Viscachas at Machu Picchu

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Well-known member
May 5, 2011
Dayton, OH
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu. I knew that viscachas (chinchillas' Peruvian cousins) were rumored to live there, and I was desperately hoping to see them. After searching all day for them with no luck, I finally asked a park ranger about them. He told me they lived in the rocks in the lower part of the site, and came out later in the day when most of the crowds had left.

Around 4:00pm, a rainbow appeared and a viscacha bounded onto a rock wall in front of me. I can't make this stuff up! It was magical.

The viscachas seemed very chinchilla-like in shape and actions.


As it grew later, more and more of them started coming out of the rocks.




I really didn't want to leave them.


If you're planning to visit Machu Picchu and want to see the viscachas, make sure you stay until the late afternoon!
thats pretty awesome! Looks like a chin/squirrel/rabbit kinda mix. Id be curious to see an evolutionary chart of them all to see how each developed over time.
Wow!! These are absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing them. Makes me really want to go to Machu Picchu. I can't believe the viscachas let you get that close!
In all fairness, I was using a camera with a pretty hefty zoom (if anyone is looking for an affordable, pocketable, quick, 40x zoom camera, I would highly recommend the Canon SX720), but a couple did allow me to get within 4-6 feet of them.