Cusco’s Alpaca Photo Hustlers


When the gringa and her caveman traveled to Cusco, Peru in 2010, we met David and his brother, Wilson. (The gringa is pretty certain these are aliases!) They had quite a photography racket. They usually hung around the Temple of the Sun. We stayed in the hotel directly across the street and our view of the main entrance enabled us to watch these two master hustlers at work. They nailed us the first time we stepped out of the hotel to explore. Their game was to allow their alpacas to just sort of wander around nearby. When someone would take a photo they would hustle over and ask for a few “sols”.  Then, usually the tourist, (ourselves included), would see them in colorful panchos and hats and ask for a picture of them as well. That cost a few more sols. When I took my photo of the whole team together, one of the alpacas decided to take a leak and create a puddle for my camera. I tell ya, the gringa just loved these guys.