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Trelew is a city in eastern Patagonia, founded by settlers from Wales and located southwest of Puerto Madryn, about 20 km from the Atlantic coast. With about 100,000 inhabitants, it is the second town by population in Argentina's Chubut province. It is not a touristy city and has few attractions, but may be a convenient stopover.

Understand[edit]

Trelew's city center (Avenida Fontana)

Trelew is located in the fertile Río Chubut valley, where mainly fruit (particularly cherries) and vegetables are grown. It serves as a service center for the region and has a large wool-processing industry sector. The city was founded in 1886 by Welsh settlers. It has few historical buildings, but its city center feels unique in the region because of the large number of narrow streets and walkways, called pasajes.

The city is a good base for excursions to places like Rawson and its beaches, the Punta Tombo reserve and Camarones and is well connected via public transport to the rest of the province. The climate is arid, windy and fairly sunny, typical for Central Patagonia, with warm to hot summers and cool winters with frequent nightly frost.

Get in[edit]

The airport in Trelew is served by Aerolinas Argentina 2-3 times a day as a stop-over from flights going to / leaving from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and Ushuaia. Additionally, buses regularly arrive and depart the bus depot. It is roughly a 23-hr bus ride from Buenos Aires.

Get around[edit]

The city is served by an extensive local bus service which besides providing transportation around the city also provides service to nearby Rawson.

See[edit]

Dinosaur exhibit in Museo Paleontológico
  • Museo Paleontológico Egido Feruglio (MEF). Museum with a fairly large collection of Patagonian dinosaur bones. Also serves as a research facility. AR$600.
  • The Museo Municipal de Artes Visuales – A fantastic little art gallery featuring local artists in the town square that is worth a short visit.
  • The Museo Regional Pueblo de Luis – An interesting, if random, collection of things detailing the city's Welsh history. It is located in the old train station: Sarmiento y 28 de Julio.
  • Banco Nación, 25 de Mayo 2. An eclectic-style building with a clock tower, built in 1922/23.
  • Plaza Independencia, 25 de Mayo and Rivadavia. The pleasant, shady square hosts an old kiosk from 1910, built in commemoration of the May Revolution.
  • Capilla Tabernacl, Belgrano 341. Trelew's oldest building is a small Welsh chapel built in 1899.
  • Iglesia Maria Auxiliadora, San Martín 200. Trelew's main Catholic church, a nice building with historic and modern elements, built in 1960.

Do[edit]

  • Dolphin and Whale watching – Trelew is a 15-min taxi ride from the port city of Rawson where multiple companies provide dolphin and whale watching excursions that part from the Playa Unión beach. The main attractions in this area are the black-and-white Commerson dolphins (called toninas locally), while chances to see bigger whales are better at the Valdes Peninsula.
  • Laguna Chiquichano – A pleasant little lake just east of the city center with a park surrounding it, ideal for sports and bird watching.
  • Lagunas del Ornitólogo – Another lake system east of the city. They host a rich bird life, including flamingoes and black swans. A convenient access parts from north of the roundabout of Ruta Nacional 3 and Ruta Provincial 7 (on the way to Rawson). There is no public transport nor infrastructure. The most interesting are the first lakes of the chain, while the biggest and last one, the Laguna Negra, is becoming polluted and generally an unpleasant place.
  • Walk the pasajes (alleys and narrow streets) in the city centre. In most of them you will find a rather unspectacular mix of mostly modern and scattered older architecture, but there are plenty of things to discover, like cute old houses and buildings (e.g. in Pasaje Jujuy), bars and street art.

Buy[edit]

  • Trelew's main shopping district is located between Avenida Fontana, which has a semi-pedestrian mall, and Plaza Independencia, with plenty of shops also in 25 de Mayo, San Martín and the surrounding streets.
  • In the surroundings in the Chubut Valley, there are several farms selling typical regional agricultural products like confiture, cheese, liquors and wines and ovine meat.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

There are several Welsh-inspired tea houses in the city, offering also typical pastry. Trelew has several bars, discotheques and pubs, some of them located in the narrow alleys of the city center.

Sleep[edit]

Despite of being slightly larger, Trelew has significantly less accommodation options than Puerto Madryn. However, there are several good options for the traveller.

  • Hotel Touring Club, Avenida Fontana 240, +54 2965 433 997. A beautiful building, with a lovely café/bar with fantastic coffee. The rooms can be questionable, but satisfactory. The place has a high novelty factor overall.
  • Rayentray Hotel, Belgrano 397. Lower mid-range hotel with excellent location in the city center.
  • Hotel Libertador, Rivadavia 31. Mid-range hotel in the city center.
  • La Casa de Franchesca Hostel, Bell 2405. Budget hostel in a quiet area in the south of the city.
  • Cabañas El Colibrí, Amancay 3052. Bungalows in a quiet area in the outskirts, near the shore of the Chubut river.

Go next[edit]

Tea house in Gaiman
Penguins and Guanaco in Punta Tombo
  • Frequent buses run to the Welsh towns nearby. Tourists flock to Gaiman (15 km west of Trelew) for Welsh high tea and trinkets and to visit the Welsh chapels in the area. The Parque El Desafío is a wonderful and fanciful place on the outskirts of Gaiman that can be best described as an open-air art gallery made with recycled things. There is a small entrance fee. Some pictures and information can be found at [1] [dead link]. A smaller and less touristy Welsh town is Dolavon, about 30 km west of Trelew.
  • Punta Tombo is a nature reserve about 100 km south of Trelew on the Atlantic coast. Located on a peninsula, it hosts Argentina's largest penguin colony. There are no public buses to the reserve, but excursions tend to be cheaper from Trelew than from Puerto Madryn.
  • Camarones is a small town at 170 km south of Trelew (there are no larger intermediate towns) with a penguin and a sea-lion colony, beaches and nice rocky coastal landscapes.
  • Rawson, Chubut's provincial capital, is a quiet, spacious town with only about 25,000 inhabitants and located 15 km east of the city. Its main attractions are its port at the mouth of the Chubut river and the nearby beaches of Playa Unión and Playa Magagna.
  • Puerto Madryn is about 60 km northeast of Trelew and the gateway to the nature reserves on the Valdes Peninsula, with sea-lions, birds and whales to observe.
  • The Río Chubut Valley crosses the whole north of Chubut Province and has a very diverse landscape. You will start in the agricultural lower part, passing the Florentino Ameghino dam surrounded by colourful rocks, the dry central area with strange canyons and rock formations like Los Altares, and the greener Andean landscape of the upper part around Esquel and Trevelin. There are a few very small towns like Las Plumas and Paso de Indios with basic accommodation.


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