Trevelin (Welsh, TRE: City and VELIN: Mill) was founded in the late nineteenth century by Welsh settlers in the lower valley of the river Chubut. The first Welsh inhabitants arrived to the region in the expedition commanded by Colonel Fontana on 25th November 1885. Formerly the Welsh settlers called this valley “Cwm Hyfryd”, which currently has the name of Valle Hermoso. It was officially founded with the name Valley of 16th October.
It is a mountain village on the banks of the river Percey, surrounded by large lakes and rivers of extreme natural beauty. 25th November of each year there is the Fiesta del Pueblo.
Trevelin is only 22 km from Esquel, and 24 km from Los Alerces National Park.
Rotonda 28 de Julio y Plaza Coronel Fontana CP (9203) Tel: (02945) 455652/451927/453145
- Postal Code: 9203
- National Direct Dial: 02945
- International dial in: 54 2945
- Latitude and longitude: 43 ° 5’13 “N 71 ° 27’41″ W
Continental cold and dry. It is a typical area of rain and snow in winter, allowing the realization of winter sports, and a dry and sunny summer. The prevailing winds come from the west.
Average temperatures range from 3°C to 5°C in winter and between 16°C and 25°C in summer. In the summer of 2008 there were very high temperatures: in some cases reached 35°C to 37°C. There are strong falls of snow during the winter. The winter of 2007 was unusual, since it snowed only two days throughout the winter.
Soil and topography
The landscape is mainly formed by the action of glaciers 11,000 years ago. When the ice retreated it created drainage systems, forming numerous lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Then, the area was covered by volcanic ash, which helped develop the fertile soil. The region is bounded by mountains.
Trevelin is located in the wetlands of Patagonia, but near the edge of the dry zone, hence the varied landscape: grasslands and prairies in the east, a transition park filled of a tree called maitén in the west, and almost at the foot of the Andes there are the cold woods of raulíes, lengas, coihues, ñires, Patagonian cypress, oak, maquis, myrtles and giant lahuanes or Alerce (Fitzroy) up to 60 meters high and 3.5 meters in diameter with more than 3,000 years. Under these species of trees there is the formation of ice, sarsaparilla, the caulker, mushrooms, among others.
Within Los Alerces National Park the annual precipitation is 4,000 mm, forming a forest of Andean Patagonia richer in valdivian vegetation where you can find the planet’s oldest larch trees. This national park was created to give protection to these larch forests, which in the early twentieth century were about to disappear due to the uncontrolled exploitation of man. On both sides of Lake Menendez these majestic specimens have an estimated age of 4,000 years and 70 meters high.
The rose hips, the lupine and daisies are exotic Europeans specimens that have become a serious problem for the conservation of native species due to their unassisted widespread, which replaces the original.
Trevelin has an exceptional microclimate, and in protected areas such as Lake Baguilt we can find the lichen a plant associated to fungi and green algae. Its presence is synonymous with “fresh air” because it has only developed in non-contaminated sites.
There are many species of birds like the chucao, Patagonian woodpecker, the Pythian, the austral parakeet, the falcon, the austral thrush, the araucanian dove (endangered), the tero, ducks, herons, flamingos, rheas, gulls, eagles, owls, and other birds such as majestic condors, among others.
The Los Alerces National Park is home to many endangered species like the pudu (the world smallest deer), the Huina car, the huillín or the Patagonian otter, the tucu-tucus (a burrowing rodent that lives in caves), the Puma and more importantly, the Andean deer (huemul) a species of deer native to Patagonia that inhabits the forest and is in serious danger of extinction. In Argentina, the Huemul was declared National Natural Monument and is under the maximum protection that can be attributed to species. This deer can be seen from the hill at Cerro Riscoso, declared critical area for conservation of the species. If you see a huemul in any sector of the park (almost an impossible dream), it is very important to inform the National Parks.
Poaching threatens both huemul and the puma, both highly prized by hunters. Furthermore, the introduced species such as fallow deer, wild boar, hare and mink have caused a serious impact.
In lakes and rivers, salmon and trout are abundant species prized by sport fishermen.
It is very common to view guanacos from the road. In the national park you can see the chucao, since this bird is very tame and curious.
