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Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, Sacred Valley, Peru

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The Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary’s Mission

The Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary is a privately-owned, family-run organization in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Their mission is to rescue exotic animals that have been injured or have been used for cruel entertainment purposes.

When my friend Kim asked me join her on a field trip, with her Advanced English class, to help them practice English, I immediately jumped at the chance.

Okay, let’s be real. I was totally in it for the animals. But could there be a better cause?

Somehow, despite my relentless chants of, “Puedo tocarlo? Puedo tocarlo?” (“Can I touch it? Can I touch it?”), I didn’t get kicked out!

Now, feast your eyes upon the various exotic–and friendly–animals at the sanctuary:

To buy a ticket or make a donation click HERE

The Peruvian Hairless Dog

Now, you know I love dogs, but I admit that upon first spotting this hairless dog, my stomach turned and I may have made a very disgusted and offensive face. But, eventually, I warmed up to it, just like with any dog.

The Peruvian Hairless dog is revered here in Peru and is a pet with a big price tag. Their breed dates back to Pre-Incan civilization.

peruvian hairless dog

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    I tried to touch this cute, little, furry animal, but was told it would bite me.


    Andean Condors – the Crown Jewel

    Easily the crown jewel of the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, these breathtaking Andean Condors are a national symbol of Peru and are, sadly, on the brink of extinction.

    A combination of illegal trafficking for their highly-valued feathers, farmers killing them because they mistakenly think the birds kill livestock (not true; condors prey only on animals that are already dead), and the birds’ monogamy and long gestation period have reduced its numbers to fewer than 100 in the wild.

    Though my plea of “CAN I TOUCH IT?” was met with a tired, “No. They will bite you.” I was surprised we were allowed into the enclosure with these giant birds.

    Female Andean Condor in an animal sanctuary
    A female Andean Condor
    “Come at me, bro!”
    A male Andean Condor in an animal sanctuary
    A male Andean Condor

    The employees had the condors fly from one end of the enclosure to the other to demonstrate the birds’ deftness and massive 10-foot wingspan.

    condor flying

    condor flying 2

    condor flying 3
    No tourists were harmed in the making of this photo.

    condor flying 4

    A Very Loving Llama

    Again, I was surprised I was actually allowed to, not only get really close, but also hug and pet this loving llama. I am told they do spit, so you have to be really careful about a llama and make sure you don’t make them angry enough to spat on you!!

    Luckily for me, my friend had a very special connection with it, even feeding it from her mouth, “Lady and the Tramp” style.

    An Alpaca With Fabulous Hair

    alpaca 3

    alpaca 4

    He's fabulous, and he knows it.
    He’s fabulous, and he knows it.



    The World’s Friendliest Deer

    She was certainly the cutest. Just look at her. Letting us scratch her behind the ears. When does that ever happen?

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    deer 2


    She seemed to want to lick us, especially Jose. When I said, “Oh, she must like the salt on our skin,” Jose (pictured below) countered with, “No, she loves me.” Okay, I think she did.

    Peruvian Pumas (Mountain Lions)

    There are two pumas at the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary that were rescued from a nightclub in Lima. There, they were being exploited for entertainment purposes.

    At the time of their rescue, they were in pretty bad condition. With the care of the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, they have both fully recovered and are extremely healthy.

    Look at how exquisite she is.


    Three Falcons at Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary

    Of the three falcons at the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, only one is strong enough to be released back into the wild.



    The Sanctuary even has a domestic cat

    Sure, there are plenty of wild and exotic animals at the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, but nothing won over my heart so much as their domestic cat, Giaco.

    He came right up to me, climbed into my lap, and promptly fell asleep. So I had to walk around with him in my arms. I didn’t mind.

    How can you Visit Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary in Peru?




    Sacred Valley of the Incas in Cusco Pisac Via Km 22, Cusco, Peru

    Transportation to the Sanctuary:

    You can take a private taxi, but the cheapest option is a shared bus or colectivo. Just tell the driver you’re going to the sanctuary, and they will tell you when to get off.

    We took a bus there for 3 soles. On the way back, we stood on the side of the road and caught a colectivo (big shared van) for 2 soles

    Cost of entry:

    Free! But they do accept donations. You can make a donation or buy a ticket HERE.

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