These things are quite peculiar-looking. Their wool is hypoallergenic, very soft, warm, and expensive. Some of these animals, depending on the color, can get up to several tens of thousands of dollars in value.
They look dainty, but are native to rugged areas of the Andes. They are quite hardy, and prone to few problems. Make no mistake; they are not pets, but investments. Judging from the number of small farms in the area, it must be quite the profitable investment.
Clicking on any of the Alpaca picture will take you to a small SmugMug gallery of local animals from farms near where I live.