The country of Bolivia is located in the central area of the South American continent. Bolivia is well known for its terrain and environment as the largest desert and the largest lake in South America, the Atacama Desert and Lake Titicaca, are found in the country. Part of the Amazon Basin rainforest is also in the country. Bolivia is also known for its high altitude cities and the Andes Mountains that span the country.
The five tallest mountains in Bolivia:
Parinacota is the fifth tallest mountain in the country of Bolivia, standing at a height of 20,827 feet. The mountain is located on the border of Bolivia and Peru, sitting in the Oruro Department of Bolivia and the Arica and Parinacota Region of Chile. It also happens to sit in two national parks that are on the border, the Sajama National Park in Bolivia and the Lauca National Park in Chile. It is a part of the Payachata volcanic group and its parent range is the Andes Mountains. Parinacota is actually a massive dormant stratovolcano that last erupted between 10 BC and 590 AD and in the process created the Chungará Lake. The first ascent of Parinacota was done in 1928 by Bolivian Carlos Terán and Austrian Joseph Prem.
Illampu is the fourth tallest mountain in Bolivia, standing at a height of 20,892 feet. The mountain is located in the La Paz Department and its parent range is the Cordillera Real, which is a sub-range of the Andes Mountains. The mountain is found to the north of the Ancohuma Mountain and east of Lake Titicaca. The Laguna Glaciar is located in the massif between Illampu and Ancohuma, which is the 17th highest lake on Earth. The first ascent of the mountain was done in 1928 by Austrians Erwin Hein and Alfred Horeschowsky and Germans Hans Pfann and Hugo Hörtnagel.
Ancohuma, also known as Janq'u Uma, is the third tallest mountain in Bolivia. It stands at a height of 21,085 feet. The mountain is located in the La Paz Department and like Illampu its parent range is the Cordillera Real. The mountain is found to the south of the Illampu Mountain and east of Lake Titicaca. The first ascent of the mountain was done in 1919 by Germans Rudolf Dienst and Adolf Schulze.
Illimani is the second tallest mountain in Bolivia, standing at a height of 21,122 feet (6,438 meters) tall. The mountain is located in the La Paz Department and like Illampu and Ancohuma its parent range is the Cordillera Real. The mountain is located near and visible from the city of La Paz, which serves as the seat of the Bolivian government, and the city of El Alto. The first known ascent of the mountain was done in 1898 by Englishman William Martin Conway and Swiss-Italians Antoine Maquignaz and Louis Pellissier. On January 1st, 1985 Eastern Air Lines Flight 980 crashed into the mountain, killing all 29 people on board.
Sajama, also called Nevado Sajama, is the tallest mountain in all of Bolivia, standing at a height of 21,463 feet. The mountain is located in the Oruro Department and its parent range is the Cordillera Occidental. Sajama is also located in the Sajama National Park, along with Illampu Mountain. Sajama has another fact in common with Illampu in that it is also an extinct stratovolcano, although it is unknown when Sajama last erupted. The treeline of the short tree Polylepis tarapacana is found on the volcano as high up as 17,060 feet above sea level, which is one of the highest altitudes on Earth that trees can be found growing. The first ascent of the mountain was done in 1939 by Austrians Josef Prem and Wilfrid Kühm.
The importance of Bolivia's mountains
The mountains of Bolivia are important became they stretch across the country and help to define all three geographic zones. Bolivia also has several major cities, La Paz, Oruro, Potosi and El Alto, that sit at an elevation of at least 10,000 feet.