Archetypal analysis has the aim to represent observations in a multivariate data set as convex combinations of extremal points. This approach was introduced by Cutler and Breiman (1994); they defined the concrete problem, laid out the theoretical foundations and presented an algorithm written in Fortran. In this paper we present the R package archetypes which is available on the Comprehensive R Archive Network. The package provides an implementation of the archetypal analysis algorithm within R and different exploratory tools to analyze the algorithm during its execution and its final result. The application of the package is demonstrated on two examples.