Ojos del Salado

If you’ve read our feature on the Highest Mountain in Argentina, you’ll already have met the high point of Chile. Standing at the top of both Chile, and all the world’s volcanos, is Ojos del Salado (6,893 m/ 22,615 ft). 

Over the years, politically-motivated falsified measurements, and plain errors of judgement, have led this mountain to be (unofficially) classed as the highest peak in South America and, a couple of decades later, briefly only the third. 

But we can safely say Ojos del Salado is known today to be the second highest peak in both the Andes and South America – and the highest mountain in Chile.

It is an active volcano and is the highest one in the world; yet is far from the tallest. 

Mauna Kea, on the island of Hawaii is the largest volcano and mountain on Earth. It stretches around 10,205 m (33,481 ft) from its ocean floor base to its summit. But as elevation is measured from sea level, Mauna Kea only officially stands at 4,205 m (13,796 ft).

Ojos del Salado has two summits, one to the west and one to the east. The western summit, located in Chile, is thought to be only 0.5-1 m (1.6-3.2 ft) taller, so the bragging rights are somewhat limited!

The five highest peaks in Chile:

• Ojos del Salado – 6,893 m (22,615 ft). 
Tres Cruces Sur – 6,749 m (22,142 ft), found 23.5 km (14.5 miles) west of Ojos del Salado on the border with Argentina.
Llullaillaco – 6,739 m (22,110 ft), in the Atacama province, one of the driest places on Earth.
• Tres Cruces Centro – 6,629 m (21,749 ft), part of the Nevado Tres Cruces massif that includes Tres Cruces Sur.
• Incahuasi – 6,621 m (21,722 ft), also in the Atacama province.



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