The 10 Best Things to Do in Province of La Rioja, Argentina

April 8, 2018 Hana Mouser

Discover the best top things to do in Province of La Rioja, Argentina including Laguna Brava, Cuesta de Miranda, Parque Nacional Talampaya, Cristo del Portezuelo, Catedral de La Rioja - Santuario de San Nicolas de Bari, La Mejicana Mine, Resarva Provincial Laguna Brava, Canon del Arco Iris, Plaza 25 de Mayo, Museo Cable Carril.
Restaurants in Province of La Rioja

1. Laguna Brava

Argentina +54 9 3825 40-9879
Excellent
89%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 303 reviews

Laguna Brava

Reviewed By Vennekilde - Buenos Aires, Argentina

After visiting the national parks, Ischigualasto and Talampaya, we, 2 couples, decided to make the 24. of December to something special and planned a trip to Laguna Brava. It is a salt lake in 4.400 meters altitude and the whole trip - getting there, experiencing the area and back is worth the effort.
We almost booked a tour with a local provider in a 4 x 4, but it was 450 Arg. Pesos per person, so in the end we agreed that it was too much. But we had the luck that our guide in Talampaya knew a local tour guide with the demanded authorization, which was able to do it on this special day for 200 Arg. Pesos in total...!!! So a good deal, even though we had to do it in our rental car - a normal sedan.
At this time of the year, summer in Argentina, there are NO need of a 4 x 4 to do this trip as the few streams you have to cross only an 10 cm. deep. Of course all the providers of the tours claim that you cant do it by yourself - and if you are not comfortable driving in the Mountains - then book, but else......don´t and save the money. The roads are in nice conditions, paved or not, and any kind of experienced driver can manage.
YOU can´t go to Laguna Brava without an authorized guide ! You will pass to stops where you have to register and the guide has to show his license. The registration is a precaution - as they will search for you if you dont return again at the end of the day. Always bring along your personal papers (passport) as they will ask for the number, etc.
Our guide, Emmanuel Luna, we picked up in Vinchina, north of Villa Union, and we began our tour at 8.15 am. He had done more than 1000 tours and we made a lot of stops where he carefully explained the sights. On the way up we were so lucky to see 5 Condors in the sky above the peaks of the Mountains - absolutely breath taking. After 4 hours we reached the plateau and the sight was spectacular. An old plane, which carried animals between Chile and Argentina, crashed there many years ago, but is still to be seen. A large number of flamingos live there along with the Guanacos, foxes and a few other animals. Next stop was at the geisers before we went back again. We returned to Vinchina at about 4 pm. after an excellent day.
I can higly recommend this sight as it will offer you spectacular views and it is not full of tourists. Search in the local area for a local guide if you have a car, and you will save a lot of money - and the tour will for sure be better.
To remember: It is in the high altitude, 4.400 meters, so if you suffer altitude sickness, then don´t go or bring severel pain killers. Drink water and avoid too much food before you go. Bring sandwishes and water.

2. Cuesta de Miranda

Ruta Nacional N 40, La Rioja, Argentina +54 3825 47-0368
Excellent
71%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 215 reviews

Cuesta de Miranda

Reviewed By Luca P

I suggest renting a car in La Rioja and to drive to Villa Union via Cuesta de Miranda. The scenery is amazing!!

3. Parque Nacional Talampaya

Ruta N 76 Km 144, Villa Union F5350AQA, Argentina +54 9 351 217-1350
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Parque Nacional Talampaya

Horarios: -En temporada alta (marzo a septiembre) el horario de ingreso es de 8:30 a 16:30 horas. -En temporada baja (octubre a febrero) el horario de ingreso es de 08 a 17 horas.

Reviewed By ESTHERandBOEN - Utrecht, Nld

The park may be worth visiting, but it is so hard to get it done.
There are too many hurdles that one needs to overcome before one can join one of the expensive excursions (unless you are a local). Virtually nothing is written in an other language than Spanish except for the prices. It is clear that foreigners must pay much more. The guides only speak Spanish. It would be fair if the foreigner at least gets English in return for the much higher fee.

