San Vicente de Cañete, Peru - Polarsteps

San Vicente de Cañete, Peru: population: about 60,000. San Vicente de Cañete is a small town also known as the "Cradle and Capital of National Black Art." The history dates back to pre-Inca times. The leader of the original inhabitants, Chuqui Manco, resisted the Incas for four years before finally succumbing to the conquerors. Then the Spanish explorer Mendoza arrived and founded the town of Villa de Cañete. During the following years, the rich built haciendas and brought slaves from Africa to work in the fields and orchards. Slavery was abolished in 1854 so the slave owners had to find new slaves. They brought in people from China. And that's the end of the history I can find including two Wikipedia pages. I found a trails website that talks about a path/trail that can be hiked, ridden on a mountain bike, or possibly driven (not sure about that) from Cañete to Huancayo in the Andes. Supposedly it's a beautiful ride. I imagine it probably is. Imperial, Peru: population around 30,000. Imperial is a neighboring town to Cañete. I walked from Cañete to Imperial in no more than 20-25 minutes. I don't like Imperial. It's a world different from Cañete - very sandy, dirty streets, awful traffic, and ugly old buildings. Granted, there is a lot of road construction, especially in the area of the huge Mercado. The marketplace is huge! Especially compared to the tiny size of the town. And it is just about surrounded by road construction which makes for some absolutely gawd-awful traffic problems. San Vicente de Cañete averages, based on the little info I can find, 0mm or only in the low single-digit mm, of rain per year. Now that I wrote all that about how rare the rain is here, just tonight when I was walking back to the hotel after eating in a downtown restaurant, it started to rain. Very light and not enough to even stream up on the streets or flow off the roofs, but it was actual raindrops that got me a little wet. That lasted no more than 10 minutes. Probably not even enough to be measurable. So, my impressions: Cañete is a decent enough town, even though it's grey and brown sandy and dusty, Imperial - I don't like it. As with many small towns along the coast of Peru, the climate is unbeatable, unless you actually like rain and cold. Cañete has a few nice parks and a new mall with several large 'big box' stores (Falabella, Sodemac, Tottus, and a movie theater), a food court, and a few small stores. The town is generally clean and has a lower volume of noise compared to many other towns I've visited, including Imperial. As for Imperial - don't bother with it, it's not worth the time. The pictures are of Cañete only.
  1. ChipW
  2. My South America Journey
  3. San Vicente de Cañete