Llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, y guanacos

Most travellers to Peru and other mountainous parts of South America will inevitably meet one of these adorable indigenous camelids, but what’s the difference?

Can you tell a llama from an alpaca, and a vicuña from a guanaco?

I think I can, I think I can!

Alpaca in PeruAlpaca, my love! Chilling at the Women’s Weaving Project in the Sacred Valley, Peru.

Vicuña in PeruWe met Rosita, the vicuña, at Sillustani. She kept chewing her spit, swallowing, and regurgitating. Yum?

Llamas at Machu PicchuThese llamas were hanging out at Machu Picchu. Don’t get too close!

Domesticated alpacas in PeruDomesticated pets – alpacas and a llama (and a vicuña?) outside a family home near Sillustani.

I don’t have any photos of guanacos, because they’re mostly wild, like vicuñas. Llamas and alpacas are generally more domesticated, so they’re the ones most travellers encounter.

FYI, in Peru, alpaca is a local dish, so if you want to eat some, don’t get too attached to their adorableness!

Could you tell theme apart?! Have you met up with any of these cute, furry beasties on your travels?

8 Comments Add yours

  1. danitacahill says:

    Fun post. We bought six alpacas in September and are loving them. Very entertaining creatures.

    1. Cool! They were my favourite, and in my opinion, the cutest. They just have the friendliest look on their faces!

  2. So THAT’S the difference! Was recently in Chile and just used the terms interchangeably. I had never heard of a vicuna before I got there.

    1. :) When I was on a tour in Peru a few years ago, our guide taught us the difference otherwise I’d never really have known! All I knew was that I found alpacas too cute to eat….so I TOTALLY get you not wanting to eat those llama kebabs!!

  3. Mujie says:

    Owh I never had a chance to see these cute (if only they are smaller than me) animals. If they are higher or bigger than me I think I might run away first. Haha. I wish I can go travel outside of my country soon.

  4. my. says:

    Can’t say that I can. But I can say that they are all so adorable! Thanks for the fun post to read. — Michelle

    1. They really are adorable, aren’t they?! I loved meeting more and more every day :) Glad you enjoyed the post!

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