Llama trekking (llama hikes) became very popular in Peru in the last few years. Llamas are very intelligent and responsive creatures with an easy going character that makes them compatible with hikers as well as children.
Somebody called them "sheep of the Andes", we could also add to this...."sherpas of the Andes". Through llama trekking, you will be able to experience the wilderness without the burden of a heavy backpack. As the legend goes, the name llama comes from the Spanish phrase "como se llama?" (what do you call this?).
By the time of the Spanish Conquest, they asked indigenous people "como se llama?", which obviously they didn't understand, and repeated instead...llama, llama. so Spaniards thought that was its name.
For others instead, this is noting but a picturesque legend far from reality.
Llama has a Quechua origin and was known as such before the Spanish conquest.
Whichever origin we could assign to its name, llama has been an integral part of the South American history for the last 12,000 years approximately, and domesticated since the time of the Inca civilization.
They were used as beasts of burden and also sacrificed in religious ceremonies such as the Inti Raymi.
The llama family includes...
During Inca times, llamas were also source of food, milk and fiber - woven and used by common people, while vicuña and alpaca fiber was reserved for the nobility or ruling class.
Llama lives in herds and can work at altitudes that most animals can not tolerate.
They move at ease and walk the trails that only locals walk, as it's been for thousands of years now. Trails that are unavailable even for all-terrain vehicles.
They can carry up to 50kg approximately.
When overloaded or mistreated it will lie down, spit, kick or refuse to move altogether. It's herbivorous and can subsist on little water.
Llama trekking will enhance your Peru trekking experience.
Peru mountains have lots to offer to the outdoors lover and mountain sports enthusiast, with endless possibilities to all levels of expertise.
They are home to several high-Andean civilizations of farmers and livestock herders who follow millenarian traditions and pay homage to the Apus or sacred mountain guardians.
Among the varying llama hikes options, we find the Olleros-Chavin llama trek expedition.
A four day trek that combines not only impressive sights of mounts Cashan and Tucupunta, but the chance to share local customs and traditions of peasant communities, to conclude at the archaeological complex of Chavin de Huantar - the first pre-Inca civilization that inhabited most of what is now known as Peru.
Peru is a true hiker's paradise.
Some of the most popular treks include...
Whichever trek you choose to make, please remember the importance of getting the appropriate travelers insurance beforehand.
To learn more about Peru adventure tours let me introduce you to this informative booklet produced by the Corporation of Tourism Promotion of Peru (PromPeru).
It's called Traveler's Guide to Trekking and Mountaineering in Peru.
Download this PDF file here.
You can download it for free.
Here is the Spanish version if you are more comfortable with it: Guia Especializada del Viajero: Trekking and Montañismo en el Peru.
Download this PDF file here.
And talking about mountains, myths, traditions and culture of the Andes, let's have a look at this beautiful trailer.
It's called Ausangate, documentary film produced by Andreas Heckman and Tad Fettig...
Llama trekking will not only ease your burden of carrying your backpack and camp gear, it will also give the chance to get to know one of the most beautiful creatures that inhabits this magical South America...