The peaceful and picturesque town of Canta, Capital of the homonymous Province, is located 104 kilometres northeast from the City of Lima, on the left bank of the Chillón River.
The vision of its narrow and steep little streets, and its big old houses with their traditional two slope roofs, transport travellers in time and turn them into the main feature in a customary postcard.
The province extends from the heights of the Cordillera de La Viuda (The Widow) down to the limits of the province of Lima. It comprises the districts of Arahuay, Huamantanga, Huaros, Canta, San Buenaventura, Lachaqui and Santa Rosa de Quives.
The remote culture of Atavillos flourished in the zone. Then, in the beginnings of the XVI century, it was subdued by the Inca Pachacútec during his march to the north. The Spanish conquistadors found a prosperous locality in Canta.
It was handed to Nicolás de Ribera, El Mozo (The Young), as a commendation. Its inhabitants gave great support to the cause of freedom during the campaign for the independence from the Spanish crown. For this reason it was proclaimed "Heroic Town" in the year of 1839.
Nearby the city, between the creek of Yanacocha and the town of Huaros, there are two woods of Puyas of Raimondi, a native cactus species that has its natural habitat at over 3000 metres above sea level.
The plant reaches 10 metre heights, and it usually lives for up to 100 years, then it drops its seeds and finally dies slowly.
It produces the most inflorescence of the world: an average of 17000 flowers at a single time. It carries the name of its discoverer, the illustrious naturalist of Italian ascendance, Antonio Raimondi, and it is an endangered species nowadays.
It is at 2942 metres above sea level and the sun shines all over the year in the area. The rainy season is from October to April.
ATTRACTIONS OF CANTA
SANTA ROSA DE QUIVES
At 65 kilometres from Lima, there is a beautiful and bucolic small town that bears the name of the Saint Patron of America, Santa Rosa of Lima. The saint resided in those premises along with her parents. She received the sacrament of confirmation from the hands of Archbishop Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo in the year 1597.
Santa Rosa de Quives was born as a district when it detached itself from the district of Arahuay. The town of Santa Rosa de Quives, which was called either Quives or Quivi, was added to the new administrative unit as an annex.
It is currently one of the favourite destinations for the people from Lima who run away from the noise and pollution of the city. It offers its visitors a nice and warm weather all year round. It is at 900 metres above sea level.
ROCK ENGRAVINGS OF CHECTA
They are located in the district of Santa Rosa de Quives, at half way of the road between Lima and Canta. It is a group of about 450 images engraved on rocks with an antiquity of 1500 years approx. The rock engravings represent animals, astral maps, flora species and fantastic creatures.
The beautiful locality of Arahuay is located 22 kilometres away from Santa Rosa de Quives, at over 2300 metres above sea level, and pierced over a small valley. The small town is surrounded by pre-Inca archaeological remains and a cluster of blue lagoons. The place is ideal for hikes and horseback rides.
The small and quiet town of Obrajillo stands two kilometres away from Canta, at 2764 metres above sea level.
Obrajillo was the scenario of a bloody battle during the campaign for the Peruvian independence from the Spanish crown.
It is currently true paradise for campers, for there are nice and flowery places on the riverbanks which are ideal for camping.
There are beautiful colonial houses standing around its main plaza which communicate through small snaky streets and old balconies.
The archaeological site of Cantamarca is found at 3500 metres above sea level, and 15 kilometres away from Canta. The compound shows the remains of what once was a fortified city that belonged to the Atavillos culture. An aqueduct and four chullpas (a sort of Inca cemetery) are kept in the zone. The locals celebrate the Festivity of the Cross during the first three days of the month of May in the area.
THE FORTRESS OF SINCHIPAMPA
A fortified site; its buildings are comprised by fortified towers, advantage points and defensive precincts.