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What Are Accoyos?

The name "Accoyo" refers to an Alpaca that has been bred at Estancia Accoyo in Peru. In the United States we use the name "Accoyo" to refer to alpacas imported from the estancia or to direct descendants of these imports. An alpaca is considered to be a pure Accoyo if its parents are both pure Accoyos.


So the real question must be: why do alpaca breeders care about maintaining an unbroken link to a ranch in Peru? The answer is in the location of the ranch itself, the breeding program there, and the care of the animals.


Estancia Accoyo is located in Macusani, Peru at 15,000 feet above sea level. Since there are few places in the world where animals of any kind are raised at that altitude, it follows that only hearty animals prosper. And since alpacas are valued primarily for their fleece, it is easy to assume that they would have superior coats. This has been proven at alpaca shows in Peru and the United States. According to National Geographic Magazine, Maccusani, Peru, is the world center for Alpaca fiber production.


While there are other ranches on the Alta Plano of Peru, it is Don Julio Barreda at his Estancia Accoyo who has controlled and maintained the breeding program that has made these animals world famous. The political turmoil in Peru has had a toll on the many ranches and their alpaca herds. Only Don Julio has maintained the royal bloodlines, breeding carefully. In his own words: "I have been able to breed well- defined Alpaca phenotypes with an absence of atypical animals. I attribute Accoyo's success at breeding Alpacas with superior production qualities to the father's lineage."


The care of the animals at Estancia Accoyo may be another factor. The fact is, he has produced superior animals who, by natural selection, survive in this harsh environment, eating only what nature provides. Don Julio, on his visits to North America, has some interesting thoughts on the environment here and the effect of our more involved herd management. Highlight Accoyos in North America for excerpts from a speech on this subject made by Don Julio in Oregon on July 3, 1999.