The climate of the Andes Mountains is generally extremely dry in the west and southeast, wet in the southwest and rainy and warm on the north and east sides. The average temperature of the northern Andes is 64 degrees F, while temperatures in the southern Andes are typically cool. Snow and glaciers are found on the high peaks of the mountains.
The Andes Mountains covers 4,500 miles beginning at the tip of South America, extending through countries such as Chile, Peru and Colombia and ending in Panama. Its highest point is Aconagua, which reaches 22,384 feet in Argentina. Ice sheets and glaciers are found in the Andes along the coast of Chile, and the mountains have some of the world's largest volcanoes. Most major rivers in South America have their source in the Andes.
Due to its location, the Andes Mountains creates a barrier between the Pacific Ocean and most of South America. The climate of the continent is influenced by which side of the Andes a specific region is located. The Atacama Desert or North Chile is located in the dry areas of the western side of the Central Andes. The Andes creates a rain shadow on the eastern plains of Argentina, making this region extremely dry.