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Guided city tours:
Cartref Taid Museum “Grandfather’s House”
You can hear the story told by the granddaughter of Johan Daniel Evans, a leading figure in the history of Trevelin and Argentina, and his horse Malacara, the faithful animal who saved his life in the ambush of the Indians (Valley of the Martyrs). There is also the tomb of the horse Malacara and many photos and articles.
If you want to know a little about the history of Argentina, you should visit this museum.
Museum of Regional History
Open all year, the museum is housed in the old Flour Mill of the Andes, founded by John Daniel Evans. Here you can find part of local history and antiquities used by the residents.
The first chapel was opened in 1897, made entirely of wood. In the year 1910 was built of brick a completely new one, which was restored in 1997.
Welsh Tea Houses
There are two houses that serve tea accompanied by Welsh regional sweets, including the famous Welsh black cake. The visitor should not leave Trevelin without having visited one of these traditional tea houses:
Nain Maggie: Perito Moreno 179. Tel: (02945) 480-427
La Mutisia: Avenida San Martin 170. Tel: (02945) 480-165.
School No. 18 (Museo del Plebiscito)
On April 30, 1902 this small school of Valley 16th October hosted one of the most significant events in the history of border disputes between Argentina and Chile. There, the residents, mostly Welsh and some Mapuche and Tehuelche tribes gathered by the expert Francisco Moreno in front of the tribunal presided over by Thomas Holdich to submitt a document expressing their desire that the border conflict ended as quickly as possible so that the Argentine government could continue to develop the colony. This event was crucial to the decision in favor of Argentina.
To reach the school you must take the Provincial Route 34 (the path to “Los Rifleros”), 9 km from Trevelin. After 6 kilometers there is the “Piedra Holdich,” a stone monument in honor of the British judge who decided the dispute between Chile and Argentina in 1902. You can also reach the museum by leaving the Rincones del Sur complex by Antonio Miguens street, and the distance is about 8 km.
A little bit of history…
In 1865, the ship Mimosa sailed from Liverpool. Boarding it were one hundred and fifty Welsh, escaping British rule over their small country. After two months at sea, it landed in Puerto Madryn, on 28th of July 1865. Then they moved to the banks of the Chubut River, where they began to build their first houses, settling the towns of Rawson and Gaiman.
They established a peaceful relationship with the Indians, which resulted in mutual benefit. The natives, mainly the Tehuelches, helped the settlers to become familiar with the new land and their culture, and marketed the products of their hunting activity. They also encouraged the Welsh settlers to look for more fertile and safe lands at the foot of the mountains.
One of the most remembered episodes to the Welsh community in Chubut was the terrible incident that happened in Valle de los Mártires (Valley of the Martyrs) on 4th of March 1884, when a group of four Welsh searching for better lands or gold were attacked by men of chief Foyel. Three of them were brutally murdered, while John Daniel Evans, riding his horse Malacara, took the only way of escape by spurring Malacara towards a precipitous slope into a deep canyon. Malacara made the leap successfully and scrambled up the other side of the canyon. None of Evans’ pursuers dared to make the same leap, and the lead he gained while they went round the canyon enabled him to reach safety.
Malacara lived on until 1909, dying at the age of 31. Evans buried him at Trevelin in a grave bearing the inscription “Here lie the remains of my horse Malacara, who saved my life in the Indian attack in the Valley of the Martyrs 4-3-84 when returning from the mountains”. Malacara’s grave is now one of the tourist attractions of Trevelin.
In 1885, twenty years after the Welsh arrival to Chubut, Colonel Luis Jorge Fontana, lead the expedition of the 29 Rifleros guided by John Daniel Evans, crossing from east to west in search of fertile land that they had heard from the Tehuelches. After a long journey they arrive to Hyfryd Cwm or Beautiful Valley, named so after being impressed by the region natural beauty and wealth. It was recognized as “Valley 16th of October” in the year 1888.
One of the historical and cultural manifestations of Welsh tradition is the Eisteddfod, a festival of poetry and music in the Welsh language. The first festival was held in the Eisteddfod Mill in 1922.
Los Alerces National Park
Route 71 leads to one of the finest national parks in Argentina, with 263,000 hectares of forests protecting precious millennial larches. It is located only 24 km from Trevelin. There are many scenic places, such as the Green Lake and the river Arrayanes.
