Introducing San Juan
Living in the shadow of a world-class destination like Mendoza can’t be easy and, to its credit, San Juan doesn’t even try to compete. Life in this provincial capital moves at its own pace, and the locals are both proud of and humble about their little town.
No slouch on the wine production front, San Juan’s wineries are refreshingly low-key after the Mendoza bustle, and the province’s other attractions are all within easy reach of the capital. Most come here en route to Parque Provincial Ischigualasto.
In 1944 a massive earthquake destroyed the city center, and Juan Perón’s subsequent relief efforts are what first made him a national figure. The city goes dead in summer, especially on Sunday, when all of San Juan heads to the nearby shores of Dique Ullum for relief from the sun.
San Juan is 170km north of Mendoza via RN 40 and 1140km from Buenos Aires. Like most Argentine cities, San Juan’s grid pattern makes orientation very easy; the addition of cardinal points – norte (north), sur (south), este (east) and oeste (west) – to street addresses helps even more. East–west Av San Martín and north–south Calle Mendoza divide the city into these quadrants. The functional center of town is south of Av San Martín, often referred to as Av Libertador.