La Rioja Province

La Rioja Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms

Geografical Location

La Rioja Map

Area: 89.680 Km2

Population: 289.983 (2001).

Capital City: La Rioja.

Main Cities: La Rioja, Chilecito, Aimogasta, Chamical, Chepes, Villa Unión, Nonogasta, Famatina.

The province of La Rioja, northwestern Argentina, is bounded by the province of Catamarca, on the north; the provinces of Catamarca and Córdoba, on the east; the province of San Luis, on the south; and the province of San Juan and the Republic of Chile, on the west.

It has an area of 89,680 square kilometers (2.4% of the country area), marked by sharp contrasts within the provincial relief. From the western plains to the Andes foothills, stretches one of the most arid ambients of Argentina. On the west extreme is the Frontal cordillera, with peaks exceeding 1,219 feet. Eastward, the great altitude of the Famatina Sierra allows humidity condensation in the form of either rain or snow, the fusion of which feeds a series of rivers that irrigate the greatest oasis in the province: Chilecito. Annual precipitation amounts to 300 mm in the eastern area.

Political Organization and Demographic Structure:

This province, the capital city of which has the same name, is divided into 18 departments, with separate political and administrative powers.

Annual growth rate is 28.4‰, while density is 2.5 inhabitants per square kilometer. Urban population represents 76% of the total. (1991).

Talampaya Nat. Park

Cuesta de Miranda close to Chilecito

Weather Forecast for La Rioja City

Weather Condition in La Rioja City

Weather Forecast for Chamical

Weather Condition in Chamical


The valleys located between the sierras are small orchards which make possible human settlement and economic activity based on agriculture.

Due to the arid climatic conditions, the development of irrigation systems has been vital to land cultivation. Annual average temperature is, approximately, 19°C/66°F, with extreme summer peaks of 45°C/113°F.

Economic Structure:

In 1992, the primary sector contributed 3% to the value added of the global supply of goods and services. The secondary sector generated 39%, while the remaining 58% of the global economic activity, corresponds to the supply of financial, transport and communications, commerce, tourism, and government services.

Different industrial extension regulations have triggered La Rioja’s industry. Canned industry (based on the olive tree), oils, skins and hides, textile industry with relatively high integration, and sporting footwear. Outstanding in the primary sector are grapevine (fresh grapes and wine) and olive trees crops; animal husbandry is also being developed. In mining, ornamental rocks and industrial minerals are important at national level; there are numerous projects to further expand the sector.


Tourist attractiveness is chiefly based on the Talampaya National Park and the region of Chilecito.

Places to Visit

Talampaya National Park