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La Rioja

La Rioja (Argentina)

Practical information about La Rioja

  • Park and garden
  • Archaeological Site
  • Off the beaten track
2 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
6 hours by bus from Córdoba and 14 hours from Bueno Aires
When to go
From April to November
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of La Rioja

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

La Rioja is a small provincial town, 6 hours by bus from Córdoba or Mendoza, or 14 hours from Buenos Aires, which is used as the base for visiting Ischigualasto and Talampaya parks.

My suggestion:
Rather than spending the day in La Rioja, and wasting your time organising your excursions to Ischigualasto et Talampaya, I recommend that you reserve them in advance.

I arrived at La Rioja early one morning to organise excursions to Ischigualasto and Talampaya parks. The first thing I noticed is that the bus station is really far away from the centre of town. Then I spent nearly two hours looking for a room. There are few hotels in La Rioja and they fill up quickly. It's strange because few tourists come here during their trip to Argentina. Then I spent the whole afternoon looking for other people who wanted to do the trip the next day so we could reduce the cost. A bit of a nightmare.

As there is nothing to do in La Rioja I suggest that you don't make the same mistake that I did, instead, make your reservations in advance. Just to cap it all, La Rioja is quite a distance from the two parks but it is even more complicated to organise everything from San Augustín or Villa Unión.

Mountains around La Rioja
Aurélie Gottar Travel writer
10 travel articles

La Rioja is quite centrally located and is basically somewhere to stop at in order to break the monotony of the long journeys you have to make between the various cities in northwest Argentina.

My suggestion:
Unless you're interested in going on any of the organised tours to sites in the local area, this city doesn't really have that much of interest to offer.

The city of La Rioja serves as a place to stop off at on your trip to Argentina but is not particularly interesting in itself. The liveliest part of the city is the area between the "9 de Julio" and "25 de Mayo" squares, both of which are surrounded by tourist restaurants, shopping streets and various churches. The shops close and the streets empty of people in the afternoon however, during the hours of siesta.

I stopped at La Rioja for a break on my way from Salta to Mendoza. The tourist office here, by the bus station, has lots of information about all the accommodation options available in the city and the organised tours available to sites in the local area. Not really wanting to go on a tour myself, I decided instead to visit Sanagasta, a little village a half-hour bus ride from La Rioja. From there I was taken to the dinosaur park, a tourist attraction located at a site where intact dinosaur eggs covered in a layer of ash have been discovered. This is an interesting place to visit for geology and palaeontology enthusiasts, and for children and young people too.

Sanagasta dinosaur park
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