The Andean States are a group of nations in South America that are defined by sharing a common geography (the Andes mountain range) or culture such as the Quechua language and Andean cuisine which was primarily spread during the times of the Inca Empire, but also before and after it.
Politically speaking, Argentina and Chile are usually not considered part of the Andean States because they lack a strong native Andean heritage, because they are culturally more oriented towards Europe, and because they are not a members of the Andean Community of Nations (which Venezuela is in the process of leaving).
The Andes occupy the western part of South America, stretching through the following countries:
- Argentina (not considered to be geopolitically an Andean State)
- Chile (not considered to be geopolitically an Andean State)
When grouped as "the Andean states", the emphasis is on the mountainous regions of these countries. For example, the Argentine pampas are not part of the Andean region, but western Argentina is part of the Andean region, and has cultural continuities with its Andean neighbors. Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia are part of the Andean Community (a trade grouping), and each contains Amazon Rainforest and Amazonian indigenous people as well as Andean mountains.