the Inca Empires heyday, Machu Picchu also provides excellent opportunities to see firsthand the differences between llamas and alpacas. Llamas grow up to twice the size of alpacas and belong to the camel family. Both animals can be 
Are alpacas or llamas nicer?
Alpacas are generally kinder and gentler than llamas, while llamas are calmer, larger, and better at guarding other livestock. Both give fiber, though alpaca fiber is softer and more luxurious. Both can be pack animals, though llamas can carry more weight.
How can you tell a llama from an alpaca?
Llamas have long banana-shaped ears while alpacas have straight ears and they are smaller. Their faces are also a bit different with llamas having a longer face, while an alpaca’s face looks smushed. Llamas are also bigger than alpacas, weighing up to 400 pounds.
Do alpacas or llamas spit at you?
Llamas and alpacas are sweet animals but won’t hesitate to spit at you. … Spitting is also used to warn an aggressor away. Some llamas and alpacas are just crabbier than others and spit with little provocation. But, most of them usually give fair warning before unloading the full arsenal.
Can an alpaca and a llama mate?
Llamas and alpacas can in fact breed together. A male llama can mate with a female alpaca, creating a species called a huarizo. Huarizos are often naturally sterile and cannot mate, but minor genetic intervention could help them reproduce.
What are the similarities and differences between alpacas and llamas? We get asked these questions frequently when we talk about alpaca and where it comes from.
Thanks to new technology, however, it is now possible to get rid of the thick and coarse hair from llamas fleece and obtain fine fiber, similar to alpacas wool. This wool has traditionally been used to make clothing and that is why indigenous communities have raised alpaca herds for thousands of years.
As you can see, alpacas and llamas may share a lot of similarities, but their fiber and size have given them different roles when it comes to their relationship with humans.
Peru is commonly associated with two things: Machu Picchu, and the Llama. This famous South American animal often features on postcards and is seen as the typical image of Peru.
Whilst Llamas have a coarse outer coat (and a fine undercoat), Alpacas have finer hair, which is very dense and fast-growing. Quick Tip: Peru Hop makes it easy to add a Machu Picchu trip to any pass that stops in Cusco.
Quick Tip: Find out the easiest and the safest way to get from Lima to Cusco without missing out on a single thing. It is believed that the Incas bred the Llama as a descendant of the undomesticated Guanaco, and the Alpaca as the progeny of the untamed Vicua. The Guanaco is the smaller version of the Llama and shares the same characteristics of coarse outer hair and a soft undercoat .
Like the Vicua, the Guanaco is also protected, but as its upper coat is coarse, it has always been less desired, and so hasnt experienced the same population struggle. Theres no better place to get your hands on quality products than here in Peru, and your spending also benefits Andean communities who herd Alpaca for a living. The Guanaco also has two coats, with the light undercoat having a fine, downy fibre, typically a pale caramel colour.
Vicua fibre is considered as the best in the world: very fine, soft and of superior quality (with a matching price tag!). It is lanolin-free, unlike sheep wool, meaning it holds fewer allergens, bacteria, and dust, and doesnt feel prickly against the skin. Both have stores in the cities of Arequipa, Puno, Cusco, and Lima (including the Larcomar shopping centre and the airport).
If you plan to save money and buy from a market, check carefully whether your item is mixed with wool or a synthetic material. Baby/Royal Baby Alpaca items are more expensive, and are best for garments youll be wearing close to your skin, as they are super-soft and dont irritate.
If you are strolling through the streets of Cusco or perhaps visiting Machu Picchu, you are certain to spot a llama or alpaca. But which one are you looking at?
In contrast, llamas usually grow more coarse wool and tend to have unique spotting and multicolored fur ranging from shades of white, brown, black and red. Additionally, indigenous groups like the Inca frequently ate alpaca meat, a lean, almost sweet source of protein.
In general, their temperament depends on the individual animals socialization and training, with plenty of friendly llamas and alpacas. While llamas and alpacas are domestic animals and do not live in the wild anymore, both certainly thrive in their native region, the Andes Mountains of South America. You can spot the llamas at Machu Picchu grazing freely throughout the archaeological site during your tour !
While the majority of alpacas live in the mountainous region of Peru, their range extends into Ecuador, western Bolivia, northwestern Argentina and northeastern Chile. Alpacas always prefer to stay in temperate climates within an approximate altitude of 11,480 to 16,400 feet (3,500 to 5,000 meters) above sea level. Llamas originated in the central plains of North America and migrated south during the Great American Interchange.
Commonly spotted in the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve between Arequipa and Colca Canyon , many travelers will get a chance to see this animal while visiting Peru.
