The aim of this study was the description of the lingual and buccal papillae in adult alpaca (Vicugna pacos) by light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The tongue consisted of apex, body and root. Four types of lingual papillae (filiform, fungiform, conical and circumvallate) in addition to two types of buccal papillae were observed. The filiform papillae, some with secondary papillae, were distributed on both the corpus and apex of the tongue, with stratified epithelium, and layer of keratin coat were recognized. The short (small) cone papillae had pointed top, while bunoform papillae were wide with smooth apex. The much less numerous circumvallate papillae with pseudopapillae on the each rim of the caudal lingual body were present with weak layer of keratin and intra-epithelial taste buds. The small fungiform papillae were found on the dorsal lingual surface, while the large fungiform papillae were situated on the ventral surface of the tongue, especially, in rostral part and were round in shape with numerous gustatory pores and very thin keratin coat. Pseudopapillae were present on the buccal conical 'bunoform' papillae surface, while 'elongate' buccal papillae surface was rather softly folded with thin coat of keratin. Microridges were observed in the less keratinized parts of each type of papillae. The orientation of either lingual or buccal papillae into the throat side facilitates the emptying of oral cavity from nutrient and swallowing of food. In conclusion, the anatomical features of the alpaca tongue are an adaptation to the feeding habits.