La Rioja – #ArgentinaDakar among mountains and vineyards

To start our tour of La Rioja Province, we have chosen the Talampaya National Park, which in Kakan Indian language means “dry river of the tala tree”. It is perhaps one of the most imposing spots for those who want to explore mountain ranges with reddish soil and long trails. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Talampaya National Park exhibits a valuable archaeological treasure, where we will learn about the presence of dinosaurs and the cultural heritage of the ancient communities inhabiting the area. The beauty of the multihued rocks and their old
geological formation make it a paradise of freedom and wilderness, with lots of copper-colour settings for our photos during the trip.

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The tour of the park will take us to the most emblematic rock formations, like the Cathedral and the Chessboard, rising in the most stunning manner. While we explore the so-called Lost City we will command the best vantage points in Talampaya, dotted with whimsical shapes carved by the wind and erosion.

The formidable Mt General Belgrano, known as the Nevado de Famatina with abundant mineral treasures, is another must-see place during our journey in the Cuyo region. The barren scenery of La Mejicana mine and surroundings displays a stunning beauty. The region attracts many visitors keen on adventure tourism, but also those eager to become acquainted with the first mining undertakings in the area now no longer in operation.

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The attractive architecture of the city of La Rioja will surprise us with colonial features combined with deep reddish tints typical of the province’s soil. Many of the houses in the town centre keep the old patios with large paving stones, lanterns, and roof tiles that imitate the spirit of the ancient Spanish verandas with a criollo flair. In the dining areas set up in these patios we can try delicious empanadas and the finest regional wines, together with tasteful meat and vegetable stews or a typical Argentine puchero, made with celery and corn broth and marinated meat. Many of these dishes are served in clay bowls to enhance their typical flavours.

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