As one of the largest mammals in South America at 1.2 metres (3.9 feet) tall, guanacos are similar to llamas, and their soft wool undercoats are often used in luxury fabrics. They live in small herds in the south and northwest of Argentina and are fairly easy to spot in one of the many national parks and reserves. Guanacos are able to survive in both mountains and on the Patagonian steppe; they are adapted to live in high altitudes with low oxygen, as they have four times as many blood cells as humans.
They are excellent swimmers and can run at speeds of up to 56 kilometres (35 miles) per hour over treacherous and rocky terrain; two padded toes on each foot help them to keep their footing and escape the clutches of a cougar. When threatened, guanacos may spit and release a high-pitched bleat to alert the rest of the herd, which is said to sound like laughter. Visit between December and March to spot baby guanacos, known as chulengos, which are able to walk just five minutes after birth.