At the height of the Inca Empire, around two million vicunas roamed the Andes Altiplano, the wind-swept plateau that stretches from southern #Peru to northern #Argentina. However, when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532 and discovered the vicunas' luxurious fleece, they began hunting the them, a practice that nearly led to the animals' extinction.
Now the national animal of Peru, the vicuna is making a comeback thanks to a return to a traditional and humane method of shearing ritual known as the chaccu. Because the vicuna can only be sheared once every two years, the raw fibre will sell for between $300 and $450 per kilo, making it the most expensive fabric on Earth.
To learn more about the vicuna, click on the link in our bio! #WorldsRarest#bbctravel
📷: Tom Garmeson
Indulge in luxurious treasures from exquisite places with BBC Travel's new series, The World's Rarest, premiering tomorrow on bbc.com/travel#WorldsRarest
#FridayFeature! The village of Al Madam in the United Arab Emirates was abandoned several decades ago. Some say residents were driven away by the jinn, supernatural creatures from Islamic mythology, and those who have visited claim to have felt a haunting presence. Thanks @uros_petric for sharing your photo using #bbctravel!
More than 5,000 varieties of coffee have been found in the rainforest of #Ethiopia's Kafa region, which is believed to be the birthplace of wild Arabica coffee. Since its discovery, coffee has played a vital role in Ethiopian culture, with the coffee ceremony at the heart of the nation's social life and hospitality.
Kafa resident Annaz Haile is teaching her daughter Asayech the art of the coffee ceremony. They start by roasting the beans over an open fire, allowing guests to inhale the aroma before grinding the beans and brewing the coffee in a jebena, a traditional Ethiopian coffee pot. "We learnt from our ancestors that coffee must be the first thing to be served to our guests," Haile said. "It's a sign of respect." Click the link in our bio to read more about Ethiopia's coffee ceremonies. #bbctravel 📷: @thomaslewton
Outside #Antwerp, #Belgium's Town Hall, this statue celebrates the origin of the city's name. According to legend, a mythical giant named Antigoon demanded a toll from everyone who crossed the Scheldt river. If anyone refused to pay, Antigoon would cut off their hand and throw it into the river. One day, a brave soldier named Brabo sought vengeance for the giant's victims, chopping off Antigoon's hand and throwing it into the river. The name Antwerpen was derived from Dutch words meaning "to throw a hand". Beautiful capture, @muns.s! Thank you for sharing it using #bbctravel!
#FridayFeature! Known as the 'moon beach' because of its strikingly white sand and rugged cliffs, Sarakiniko Beach on the Greek island of Milos was shaped by volcanic activity. Today, its otherworldly landscape contrasts beautifully with the brilliant blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Thanks @katerinakatopis for sharing this view with us using #bbctravel!
"I soon realised that asking a Bedouin to explain hospitality was as superfluous as asking someone to describe how a sand dune feels between the toes. You don’t have to ask about it. It’s just there." @bbcfuture_official editor @mandyruggeri travelled to Wadi Rum, #Jordan, to experience Bedouin hospitality first hand. Read the full story by clicking the link in our bio. #bbctravel
First opened in 1976, New York City's Roosevelt Island aerial tramway was the first tram in the United States to be used for urban transport. Connecting Roosevelt Island with Midtown Manhattan, the tram offers spectacular views of the city skyline for less than $3 a ride.
For other ways to enjoy excellent #NYC views for under $3, click the link in our bio! #bbctravel 📷: @collectingmiles
Nothing beats a good book! Le Pont Traversé near the Luxembourg Gardens in #Paris has been in the business of good books for more than 60 years. Thanks @fantastique212 for sharing this shot with us using #bbctravel!
#Scotland's centuries-old Dunnottar Castle has a long and fascinating history. It was invaded by Vikings, captured by William Wallace and visited by Mary, Queen of Scots. Today, it's recognised as one of Scotland's most scenic castles, and it's easy to see why. Thanks @marionpolhill for sharing this beautiful image using #bbctravel!