4. Cristo del Portezuelo

parque municipal Arturo Marazo, Chilecito 5360, Argentina
Excellent
33%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 190 reviews

Cristo del Portezuelo

Reviewed By michael p

It's a good, rigorous walk up to the statue and the view of the city is stunning. Definitely worth checking out if you're in Chilecito!

5. Catedral de La Rioja - Santuario de San Nicolas de Bari

San Nicolas de Bari y 25 de Mayo, La Rioja, Argentina +54 380 442-6122
Excellent
34%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 198 reviews

Catedral de La Rioja - Santuario de San Nicolas de Bari

Reviewed By RMartinSDXB - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Another magnificent Cathedral in front of the main square of a Province. Every town in the countryside of Argentina has the same urban planning. In this case, La Rioja Cathedral worships Saint Nicholas of Bari with lots of unique decorations and a small religious display of artifacts.
The church is open most the day with no restrictions and if you have the chance you can heard either the hourly bells. Just a few minutes would be enough to appreciate the architecture and the peace of the place.

6. La Mejicana Mine

Famatina, Argentina
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

La Mejicana Mine

Reviewed By toniemakaroni - Paris, France

I visited the mine on April 24th 20216. You need warm clothes, a 4x4 SUV, sufficient water and some food. It is a scenic drive from Chilechito (where we started around 7 o'clock) up to the mine at about 4400m altitude. We had a few stops during the trip and you could see very spectacular outcrops. We were back in town at about 3 o'clock.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to access the galleries of the gold mine.
I am not sure whether you can do the trip on you own. Since we didn't had a 4x4, we booked the tour with a local company from Chilecito.

7. Resarva Provincial Laguna Brava

La Rioja, Argentina +54 3825 47-0368
Excellent
90%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 37 reviews

Resarva Provincial Laguna Brava

Reviewed By Silvano G - Turin, Italy

Venerdì 9 Marzo - Il parco si estende da Villa San José de Vinchina capitale del dipartimento, fino ai confini con il Cile, ed ha un'estensione di oltre 400.000 ettari. La maggior parte delle strade che salgono ben oltre i 4500 metri di altitudine è sterrata. All'interno del parco alcuni piccoli paesi tra i quali il più importante è Jagué. Il sito comprende un sistema di alte lagune andine di acque saline e ipersaline di poca profondità situate tra i 3.000 ed i 4.500 metri sul livello del mare. La Riserva di Laguna Brava è stata creata nel 1980. Percorrendone la strada, si gode di una vista incomparabile di fiumi, montagne, orridi. Dal punto di vista faunistico si osservano una notevole quantità di vicugne e guanachi, volpi ed i famosi fenicotteri rosa che si radunano nella laguna che da il nome al parco a circa 4.200 metri di altitudine. Veramente una bella escursione. Consigliata la visita.

8. Canon del Arco Iris

Parque Nacional Talampaya, Villa Union, Argentina
Excellent
66%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 59 reviews

Canon del Arco Iris

Reviewed By Clotilde1948 - Capital Federal District, Argentina

Como todo ahi en el parque, este Cañon muestra todo su esplendor al los visitantes que concurren al legar.
No hay que dejar de verlo.

9. Plaza 25 de Mayo

La Rioja, Argentina
Excellent
28%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 121 reviews

Plaza 25 de Mayo

Reviewed By Luca P

The cafes have good Cappuccino (if you are central European order "cafe con leche" to get a Capuccino) and fresh fruit juices. The shops close during siesta time but the cafes are always open and staff is very friendly in general.

10. Museo Cable Carril

Chilecito, Argentina +54 3825 42-9431
Excellent
32%
Good
52%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 104 reviews

Museo Cable Carril

Reviewed By Dani_SXB - Strasbourg, France

Shame that a world heritage is not taken care! it's an engineer wonder bu there is nothing around to know more about it. there is a little museum in station 1, but there is not a good organisation and explanations and the person in charge knows just a little bit about the history.

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