The cordillera is a chain of mountain ranges in america. They reach from Alaska to Fireland and so they are the longest mountain chain on earth. After centralamerica the cordillera is getting the famous name "andes". It is also the backbone of the famous "ring of fire".
The word comes from the spanisch "cordillera", which is the diminutive form of the latin "corda" (= rope). So the spanish "rope out of mountains" is a synonym to the word "mountain chain" in english.