Although only one or two peaks reach the line of perpetual snow, several of the loftiest summits are snowclad during the greater part of the year.
After flowing southward along the base of the high Andes for a short distance and receiving a number of torrents from the snowclad heights, it turns south-eastward across the plain and enters the Maranon about 70 m.
Above the town to the north rise the snowclad peaks of the Bernina group. The railway goes on to Tirano, 16 m.
Overlooking the plateau from the west are the snowclad peaks of Pomarape (20,505 ft.), Parinacota (20,918 ft.), Sajama (21,047), Huallatiri (21,654), Lirima (19,128), and the three volcanic peaks, Oyahua (19,226), San Pedro y Pablo (19,423) and Licancaur (19,685).
Above these are cool, temperate slopes and valleys, and high above these, bleak, wind-swept passes and snowclad peaks.