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Luján De Cuyo

While architecturally stunning bodegas producing the world’s finest Malbec wines dominate the tourism market in Luján de Cuyo, the area offers much more. Adventurous travelers will find a range of activities to tax their bodies, and thermal hot springs to rejuvenate sore muscles. Partygoers quickly learn that the province’s biggest nightclubs line the Ruta Panamericana, while food lovers will flock to gourmet restaurants. Located only 18 km (11 mi) from the provincial capital, Luján is anything but limiting.

Surprisingly, the 110,000 residents live in stark contrast to one another, as this area features some of Mendoza’s richest and poorest neighborhoods. Private country clubs and closed subdivisions line the streets in Vistalba, while economic struggle is painfully apparent in Bajo Luján. Although Luján de Cuyo is divided into fourteen districts, most travelers find it easier to separate it into three geographical categories: towns, countryside, and mountains.

Two residential areas, Chacras de Coria and Luján City, offer the largest diversity of hotels and restaurants. The former is known for international cuisine and raging nightclubs. Clos de Chacras offers a sizzling menu to match their boutique wines, while nightclubs Alquimia and Al Sur pump dance music to gyrating local college students until the early hours. Luján city, like most small towns in Argentina, is centered around the plaza. In this case, it’s the Plaza Departamental General San Martin. Built between 1900 and 1912, the plaza is anchored by a monument to its namesake hero. Interestingly, the General San Martin monument faces the very road that San Martin’s army traveled en route to liberating both Chile and Peru. Another historical landmark, the Iglesia de Luján de Cuyo, stands across from the plaza. Because the department’s original church was destroyed (along with much of Mendoza) during the 1861 earthquake, the current building dates to 1900. Unfortunately, another minor earthquake struck in 2005 and, once again, caused extensive damage to the church.

Rural areas, mainly Agrelo and Pedriel, house the economically dominant wineries. The zone’s altitude, at 950 m (3,100 ft) above sea level, provides unique growing conditions that favor the malbec grape. Huge temperature variations between day and night, coupled with low precipitation – less than 200 mm (8 in) per year – help local growers maintain control over their valuable crops. Unfortunately, the proximity to the Andes Mountains does bring torrential hailstorms throughout the summer that have occasionally wrecked the grape harvest. Many wineries, like Ruca Malen, offer a five-course gourmet meal to accompany their wine tastings, while Finca Adalgisa takes the vineyard experience a step further by offering luxurious accommodations.

The mountain towns of Potrerillos and Cacheuta are both common weekend destinations for those hoping to escape the city. In summer, locals flock to these towns to cool off in the rivers and grill hearty asados. Visitors keep busy with whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and paragliding. Thermal hot springs wait in Cacheuta, offering an ideal day trip when relaxation beckons.

Ultimately, whatever your reason for visiting Luján, the area’s diversity will likely leave you wishing for more.


Other places nearby Luján De Cuyo: San Rafael, Chilecito, Calingasta, Las Cuevas, La Rioja, Barreal, Valle De Iglesia, Los Penitentes, San Juan and Uspallata.

23 Jun 2010

Things to do in Luján De Cuyo

Achával Ferrer

139759Founded in 1998, Achával Ferrer combines Argentine and Italian partners to produce a variety of high-scoring wines. It hasn’t been an easy start though, as two consecutive vintages were destroyed ...
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Luján De Cuyo, Argentina

Catena Zapata

139917If time allows a visit to only a single winery, it should be Catena Zapata. After all, owner Nicolas Catena, who won Decanter Magazine’s Man of the Year 2009 award, is credited for spurring ...
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Luján De Cuyo, Argentina


139918As the name suggests, Séptima is the seventh winery built by the Codorniu family. Despite being the only property in Argentina, the family owns eleven wineries throughout Spain and the USA. Although ...
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Luján De Cuyo, Argentina


139919A flair for the dramatic easily describes Carlos Pulenta’s Vistalba winery. Features like the gourmet La Bourgogne restaurant, two all-inclusive (wine too) hotel suites, and a picture window-lined ...
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Luján De Cuyo, Argentina


When standard wine tours that offer a guided walking tour around the property and a repetitive explanation of the wine making process grow boring, a trip to Renacer can spice things up. With a ...
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Luján De Cuyo, Argentina
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