La Rioja

From the Andean “seismiles” (name given to the majestic peaks around 6,000 meters or 20,000 feet) to the plateaus and salt lakes in the southeast, La Rioja province provides a wide variety of scenery. Walnut tree farms, olive trees, almond trees and quince trees are scattered around these small towns, rich in history: Colonial chapels made of adobe, indigenous ruins and archeological museums can be found in slopes and mountain roads along with vicunas and condors. Tampalaya National Park, a World Heritage Site with Ischigualasto Provincial Park in the neighbor province of San Juan, offers a spectacular geography marked by continuous erosions throughout millions of years. Remnants and traces from a past rich in history and culture and boasted by La Rioja capital city.

Travel to La Rioja

Excursions to La Rioja

Knowing La Rioja

Breakfast at the hotel. We will discover the principal charms of La Rioja city, we will also go to the Dique Los Sauces. This capital city with the soul of a town, has a square called 25 de Mayo which is the centre of the metropolis and the Government House of Greco-Roman style adapted with an entrance hallway and courtyards with galleries. In front of the square there is a Social Club where exhibitions take place and the San Nicolás de Bari Basilica of Byzantine style. The house of the former governor Joaquín Víctor González is very interesting to visit, too. It has a colonial style with a Medieval Castle image, built in the middle of the 19th Century. There is also the Santo Domingo Temple, built in stone with an outstanding carved carob wooden door, in 1623 by the natives. Finally there is a Museum of Religious Art.



Chilecito, Cuesta del Miranda, Nonogasta

Breakfast at the hotel. We say goodbye to Villa Unión to go to La Rioja through Cuesta de Miranda, caught between the Sierras de Famatina and the Sierras de Sañogasta (small mountain ranges). These hills have one of the few good roads linking the Valle de Chilecito with Cuyo. It is the obliged route to join Villa Unión with Chilecito. The Cuesta de Miranda shows a landscape full of different reddish shades, a path that draws a sillouette between the hills and the canyon of the river with the same name, ending in an edge road with stunning curves and gullies. Before that, we had entered Chilecito, the second important city in La Rioja, located in the Valle Antinaco – Los Colorados and hidden between the Sierras de Velasco and Famatina. It is a zone dedicated to the winery industry and the walnut and fruit trees plantations. We arrive at the capital city in the afternoon.



Pueblos de La Rioja (La Costa Riojana): Sanagasta, Huaco, Chuquis, Anillaco...

Vamos a recorrer la costa riojana, de trata de las principales poblaciones de La Rioja. El mayor encanto lo brinda el cordón montañoso de la sierra del Velazco, que nos acompañara durante todo nuestro recorrido, encontrando lugares llenos de vida, colores, una paz que detiene el tiempo, el microclima que nos pone en contacto con la naturaleza. Las Peñas es el primer pueblo con sus casas de adobe sobre peñones de granito y la iglesia de San Rafael. Luego viene Agua Blanca, famosa por sus dulces caseros Sigue el pueblo de Pinchas, lleno de frutales, hortalizas y nogales. En sus tiendas artesanales, se pueden conseguir mantas de llama o vicuña.

Chuquis es conocida por que se encuentra el solar de Pedro de Castro Barros, actualmente es un museo regional. Continúa el pueblo de Aminga, con casonas, quintas y bodegas hechas con muros elevados de pircas. En su plaza principal está el Mercado Artesanal y la iglesia de La Merced. Una vez más sobre la ruta, alcanzamos a reflexionar sobre la alegría y la tranquilidad que se perciben en el aire de cada una de estas localidades. Llegamos a Anillaco, el más moderno de los pueblos de la costa riojana con calles de asfalto y grandes propiedades de viñedos ideales para degustar vinos de alta calidad o vinos pateros.

Avanzamos hasta Los Molinos con sus fincas de nogales, olivos, almendros y membrillos. Sigue Anjullón, con la iglesia más bella de la costa riojana, que data de 1896, de estilo italiano. Más tarde está la localidad de San Pedro y finalmente Santa Vera Cruz, que está sobre la montaña. Sobresale en el viaje el Castillo de Dionisio Aizcorbe. Por la tarde traslado a la terminal de buses de La Rioja para viajar a Catamarca (200 km). Recepción en la terminal de buses de San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca y traslado al hotel.



Talampaya National Park, La Rioja

Breakfast at the hotel. We get up early to leave San Juan province and travel to La Rioja province to Villa Unión to visit the Talampaya National Park. Villa Unión has 6,000 inhabitants and is located on a valley between the foothills of the Andes and the formidable Famatina mountain range, 60km away from the park. Talampaya is a natural reserve with sites of great archaeological-paleontological value due to the number of fossils found, such as the Lagosuchus Talampayensis, dinosaur of the Mesozoic era. To sum up, this park is a product of the intense tectonic movements and wind erosion produced during millions of years. It has 215,000 hectares and it is famous for its incredible red rock cliffs and the wind sculptured eroded figures where condors nest. Its rocks belong to the Triassic period in the Mesozoic Era where the first dinousaurs´ pawprints are found. The return journey to San Juan is through the majestic Cuesta de Huaco.