10 Things to Do in Trelew and Surroundings

Trelew is Welsh, it is dinosaurs, it is penguins, it is the green of its farms and the desert of the Patagonian plateau that surrounds it, it is the Chubut River, it is tradition, it is vacations and it is family. In this article I tell you why it is a very special city for me and everything there is to things to do in Trelew.

Pueblo de Luis is the translation derived from the Welsh language and Trelew owes much to one of its first settlers, Lewis Jones, who was one of the main promoters of the construction of the railroad, creating a station around which the city grew.

But not only that, he also created the printing press and the first newspaper. The first Welsh settlers arrived at the shores of Puerto Madryn on the sailing ship Mimosa on July 28, 1865 (an important date for the whole province) and settled in the Lower Valley of the Chubut River at the end of the 19th century.

Trelew is in Patagonia but it is not as touristy or attractive to tourism as many of the other places that surround it. It is more of a commercial and industrial city, dedicated to the production and export of wool textiles. But even so, it has made a niche in the agenda of tourists visiting Patagonia and we have to tell you 10 things to do in Trelew and surroundings.

10 things to do in Trelew and surroundings

1) The center of the city of Trelew

Trelew’s nerve center is the Plaza de la Independencia. Around it, as in most Argentine cities, are the main church, in this case that of María Auxiliadora, the Municipal building, the Post Office, the Theater, banks and numerous businesses.

The square itself is also very beautiful and worth visiting, especially its beautiful gazebo or kiosk of the Centennial, inaugurated on May 25, 1910 to commemorate the centenary of the May Revolution.

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Trelew is not particularly beautiful, but for some time now many places have been refurbished by making streets pedestrian friendly and arranging the squares with plants, flowers and monuments. One of the avenues where the change is most noticeable is Fontana Avenue, one block from Plaza Independencia. Another example for the squares are those of the Railway or the Centennial, which has a monument in tribute to the Fallen in Malvinas and in the center, one dedicated to Lewis Jones.

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Even the Chiquichano Lagoon, which I didn’t even know existed when I was a child, is now a place where you can go for a walk.

2) Chiquichano Lagoon

The name of the lagoon comes from Cacique Chiquichano, chief of a tribe that inhabited the northern bank of the Chubut River. It is one of the places to see in Trelew thanks to its beauty and care. In addition to being able to take a walk or do sports on the pedestrian and bicycle path, it is inhabited by a large number of birds, such as the pink flamingo, the black and white-necked swan and ducks, among others.

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Right next door is the Trelew Astronomy Center, which was renovated and opened new rooms in 2018 for the public to visit. The highlight is the dome in which images of the sky are projected. You can visit, keep an eye on the Facebook page of the Friends of Astronomy Foundation.

3) Paleontological Museum Egidio Feruglio

The Paleontological Museum is also known as the MEF and has had a modern and renovated building for a few years now. It is one of the main places to visit in Trelew, since it is one of the most important museums in Argentina and is recognized worldwide.

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If you are traveling with children to Trelew, check the agenda on their website, we have seen that they even have nightly “pijameadas” that can be done at the museum. When we passed by, they had open registration to participate in digging up dinosaur fossils. All the info on the MEF web page.

General admission to the Egidio Feruglio Museum: $ 1,400 (USD 4.8)

Just arriving in Trelew from the north, you are greeted by a life-size replica of the world’s largest dinosaur found in Patagonia. He has been called “Titanosaurus”.

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4) Pueblo de Luis Regional Museum

The building that houses the Pueblo de Luis Regional Museum is the oldest in Trelew, the first, since it is where the old train station was located. As mentioned above, the railroad passed through the city thanks to the efforts of Lewis Jones.

It has 7 rooms that exhibit elements that make reference to the history of the city, how it was born and grew together with the original indigenous peoples and the Welsh colonization.

In the front, you can see the Plaza de las Colectividades, with flags with the immigrants who inhabited this area and in the center an obelisk commemorating the centenary of the Welsh Colonization of Patagonia (1865-1965).

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Behind the railroad building, there is a small locomotive that usually has children playing on it.

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5) Union Beach

Playa Unión is not an independent town but the beach resort or beach of the city of Rawson, which is the capital of the province of Chubut. It is so called because a ship called Union was wrecked in the vicinity.

When my brother and I were kids we loved this beach because it had a lot of waves and we had a lot of fun. The beach is not sandy, but is made of small rocks or small stones. When the tide is very low, you can see the sand, although you can not stand and put the umbrella because the ground is wet.

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In Playa Unión there are people who live permanently, however, most of the houses are summer homes. The beach is extensive and at the southern end is the mouth of the Chubut River and Puerto Rawson.

Further south of these two places, there is another beach town, much smaller, called Playa Magaña. There is no sand but pebbles and it is an ideal place to fish and spend a quiet time.

