The alpaca is a type of llama that lives in the Andes Mountains of South America. The alpaca is part of the camelidae family and is closely related to the well-known llama. Of all the attributes of the alpaca, its history is the most interesting part of this animal. The oldest known recording of these charming creatures was 1,000 years before the great pyramids of Giza. The Inca nobles demonstrated their wealth by the number of alpaca's they owned, as well as showing off the beautiful fur garments. The trade in the fur of the alpaca, 2,000 years after the great pyramids, created a thriving Peruvian economy. So it continued for thousands of years with these magical animals creating wealth and prosperity for their Inca owners, until the 17th century when the Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Inca Empire. The Incas sought refuge from the Spanish, and took a limited number of these precious animals to the heights of the Andes. If this had not happened, there may not be very many alpacas left today.