LEARN ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL, FASCINATING ANIMALS YOU’LL ENCOUNTER ON YOUR TREK WITH ANDEAN LODGES
1 September 2018
Friendly, helpful llamas are eager to walk with you through the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the Andes.
For thousands of years, the domestication of the wild fauna of the Andes was an important part of pre-Inca and Inca cultures.
These strong, willing animals were of great help in carrying heavy loads across the mountains, since their backs and legs are well adapted to rocky, uneven ground.
At Andean Lodges, we make sure these animals are well taken care of and happy to accompany us, as they help our guides and travelers by carrying their gear at high altitudes.
Camelids for every purpose
It might seem strange, but llamas are related to camels. Despite the distance between where the African desert species lives and the Andes, llamas, alpacas and vicuñas are all camelids, members of the same biological family.
These friendly, beautiful animals are live in herds and are very social. Thanks to their intelligence and stamina, they’re perfect for carrying out simple tasks.
They can weigh between 130 to 200 kg (290 to 440 lbs.) and are able to carry about 30% of their body weight for long distances. This makes them the perfect companions for high altitude treks. The local native communities’ llama caravans transport our gear and baggage, which contributes to an authentic, exhilarating mountain trekking experience for our travelers. At the same time, we’re taking good care of the environment since llamas, with their light hooves, have much less negative impact on the soil than horses.
Smaller in size but bigger in spirit, these rowdy animals are not bred to work, but rather for their incredibly soft wool.
Their versatile, sturdy wool has been used to weave clothing since the time of the Incas, since it offers good weather protection and great insulation for keeping warm.
Alpacas have many ways of communicating, and one they use is to spit when they feel distress or fear, or to show dominance, so be sure to not get on their nerves!
Working with the community and their animals
As a key part of our mission, we’re committed to sustainable and responsible travel through the Andes. This also involves providing good conditions and a safe work environment for the animals that assist us.
We work closely with our partner communities and with the llama handlers that walk with us to make sure that the alpacas and llamas are always as happy and healthy as can be.
And you too can meet llamas, alpacas and their herders by booking a trip with us. Please visit the Andean Lodges website to begin your most amazing adventure.