Llamas / Other Animals, Machu Picchu
After taking your best pictures of the citadel, keep climbing the steps until you reach the Agricultural Sector. You´ll find yourself surrounded by llamas of many colors and sizes. I wasn´t attacked but be careful and respect their space... you never know...
Usually they don´t mind if you take a few pictures...
It is impossible to visit Machu Picchu and not see the Llamas. There are about ten of them and they amble around the pack in a more-or-less coalesced group. There are at least two babies among them. While Llamas are not naturally found at this low altitiude, they're not completely out of place here. The Incas used llamas as pack animals, so there were plenty on hand hauling goods during the Inca times. They were also a source of food and fiber (the textile kind). It's altogether appropriate that they be here to greet you, since the Incas can't be.
But be careful (cuidado!). The llamas are wild animals. Treat them with respect, because you never know how they'll react.
Another animal that you might see while wandering around Machu Picchu is the viscachas. A viscachas is a rabbit-like critter but with shorter ears and a long fluffer tail. I saw this one while wandering alone in the residental section of Machu Picchu. It sat and stared at me for about a minute, allowing me to take a photograph. It scampered off into a hole after accidently kicked a rock. I wandered back into the same chamber that I saw this one a few minutes later. This time I came across three viscachas sitting on the rocks. They quickly scurried off into several holes in the rocks.
On the way, discovering the whole Macchu Picchu, will happend, morevoer if you are hking to reach the top of Huayna Picchu, to meet the most famous andean animal: the Lama.
A great meet up at 3.000 meters!
I'd read that these llamas were brought in for the tourists - but they were a nice touch, I'll admit.
We first encountered them on our hike up to the Hut of the Caretaker/Guardhouse, where they were all grazing off to the side, although one poked his head around the hut very close to us. Later, they had wandered down onto the main plaza. One was just a baby - very cute.
I'd heard at Sacsayhuaman that the black llamas were used for animal sacrifices at the Inti Raymi festival there. Sorry, black llama.
Be careful as you make your way around Machu Picchu, as llama droppings are literally everywhere.
When you are on the trail, keep an eye out for the llamas attempting to pass you. They will most likely be from local people in the area transporting goods from there villages, or from other tour groups transporting equipment
Who were the real inhabitants of the Sacred City? The Emperor and his court? The priests? Probably, all of them, and their slaves. Nowadays, the only inhabitants are the llamas, which have the privilege of living in this magnificent place.
¿Quiénes fueron los habitantes verdaderos de la Ciudad Sagrada? ¿El Emperador y su corte? ¿Los sacerdotes? Probablemente, todos ellos, y sus esclavos. En la actualidad, los únicos habitantes son las llamas, quienes tienen el privilegio de vivir en este lugar magnífico.
There are Llamas galore in Peru and Machu Picchu is no exception. They wonder around freely and mingle with the tourists. It adds a little something to your experience!!
They are not so wild here, and I bet they are hired to cut the grass in Machu Picchu. They also pose as great focal point for your pictures. Just don't get too close...
Along the Inca trail we can across these beautiful creatures, Domesticated several thousand years ago by the native South Americans valued primarily for their wool but also used as pack animals
Here are some Llamas that live up in Machu Picchu.
Their purpose is either to keep the grass down, or as I saw them do, herd dawdling tourists who did'nt know where they were going.