If you get to the Pasarela del río Arrayanes you can cross the river via a guided tour through the woods to port Chucao. It is very beautiful to enjoy the paths surrounded by red brooms (Genista andreana), as we see in the photos below.
One of the region’s most important tours is Safari do Lago, the Lake Safari, a tourist attraction not to be missed. The tour begins when you arrive to Pasarela del río Arrayanes, and there begins a circuit between the Andean Patagonian forest that leads directly to the port Chucao. Before reaching the destination the boat stops briefly in front of the Glaciar Torrecillas.
We recommend the walking tour trough the Woods and Valdivian jungle, and also the Lago dos Cisnes (Swan Lake) rapids that will lead to “Abuelo” (grandfather), a 2600 year-old larche with three meters diameter. This tour takes place throughout the year.
Another tour is the visit to Glaciar Torrecillas, including trekking on the glacier, food and equipment. This tour takes place only in summer.
Other option is the excursion to Lake Kruger, starting in Porto Limonao and going through the Futalafquen Lake to the “Straits of Monsters”, which unites this lake with the Kruger. The tour includes walks along the river Frey, where several species of the area can be seen.
Route 71 goes along the shores of Lake Futalaufquen, Arrayanes River, Green Lake, River and Lake Rivadavia, until you reach the picturesque village of Cholila. In Cholila you can visit the cottage of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and his wife Ethel Place, the main tourist attraction for those who follow the legend of the famous outlaws.
Nant & Fall Waterfalls
Nant & Fall Tour and other tours in the RN 259
Nant & Fall waterfalls are located 20 km from Trevelin, near the national route 259 that leads to Los Cipreses. I’ts the first Protected Provincial Area used for tourism. A day-trip with various viewpoints, you can admire the waterfalls of La petisa, Las Mellizas and Great Falls, in a forest consisting of cypress, coihues and other tree species such as radal, laura and maiténs.
After visiting the falls and following up to the border is the Nant Fach Mill, faithful replica of the mills used by Welsh settlers and still operating. If you love fishing, be sure to visit the station of Piscicultura (Fish Culture), a Center for Research and Production responsible for maintaining stable populations of trout and salmon. Open 9 to 18.
Only 2 km away it’s the Estabelecimento Jordan, a family smokehouse company dedicated to creating and smoking trout. A pleasant journey and an interesting conversation about the smoking process, and ultimately invites you to taste various of the smoked products.
Lake Rosario is about 28 km from Trevelin, accessed via national route 259 and national route 17. It is a place of spectacular beauty which has a picturesque village, where you can buy handicrafts. There is a camp with children playground where to spend the day. There you can picnic by the river and enjoy its beauty and tranquility. You can also enjoy fishing and water activities.
This beautiful mountain lake, recently declared a nature reserve is located at the foot of Cerro Conico, within the natural limit of Argentina – Chile, from which descend the glacial waters that nourish it. Given the area’s natural wealth and extreme fragility, the scientific and recreational activities occurring on its territory must be accompanied by an expert guide to ensure the safety of visitors and the integrity of the natural heritage.
Suitable only for: 4 × 4 vehicles, mountain biking, trekking or horseback riding. Excursions: bird watching, trekking, horseback riding, climbing.
Futaleufú Hydroelectric Complex
The Futaleufu hydroelectric complex, located in southern sector of Alerces National Park, 16 km from Trevelin, is an impressive work of engineering. Within the complex there are different beaches in the huge artificial lake Amutui Quimei (beauty disappeared), and sectors with natural pools where you can swim and have a nice day.
From the landfill within the complex there are trekking tours to the border with Chile.
In the path to the hydroelectric project is the experimental field of INTA. You can visit it and receive information about the activities of the region. There is also a self-guided trail.
This photo is a wonderful view of the opening of the dam, held in 2009.
Gateway to Chile
The closest international border is only 40 km from Trevelin. On the Argentine side is the city of Los Cipreses and on the Chilean side the town of Futaleufu. The other border is 80 km away and divides the Argentine city of Carrenleufú with Palena in Chile.
Futaleufú International Crossing
The RN 259 arrives at the nearest international border, just 35 km from Trevelin. The last city on the Argentine side is Los Cipreses, and on the Chilean side is Futaleufu, a small town with picturesque houses, just 15 km from the border.
At the Border there is the Gendarmeria (police) to do the migration processes.
