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High in the Peruvian Andes, far above the tree line, lies an old gold-mining camp that has, over the years, grown to the status of a city. Over 30,000 people live in this mountainous city five vertical kilometers up in the air—the highest-elevation human settlement in the world.

La Rinconada (altitude: 5,100 meters) is so high that its weather condition resembles that of the west coast of Greenland, despite being situated only 14 degrees from the equator. The summers are wet and winters dry; the days are cold and nights freezing. The average annual temperature in La Rinconada is only 1.2 °C.


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