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San Juan & La Rioja

Argentina’s Wine Country continues north into San Juan and La Rioja, the two boreal provinces of the Cuyo Region. Their terrain is a crosshatch of multicolored mountains and high Andes. In the valleys are desserts and oasis villages.

The capital cities, San Juan and La Rioja, are among Argentina’s oldest towns. Valle de Calingasta presents hiking, horseback riding, kite buggying and astronomical observatories. Valle de Iglesia is a time-warp of petroglyphs, ruins and colonial churches with a touch of hot springs and wind surfing. Valle Fértil and Chilecito are gateways to Ischigualasto and Talampaya nature reserves, two lunar landscape with fantastically eroded rocks that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.









By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

20 Sep 2010

Things to do in San Juan & La Rioja

Museo Santiago Graffigna

141605In 1870, Italian immigrant Santiago Graffigna founded the first winery in the San Juan region. It would become the area’s most famous vineyard. Graffigna continued in the family until 1980. Today, ...
Other Activity
San Juan, Argentina

Museo ArqueolĂłgico Profesor Mariano Gambier

141606Walking down the Ruta 40 side road lined with metal warehouses, it’s hard to believe one of these could be home to Museo Arqueológico Profesor Mariano Gambier. This unrefined building doesn’t ...
Museum
San Juan, Argentina

La Laja Spa

La Laja village doesn’t have much in the way of historical buildings, as it was the epicenter of the 1944 earthquake. It does, however, provide relief from the rigor of the road. Termas La Laja has ...
Other Activity
San Juan, Argentina

The Road To Zonda

Pack a picnic and prepare for a journey down Ruta Provincial 12, the road to Zonda. Along the way, hike, visit a prime museum and sample some more Sanjuanino wine. West of San Juan is Quebrada ...
Other Activity
San Juan, Argentina

Museo Inca Huasi

141653Museo Inca Huasi contains an impressive collection of artifacts excavated by Fray Bernardino GĂłmez between 1927 and 1951. Though not a trained archeologist, this Franciscan friar unearthed over ...
Museum
La Rioja, Argentina

Iglesia Santo Domingo

141654On a corner courtyard squats a cobblestone church, Iglesia Santo Domingo. To the right is a free-standing campanile with two bells. The algarrobo doorway has flowers, the Dominican Order’s seal and ...
Historical Building
La Rioja, Argentina

Quebrada Los Sauces

Just west of La Rioja begins Quebrada Los Sauces. This canyon carved by the RĂ­o Los Sauces is a rugged landscape covered with algarooba, cardoon cactus, mistol and weeping willows (sauce llorĂłn). ...
Hiking
La Rioja, Argentina

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto—or Valle de la Luna—is the only place on earth where the entire geologic sequence of the Triasic Period of the Mesozoic Era is preserved. These 45-50 ...
Other Activity
San AgustĂ­n Del Valle FĂ©rtil, Argentina

Parque Nacional Talampaya

Bordering the northeast edge of Parque Provincial Ischigualsto is Parque Nacional Talampaya. This 215,000-hectare (531,277-ac) national park protects another stretch of desert canyons and dinosaur ...
Other Activity
San AgustĂ­n Del Valle FĂ©rtil, Argentina
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