Human nature’s versatility is evident in their ability to survive in some of the most hospitable and remote places on Earth. What’s more is that humans don’t just survive but often flourish in these settlements, so it’s no wonder that vast, sprawling cities and bustling trading villages can be found in the world’s highest peaks and valleys.
We present seven of the highest cities on the planet, some of which have become capitals of their country, some long abandoned and left to the elements.
1. Potosí, Bolivia
The Bolivian city of Potosí is reportedly the highest city in the world, sitting at 4,090 m (13,420 ft) above sea level. The peak of Cerro de Potosí, or Cerro Rico – Rich Mountain, dominates the city’s skyline, and towers a further 800 m above the rooftops.
Image: Whirling Phoenix
2. Quito, Ecuador
Sitting at 2,850 m above sea level and around 22 km from the equator is the Ecuadorian city of Quito. It is flanked either side by the Andes, and on a clear day it’s possible to see the snow-capped volcano, Cotopaxi in the distance.