border between Chile and Argentina and the latter in the latter country.

What is the highest elevation in South America?

Among the mountains of South America, the highest elevation is marked by Aconcagua, with 6960 meters above sea level.

What is the highest elevation in North America?

Among the mountains of North America, Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) is the highest subcontinental height. It rises 6,190 meters above sea level in the Alaska Range, United States.

What is the highest elevation in Central America?

The highest elevation in Central America is the Tajumulco Volcano, which rises to 4,220 meters above sea level in the Guatemalan department of San Marcos, in the southwest of this country bordering Mexico.


Share this article about the highest mountains in America with your friends and encourage them to prepare a trip to discover and climb the one that most appeals to them.


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