The highest permanently occupied settlement on earth is La Rinconada in the Peruvian Andes. At an elevation of 5,100 meters (16,700 ft), it is the highest permanent human settlement in the world. La Rinconada is a mining town, and its inhabitants are engaged in extracting gold from the nearby mines. The town has no roads or vehicles, and access to it is only possible by foot or by mule. Despite its harsh conditions, La Rinconada has a population of over 30,000 people.