© 2009Argentina Countrywide La Rioja Argentina

La Rioja Argentina: Travel, estancias, hotels & tours via Buenos Aires

La Rioja is located on the La Rioja River at the base of the Velasco Mountains.  It was originally named Ciudad de Todos los Santos de la Nueva Rioja, a región in Spain.La Rioja has temperate climate year round and visitors can enjoy its mountains, valleys and rivers sceneries.  

Founded in 1591 by explorers looking for gold and silver, La Rioja remained an economic center for the region due to local copper, silver and lead mining operations in the High Andes to the west.  Destroyed by an earthquake in 1894, the reconstruction of La Rioja took on a more modern look and feel.  Current economic activities are based primarily on agriculture, ranching and wine making.  During summer harvest, or La Cosecha, locals work in nearby olive plantations, vineyards and cotton fields.  

La Rioja is home to the National University of La Rioja which was established in the 1970s.  The local dam is a source of both energy and irrigation and its most notable landmarks include a 16th century Jesuit church and a regional archeological museum. 

La Rioja has a vibrant commercial center surrounded by winding roads, quaint houses, historic monuments and churches.  Agro and wine-tourism are a favorite with many estancias and tours of the local vineyards and wine cellars.  Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy water sports, fishing, hang gliding and paragliding.  La Rioja also has a rich nightlife with its casinos, discos and pubs. 

Tourists will also love Talampaya National Park with its petro glyphs dating back to around 10,000 years before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. 

Museums include the following locations:

(English)  Inca Huasi Regional Archaeological Museum

Other resources:

(Spanish) Official Government Website  
(English, Spanish) Talampaya Canyon
(Spanish) National University of La Rioja

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