Where To See Alpacas in Cusco?

Alpacas farm in pisac

Where to see alpacas in Cusco-Peru?

Alpacas farm in the Sacred Valley in Cusco

Where to feed alpacas & Llamas in Cusco?

Cusco may seem to be a very big city when we arelooking for something outside of the city and we don’t know many places especially in the Sacred Valley of the Incas where almost 90% of what we are looking for is found there including Machu Picchu, but where are the alpacas and llamas?

Alpaca Farm in Pisac
Pisac ruins in the Sacred Valey of the Incas

 As soon as we get to Cusco we will see alpacas and llamas, but not as you would like because they are not alone but accompanied by people dressed in beautiful typical costumes, but we must know that if we take a picture with them and their alpacas we must pay for the photo, they say we only give them a tip but in the end they demand a lot of money if you give them 1 sol they will ask you for 5 soles, so watch out!  So where can I find alpacas in Cusco?

alpacas cusco
cusco alpacas

Definitely we have to leave Cusco and go to Pisac or also to Chinchero and visit Awanakanacha located in Pisac in the sacred valley in the province of Calca or Chinchero and visit one of the textile centers where the local families also have alpacas and llamas, but you are supposed to buy alpaca things so that they let you feed their alpacas and llamas. 

What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama?

Can you tell what´s the difference between a Llama and Alpaca?

At first glance they both could look the same but you have to know They’re pretty different from each other.

Alpacas farm Sacred Valley
Alpacas farm Sacred Valley

These beautiful animals have similarities for one thing they both will spit on you.

if we are not used to seeing these animals that live in Peru and Bolivia. However, this task could become easier if we take into account the following:

  • Their size: Alpacas weigh around 150 pounds while Llamas can get about 400 pounds
  • The fur:  the alpaca wool is much softer than llamas, you should know also there are 2 different breeds of alpacas used for wool Alpaca Suri and Alpaca Huacaya.if you are allergic to sheep woll the alpaca woll is the best
  • Ears: Llamas have long banana shaped ears while alpacas have straight ears and the are very small.
  • The faces: Their faces are also different, llamas have a longer fase however alpacas´s fase looks smushed.

Why do Alpacas and Llamas spit?

Llamas live in herds, these animals challenge each other for dominion and superiority. Sometimes they spit when they feel threatened and at times they spit at each other as a way of disciplining the lower-ranking llamas in the herd. Female llamas usually spit to show disinterest in a male who wishes to mate.

Llamas in the Sacred Valley
Llamas in the Sacred Valley

During the breeding the male alpaca emits a throaty vocalization they hum.

Llamas can spit if you compare them to alpacas, no, it’s a joke, but they spit when they feel uncomfortable or threatened so if they don’t want to take pictures with you you you shouldn’t insist except for the llamas in Machu Picchu they are quite friendly and they are well accustomed to people and photos.

The alpacas are the most beautiful thing that you will see they are more tender and very elegant and also delicate, they weigh around 70 kilos and they are quite friendly, but also they are annoyed when they feel threatened they are lower compared to the llamas and they look a little fat or spongy due to the amount of wool.

Alpacas in Awanakancha
Alpacas Awanakancha

How do you know if it’s alpaca fiber or synthetic?

For this we recommend to go with your guide who can show you the difference between alpaca and synthetic.

One thing you should know is that you will never find a 100% alpaca garment usually mixed with llama wool, at least in Pisac and Chinchero there are no 100% alpaca garments, although people tell you otherwise you should know that this is not true otherwise the garments would not cost 50 dollars or 100 dollars but between 700 to 1000 dollars.

When something is made from alpaca fiber if you touch it is quite heavy and it is very soft inside and out or on the back of the garment and you will feel that it is a little wet or cold this will indicate us that it is made of alpaca fibers, but if it is  rough or it is  only soft outside the garment then perhaps what you are buying is not alpaca.

If you are looking for a tour in the Sacred Valley with Alpacas farm you can check out our Pisac & Alpaca farm tour. 

Llamas in Machu Picchu

 

Are there llamas at Machu Picchu?

If you are wondering if there are llamas in Machu Picchu, the answer is, YES, there are, llamas are the only residents of Machu Pichu. Maybe you didn’t know, but the llamas of Machu Picchu were so important for the Inca society that hunting them was strictly forbidden.

Are there llamas or alpacas at Machu Picchu?

In Machu Picchu you will only see llamas, although a few years ago they also brought alpacas but they got sick, apparently the weather was not very favorable for them nor the food so they returned to Cusco.

How many llamas are there in Machu Picchu?

There are approximately 35 llamas in Machu Picchu, each  of them has a name tag and are fed by the workers of the Inca city.

When you visit Machu Picchu it is impossible to avoid bumping into them on the way during your tour, so have your cámara ready!

Alpaca Farm Perú

Believe it or not, Cusco has become famous not only for Machu Picchu but also because of the alpacas and llamas. When a tourist arrives in the city of Cusco, the first thing he or she will see is the alpacas and llamas on Cusco’s main streets.

Alpaca farms in Peru have become very common, and alpaca lovers keep an eye out for the alpaca festival in Peru. Alpaca Fiesta is the most important alpaca festival in the world. Its purpose is to promote the Alpaca in the global textile market.

This party is held in the city of Arequipa, Peru, and brings together the most important breeders, researchers, companies and institutions linked to the world of alpaca in a festive and highly competitive atmosphere.

The event takes place every 4 years. In October 2022, the 7th edition will be held, which will be renewed once again, as in each festival, to give exhibitors a renewed atmosphere and new business opportunities; in addition to providing visitors with innovative experiences that will allow them to live and enjoy the alpaca festival. This event involves activities from the entire alpaca value chain; from the breeding stage, through the stages of industrial transformation, to the clothing and fashion processes.

The International Alpaca Association (AIA) is organizing this important event in alliance with PromPerú and MINCETUR, who are participating as co-organizers.

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