Tranquil and cultured, the well-preserved provincial town of MERCEDES, 37km southwest of Luján along the RN-5, was founded in 1752 as a fortress to protect that city from Indian attacks. It’s easy to find your way around – the main drag, Avenida 29, crosses central Plaza San Martín, which plays host to the grand Italianate Palacio Municipal and large Gothic Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de Mercedes and is a real hub of activity – especially in the evening, when locals fill the tables that spill out of its inviting confiterías. Mercedes’ main draw, though, is its unmissable pulpería.