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Arequipa and the 4 Andean Camelids

Meet Peru's Famous Camelids
Meet Peru's Famous Camelids
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  • 10 Hours
  • Group Size: 1 - 6
  • All year round (Apr-Dec preferably)

The Aguada Blanca National Reserve is one of the few places where in one day of exploration you can observe the four types of South American camelids!

The reserve is located 68 kilometers from Arequipa. Get ready to discover a route of volcanoes, native fauna in the Andes and the magnificent inheritance received from the Incas: the fibers of vicuña and alpaca!

The journey starts with an early pick-up in your hotel (around 7am) and offers us beautiful landscapes between two of the main volcanoes in Arequipa, Misti and Chachani and a great opportunity to learn about the history of four of the South American camelids: vicuña, guanaco, alpaca and llama. The first two wild and the last two, domestic. Of course this will be done in their natural environment. 

Our scenery along the (partially unpaved and rough) route will be flora and Andean birds until we reach the alpaca ranch of Don Sergio and his family. They will share with us what it means to be heirs to an important economic activity since pre-Hispanic times, the breeding, production and weaving of alpaca and vicuña wool. We will learn how to spin wool and how to use the huaraca, one of the oldest weapons.

Our visit ends with a huatia, an Andean tradition, consisting in cooking the potatoes on earth and stone. One of the closest forms of relationship with the land in the Andean world. On the way back, we will say goodbye with a symbolic ceremony of gratitude to the Apus. Depending on the conditions of the day, you’ll be back in Arequipa between 16:00 and 17:30. 

Note: for each person going on this tour, we will plant a native queñua tree on the deforested slopes of the Chachani volcano. If your tour takes places from November to March, you will take part in the tree planting; in other months you can’t but rest assured that your tree will be planted! During the ceremony, we will still celebrate and symbolize the growth of the tree. 

Price Includes

  • Private transportation
  • Official tour guide
  • Lunch box
  • Huatia ( traditional andean dish)
  • Hot beverages
  • Fruit
  • Water bottle to refill

Price Excludes

  • Extra expenses in case you want to buy a piece made in alpaca wool made by the family.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Trekking shoes
  • Sunglasses with high UV protection; Hat or cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars
  • 100% charged camera
  • Small backpack where to put a warm jacket and money in small denominations
  • A small notebook and pen to write down names or essential data

What makes this experience RESPONSible?

First of all, by visiting this family you enable them to keep an important tradition and economic activity alive in this rapidly globalizing world. But this route also passes through a native Polylepis or Queñua forest affected by a fire in 2020, and you’ll contribute to the regeneration of this forest by planting a Polylepis tree (we plant one for every traveler we have on this route). This planting will be done in partnership with the Peruvian Natural Protected Areas Service.


Your Travel Designer
11Our Arequipa partner Patricia Deza profile picture

Patricia Deza

Passionate about nature, culture and the power of regenerative leadership. She was born in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a place that strongly influenced her identification with the Andean culture. She started like most young women by going to university and pursuing a career in Arequipa where she got to know the world of conservation which changed her course. That’s how she started traveling around Peru working in ecotourism, tourism and sustainable development.

Today she sees the need to help travelers connect in a different way with their chosen destination and to show hosts the value of their culture to empower themselves and strengthen their natural environment. Since 2020 Patricia has been working with RESPONS, with which she shares a philosophy of sustainability.