An altiplano is an upland plateau or elevated intermontane plateau, usually lying between two or more recent (Cenozoic or Tertiary) mountain ranges, but whose rise did not occur at the same time.

Alpine ridges, whose elevation occurred in the Tertiary, are usually arranged in two or more parallel mountain ranges, usually located on the edge of a continental tectonic plate at the lines of convergence with another plate, which is usually oceanic. Since these ranges did not rise at exactly the same time, there are sometimes intermontane valleys or basins between which rose first, usually inland, and rose later. This intermontane plateau 1 may be of volcanic origin (lava flows and other volcanic materials) and may consist of sedimentary materials and, as is often the case, a combination of both materials, as in the Andean highlands.

The Andean plateau is the Andean, South American or American plateau; It has an average height of more than 4000 meters above sea level. It is part of a wide endorheic basin nestled between the western and eastern Andes mountain ranges. It is an intermontane basin in the Andes mountain range that has been filled with sediment and raised along the Andes.

It constitutes a large endorheic basin crossed by the Desaguadero River, which is the natural outlet of Lake Titicaca (3,806 meters above sea level, the highest navigable lake in the world), which flows into Lake Poopó (3,685 meters above sea level) and episodically into the Salar de Uyuni ( 3653 masl), the largest salt flat in the world.

The Bolivian Altiplano includes 60 municipalities in the departments of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí.

The vegetation of the highlands is semi-arid puna, with meadows dominated by native grasses of low nutritional value, such as Iru ichu and others with high nutritional content such as Kauchi; There are also shrubs such as Thola, Quishuara and Kentia.

The soils are generally poor in nitrogen and phosphorus, and have low organic matter content (less than 3%, with high salt values). In the use of the land of the Altiplano, the family properties are intermingled with the communal ones. Most of them are intended for livestock raising llamas, sheep, alpacas and cattle, the importance of each species varying according to the region.