The first thing you will notice when comparing an alpaca and a llama is their size difference. Llamas are significantly bigger than alpacas.In regards to their height, llamas are taller, reaching 42 to 46 inches (106 to 117 cm) on average. Alpacas measure between 34 to 36 inches (86 to 92 cm) on average.However, the weight difference between these two animals is even more significant. On average, llamas weigh between 280 and 450 pounds (127 to 204 kg). That is quite a lot compared to the 106 to 185-pound (48 to 84 kg) average weight range for alpacas.
Llamas have a longer face with a larger muzzle. Alpacas, on the other hand, have round, smooshed faces. They also have fluffy fur on their face, especially on their foreheads. Llamas tend to have short and thin fur around their face.Alpacas have softer facial features than llamas. Because of this, many people believe alpacas are the cuter of the two.
3. Ear Shape
Llama ears are tall and long. They stand up in a shape that looks like a banana. Alpacas have shorter, pointy ears. Their fuzziness continues onto their ears, whereas llamas tend to have smoother and straighter fur around their ears.
The wool of alpacas can vary from white to lighter tones of yellow and brown. Their whole bodies, even their faces, are covered in fluffy, fine fur. They tend to only have one color of wool covering their whole body. In contrast, llamas usually grow more coarse wool and tend to have unique spotting and multicolored fur ranging from shades of white, brown, black and red.When it comes to textiles, alpaca wool produces a much finer fiber than llamas. A lot of garments and clothes you can buy in Cusco use alpaca wool. There is an even more luxurious wool known as baby alpaca, made from the alpacas first shear. It is softer and more durable than the later shears. Llama wool is not as soft but can be used to make rugs, ropes or other items.
Llamas are larger animals that have been bred mostly to be a pack-carrying animal. This purpose dates back to the Inca Empire. During the Spanish conquest, the llamas became pack animals in mines, bringing ore down from the mountains. To a lesser extent, their wool has been used to make textiles and their meat is occasionally eaten.Alpacas, on the other hand, are much smaller and therefore don’t make very good pack animals. Instead, they have a very fine, silky coat that can create soft and warm textiles. They are sheared once per year. You can find plenty of alpaca textiles for sale in markets across the Andes. Additionally, indigenous groups like the Inca frequently ate alpaca meat, a lean, almost sweet source of protein. Today, you can find alpaca meat in many restaurants across the Peruvian Andes. Alpaca meat is also gaining popularity globally, with alpaca farms in the US and Australia making a name for themselves.
Alpacas tend to be gentle and shy, needing more protection and care from humans. They prefer being in herds as they are very social animals. Llamas, however, are more independent. Due to their size, they are better able to protect themselves.Both animals have the ability to spit, but spitting at humans is less common than you think. Llamas tend to spit at other llamas when they feel threatened, as a form of discipline or to gain control. Alpacas, however, only spit as a last resort.In general, their temperament depends on the individual animal’s socialization and training, with plenty of friendly llamas and alpacas. If you come across either, be sure to keep your distance to not frighten or threaten the animal. They are very curious creatures, and if they feel comfortable around you, they may approach you. Keep your cameras ready to capture a cute selfie!
While llamas and alpacas are domestic animals and do not live in the wild anymore, both certainly thrive in their native region, the Andes Mountains of South America. In comparing the difference between llamas and alpacas, it is important to note that llamas thrive in a greater variety of climates.Therefore, the range of llamas is larger than that of alpacas. Llamas thrive all across the Andes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. They are rugged creatures that can survive on cold, dry mountaintops in harsh conditions. Additionally, about thirty llamas live at Machu Picchu, making them some of the most famous llamas in Peru. You can spot the llamas at Machu Picchu grazing freely throughout the archaeological site during your tour!While the majority of alpacas live in the mountainous region of Peru, their range extends into Ecuador, western Bolivia, northwestern Argentina and northeastern Chile. Alpacas always prefer to stay in temperate climates within an approximate altitude of 11,480 to 16,400 feet (3,500 to 5,000 meters) above sea level.
While llamas and alpacas are similar creatures, their origin stories are rather different. Llamas originated in the central plains of North America and migrated south during the Great American Interchange. Alpacas, however, descended from their wild relative, the South American vicuña.
Bonus: Other Camelids in South America
While alpacas and llamas are the most common camelids in Peru and across the Andes, two others live in this area as well. The vicuña and guanaco are the wild counterparts of the alpaca and llama respectively.
Exclusive to the central Andes, vicuñas, the wild counterpart to the alpaca, are also an important animal in Peru. The unofficial Peruvian national animal, they even make an appearance on the Peruvian coat of arms! Commonly spotted in the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve between Arequipa and Colca Canyon, many travelers will get a chance to see this animal while visiting Peru. Additionally, vicuña wool is considered one of the finest in the world. Although expensive, vicuña textiles make lovely souvenirs from Peru.