The western part of South America is where one finds the highest cities in the world (settlements permanently occupied all year long with a significant population): La Rinconada, Peru – 5,100 meters (16,730 feet) above sea level – Population 70,000 Cerro de Pasco, Peru – 4,335 meters (14,220 ft) a.s.l. – Population 70,000 Potosi, Bolivia – 4,090 meters (13,415 ft) a.s.l. – Population 135,000 El Alto, Bolivia – 4,070 meters (13,350 ft) a.s.l. – Population 900,000
The Andean population, more than any other in the world, is used to living in extreme conditions with a lack of oxygen, intense cold and scarcity of vegetation. For thousands of years, these people have become specialists in finding solutions to resist and survive.