A visit to the famous alpaca cabin in East Atlanta

You heard the question, “What happened first …?” “

For Kara O’Brien and Kate Giroux, it was the chicken.

“I started with chickens, and they were entry cattle,” says O’Brien. “I was going to have goats because that’s what the people of the city of Atlanta do; you get chickens and go to goats.”

But a little internet research led the people of East Atlanta in a very different direction, and instead they ended up with a growing herd of energetic llamas and alpacas.

“They really are empaths; they really feel what you feel,” says O’Brien of the animals she’s felt an instant connection with.

“When they first got here, a lot of them were really scared and angry because they had been abused or neglected,” O’Brien continues. “And then, watching them unfold into the environment and come out of their shells… I mean, beyond satisfaction.”

But providing a sanctuary for llamas and alpacas is not an inexpensive endeavor. And that’s why O’Brien and Giroux also provide a sanctuary for humans, in the form of the now famous Atlanta Alpaca Treehouse.

Built from reclaimed materials – including late 1800s stained glass and turn-of-the-century church floors – the treehouse is hoisted above the bamboo forest in the backyard of the couple. Over the past five years, it has become a very popular property on the Airbnb travel booking site.

“It’s one of the best Airbnbs in the world, which was very shocking and humiliating for us,” says O’Brien. “I mean, we never considered this at all.”

Hosts from all over the world reserve the property not only for a peaceful place to sleep, but also for the chance to meet the animals that roam below. And O’Brien says the money raised through Airbnb directly supports animal rescue efforts.

“We have people who [are], like, “Thank you very much for opening this to the public. And I’m like ‘Thank you so much for letting me save animals’, you know? And for having really changed my life. “

A verdant, lush paradise that helps travelers break away from the pack, while allowing animals to be part of a new one.

Click here for more information on the Atlanta Alpaca Treehouse.

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