In Futaleufu there are rafting activities with rapids ranging from Class II to V.
If you wish to continue your journey through Chilean territory you must take the winding road that connects to Carretera Austral. Follow this road until Chaitén, located in the Pacific Ocean, where you can spend the night waiting for the next day ferry to Quellón (on the island of Chiloé) or Puerto Montt.
Corcovado, Carrenleufú and Palena
Take RN 259, and after 6 km you reach the intersection with RN 17 to Corcovado. Corcovado Valley is very picturesque and a haven for fishermen. It’s also a good place for kayaking and rafting (a must for anyone performing this activity for the first time). Corcovado is 80 km from Trevelin. If we continue on this road another 20 km you reach Carrenleufú, which is another international border that divides the Carrenleufú in Argentina with Palena in Chile.
In Carrenleufú there’s the migration processes to cross to Palena. From there you can enter a path through valdivian jungle to the small port of Puerto Ramirez. This circuit is connected with the passage to Futaleufu, allowing a return to Trevelin by RN 259.
If you reached Carrenleufú and don’t want to cross into Chile, we recommend that you follow the path that leads to the catwalk. Just before reaching it appears that the road is lost and is going through cross country, but do not worry and keep going some more meters to arrive to a place that you will never forget.
Another option when visiting Corcovado is Lake Vintter, with bright blue waters, surrounded by forested mountains with rocky beaches on the south side, which makes this place a good choice for a day. Rio Grande or Futaleufú
This imposing river, which looks like a lake (hence the name Grande – great), allows multiple activities such as fishing and navigation. The environment and landscape of this river make it one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. You can enjoy a day at the campsite Aiken Leufu, on the river banks. Recommendation: do not forget to try the scones!
Piedra Parada (Standing stone)
From Esquel take the Route 40 and travel 17 km to the junction with the provincial route 12. From here, 65 km of gravel road to Gualjaina, a small village near Piedra Parada (42km). In the area you can find paintings and remains of bones and arrows. Across the river Chubut you can watch the “Buitrera” or “Great Canyon” which is a place enclosed by walls of more than 100 meters high with a distance of 6 km. The first recommended route is called the “slow sleep”, this being the first track of “escalation” of the place where you go up a total of 240 meters of climbing.
The second path that you can do is the “Big Bang”, which has a height of 248 meters with a very exposed route.
There is a ride to Piedra Parada floating in the river Chubut. Includes lunch and snack. After lunch, there is a trekking through the canyons, and then a snack before returning to Trevelin. The trip includes full equipment for navigation.
Located at 110 km from Trevelin, it shows the history of native peoples and immigrants, and other stories such as the American bandits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
It is surrounded by dramatic mountain landscape. Leleque was named after a plant originating in the place.
The museum contains history of native tribes, and you can see a replica of a Tehuelche’s awning, objects of the first Welsh settlers, and even a small replica of a flour mill. There are other stories such as the American bandits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which leads us to times not too distant, but very different from our current days.
“El Boliche” recreates a typical 20’s store. You can taste local beer and buy local crafts.
The museum closes on Wednesdays. Also during the month of May, June and September, the museum is closed. Please check schedules.
After visiting the Leleque museum, you can return to Cholila passing through the house where Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid lived. A curious detail of this house was that there were doors and windows throughout the house, not to mention the site is located next to the river and has a panoramic view. Did they feel persecuted?
If you like tea you can visit the house next door, which also houses many belongings of famous outlaws.
Walking in the ice tunnels of Cerro La Torta
This tour combines 4 x 4 adventures and trekking to Cerro La Torta. Arriving at the foot of the Irigoyen Fall you can see the ice tunnels. This tour includes lunch.
The Trochita “Old Patagonian Express”
This historic train, whose steam locomotives – functioning since 1922 – are the last in the world still operating, was declared a National Monument in 1999. The train began operating in 1945.
The train leaves from Esquel Station until Nahuel Pan Station, a journey that you will never forget. Tours are held every year. There are discounts for seniors, students, residents and children.
Establishment Jordan (smokehouse) Fishgrowing, Museums – see Welsh culture, the city of Esquel.
Ski, Safari, Canopy, Rafting (Class II, III and IV), Fly Fishing, horse riding, trekking, canoeing, etc.
More options on sports tourism