Argentina: Cuebrada de Humahuaca – Vicuñas

As if the stunning colors of the red rocks of the Cuebrada de Humahuaca wasn’t enough, we also found vicuñas, the quintessential Andean mammals, distant relatives of camels, and never domesticated (small vicuñas and larger guanacos are wild relatives of llamas and alpacas – the four camelid species of South America). Vicuñas leaves in the high Andes areas, usually at substantial altitude around altiplano, d from Peru to Argentina and Chile. The vicuña fur and the fabric made from it is one of the warmest and softest in the world and very expensive. Photographing the cute animals against the backdrop of the colorful rocks was totally priceless! Vicuñas were considered sacred animals by the Inca and even today it is the national animal of Peru. The population dropped to only 6000 in mid 1970s, but since recovered to around 350K.