Hiking with llamas in Peru

Hiking with llamas in Peru? Is it that horses and donkeys are getting out of fashion as the beasts of burden? Well, hardly. But truth is that in earlier times in the Andes, it was the norm that the South American camelids were the ones who fulfilled this role.

Cuyuni, also known as the Ausangate viewpoint, is a community that offer trekkings with llamas

Don’t see this just as a trendy thing! Because including llamas in the hiking activity has several advantages. It allows for better preservation of the trails and prairies, as llamas cause a lot less damage to the terrain as equines. It is also a way of supporting breeding programs that the owners carry out. These programs aim to recover a pure llama population, which is very strong, can easily adapt to different altitudes and carry much more weight. If they succeed, horses and donkeys could be replaced by native llamas in the future.

In Cuzco, eight communities have already joined the touristic activity along the routes of the Sacred Valley. As an example; during a 5-day tour, four of them are involved. That is social inclusion!


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If thinking about llamas just as a simple company still seems a bit odd to you, we can guarantee you that is it quite an experience, as Guido tells us:

“Along the Inka Naani in Ancash, where I have been about ten times in the company of llamas and other ten without them, the usually aggressive dogs got calmed when they saw them -maybe because they didn’t recognize them. Moreover, I saw a half-a-ton weighing bull trying to jump over a barbwire fence -apparently because it feared the llamas. And the horses seemed to dance around them! No kidding, it was super interesting. The llama is like the king of the Andes: with its “distinguished” way of being, it shows itself as a remarkable animal making others act submissively.”

If you are also a fan of llamas but don´t necessarily want to go hiking with them, there are other activities you can participate in. In the Colca Valley close to Arequipa, convivial experiences are offered to visitors, where you can join the llamas during their regular labor. For example, you can see them carry firewood or other items proper of everyday life in the countryside. Alternatively, can get to know the town of Sibayo, where llamas are used to pull chariots over the cobbled streets.

Baby llamas in Coporaque being taken back to the corral after a day in the pastures

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