a fold and block mountain range in northwestern Argentina, in the provinces of La Rioja, San Juan, and Mendoza, between 68° W long, and the Andes. Elevations rise to 5,000 m.
The Precordillera is a group of ranges separated by deep depressions. The climate ranges from tropical to subtropical and is very dry. There are xerophilous forests on the eastern slopes, dry steppes on the level crests, and dry shrubs on the western slopes. The depressions are irrigated, and orchards and vineyards are cultivated.