An Introduction to Llamas & Alpacas in Peru

In the mountains of Peru you can witness packs of llamas and alpacas together eating, playing, and walking with their herders. These beautiful animals are an integral part of Peruvian family and community life. Peru is one of the best places to see llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicunas as these animals are mostly limited to the Andes region, though large populations of guanacos can also be found throughout the Patagonia Region in Argentina and Chile. These animals of the Andean landscapes are known by the family name, Camelid, of which also includes camels.

Llamas from Peru

Llamas met along the Lares trek

Alpaca during Lares trek

Alpacas in the lovely village of Huacahuasi

If you are very interested in seeing these creatures then head to the Cusco Region and the central Andes, where they walk amongst the countryside and the towns. If you want to see large herds of alpacas or llamas you will have a great opportunity to see them while trekking, for example while on the Lares Trek and Ausangate trek, during trips to Arequipa and Puno, while trekking around Huancayo, and even in Cusco City and in Machu Picchu where you can snap a selfie with one!

Machu Picchu ruins
Llamas roaming the ruins of Machu Picchu
Trips in Lima Pachacamac
Llamas being led through the streets of Peru’s capital, Lima

Llamas and alpacas are an incredible joy to behond. They are dignified, elegant, and graceful. The fleece of the alpaca is most delicate and can be found in many forms in both Peru and Bolivia – scarves, sweaters, jackets, even socks! It is not itchy as sheep wool can be and it very soft and warm. Of course it is meant to keep alpacas warm in the high altitude regions of the Andes!

I wish you many meetings with llamas and alpacas on the road, because they have made my trail walking that much more interesting and beautiful during my time in Peru.

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