• IUCN Status
    Least Concern
  • Population
  • Diet
    Herbivore eating mostly wild grasses, bark and leaves
  • Group
  • Size
    1.2m to 2.2m in length and 90 cm in height
  • Continent
    South America
  • Lifespan
    15 - 20 Years in the Wild
  • Weight
    48 to 84 kg
  • Habitat
    Alpacas are herd animals that graze on the plateaus of the Andes of Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500m to 5,000m above sea level.
  • Scientific Name
    Vicugna pacos

Meet the Alpaca


Alpacas originate from South America and are bred from the wild Vicuna which is now a rare and protected species. The llama is bred from the wild Guanaco, which is still relatively common through out South America. They are both in the camelid family, which also Includes the Bactrian camel.

They eat mostly grass, but their diets can also include leaves wood, bark or stems. Like other ruminants, alpacas have a three-chambered stomach that digests the roughage efficiently. Unlike other grazers, alpacas don't eat much.

Alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas. The two animals are closely related and can successfully cross-breed.


our friendly herd of alpacas

Did you know?

Alpacas are fascinating animals that are native to South America. They are known for their soft, luxurious wool and their gentle, curious nature.

Below you will find a collection of interesting facts about alpacas that will help you learn more about these amazing creatures from their origins in the Andes Mountains to their unique physical characteristics and social behaviours. 

Are alpacas wild or domesticated?up arrow

There are no wild alpacas – the alpaca is the domesticated version of the Vicuña

How do alpacas differ to llamas?down arrow

Alpacas are readily distinguished from llamas by their smaller size; they stand approximately 90 cm (35 inches) high at the shoulder and weigh 55 to 65 kg (121 to 143 pounds).

The alpaca also differs from the llama in having a rounded, rather than squarish body and in its habit of pressing its tail close to the body, rather than holding it erect as does the llama.

The alpaca’s shaggy coat varies in colour from the usual black or brown through lighter shades of grey and tan to pale yellow and, occasionally, white.

Alpacas are related to llamas?down arrow

Alpacas are related to llamas, which are domesticated versions of the guanaco. Llamas are mostly used as pack animals and alpacas for their wool

How many varieties of alpaca are there?down arrow

There are two kinds of alpaca, the Huacaya and the Suri. Suri have very long-fibred fleeces and Huacaya have a shorter crimped fleece.

Are alpacas sociable animals?down arrow

Alpacas are highly sociable, gentle and curious. They make really good pets and can be trained fairly easily.