6) Puerto Rawson

It is not a glamorous and colorful port, but you can see the hustle and bustle of a fishing port up close. You also have the opportunity to taste delicious seafood, fish and shellfish, in one of its restaurants. The best known of the restaurants is Cantina Marcelino. In fact, the port street is named after Marcelino González, a true personality.

Puerto Rawson-south coast

From there you can also go on excursions to see the “toninas overas”, which are small black and white dolphins. The excursions depart in the afternoon, which is the best time to see them more easily. In addition, they come to jump and swim alongside the boat.

7) Las Chacras

In the surroundings of the Chubut River, especially to the west of Trelew, there is a series of fields and farms called “Las Chacras”. Route 7 is a rural and gravel road that goes from Trelew to Gaiman, a different alternative to Route 25. Meanwhile, you can see the green landscape, surrounded by the walls of the Patagonian plateau that surrounds the Lower Valley of the Chubut River. You can also take advantage of the opportunity to buy regional products and handicrafts.

Lights in the poplars

8) Gaiman and its tea houses

Gaiman is a small town in the Lower Valley of the Chubut River that still preserves some Welsh customs and traditions, especially represented in the Tea Houses.

🔝 If you want to delve even deeper into Welsh culture, you can see more in both Esquel and Trevelin. Visit our article about things to do in Esquel and find out more.

A visit to Gaiman is not complete without a tasting of the cakes in some of the Tea Houses in town. The best known are Ty Caerdydd and Ty Gwyn:

  • Ty Gwyn is on the north bank of the Chubut River, right in front of a square where we used to play with my brother Nico when we were kids. It used to be the most popular Tea House until Ty Te Caerdydd came along. As of 2022, the price of drinking tea is $2800 per person. They are also less rigid, being able to share services in some cases.
  • Ty Te Caerdydd became famous for having been visited in 1995 by Lady Di. It is somewhat removed from the center, compared to Ty Gwyn. It has a landscaped front yard. At the moment, July 2022, it is permanently closed.

Whichever one you choose to taste the delicatessens they prepare, your table will look something like this.

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And if you prefer, they also have take-out, which was our choice this year. My recommendations: lemon, dulce de leche, strawberry, cream and apple.

The most typical cake is the“Welsh cake“, which is a kind of black sweet bread. This is the one that is usually taken as a gift since it is not only sold fresh in tea houses, but also in gift and souvenir shops and at the airport.

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✏️ How to get to Gaiman? Gaiman is only 15 km west of Trelew and the easiest way to get there is through Route 25, which is a paved road and quite congested with cars and trucks. Another alternative is to take Route 7 through Las Chacras, which is gravel road, if you want to see a different and rural landscape.

9) Punta Tombo

One of the activities to do in Trelew if you travel with children is to go to Punta Tombo, a protected natural reserve where there is a penguin colony. The type of penguin at Punta Tombo is the Magellanic Penguin and there are many colonies along the Patagonian coast, but this is the largest.
They have improved it a lot since the last time I went, mainly by better delimiting the trails, putting in some places wooden walkways and building a very complete Interpretation Center.

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If you want to visit the penguins in Punta Tombo, you should know that they are from September to April. The rest of the months they are at sea feeding and can go up a little in latitude and can even be seen in the coasts of Brazil.

In September, the males arrive to look for the cave they built the previous year and the new males arrive to build their own cave. Then the females arrive and lay their eggs. And January is the best time because that is when the baby penguins start to leave the nests to learn to swim.

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The Tombo Center has a lot of information about penguins and their life cycle, and also tells you what birds and mammals they live with.

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✏️ The general admission price for foreigners is $ 1,300 (€ 4.5) and for nationals $ 600 (updated 2022). There are discounts for residents of the province of Chubut, minors and retirees.

📷 Book an excursion to see the penguins from Puerto Madryn. They also take you to Playa Unión and Puerto Rawson, where you can go on the excursion to see the Commerson’s dolphins and have lunch at the port, and also to Gaiman, to have a snack. Super complete!

10) Ameghino Dam

Dique Ameghino is a reservoir west of Trelew that collects water coming from the Chubut River. To get there, take route 25, drive about 100 kms and at the Las Chapas gas station, turn left for about 5 kms.

On one side of the dam built in 1963, there is an artificial lake formed by the dam and on the other side there is a campground and recreation area. There are barbecue grills, an artificial pool on the river and numerous activities such as fishing, climbing, etc., are available. Undoubtedly one of the ideal places to visit from Trelew to spend a day or two with family and friends.

Florentino Ameghino Dam

Obviously, if you made it all the way to Trelew, you have to stop by Puerto Madryn to enjoy everything there is to see there.
And if beaches are your thing, enjoy the best beaches in the south of Argentina.

Where to stay in Trelew?

The city does not have a wide range of hotels. It is best to stay in the heart of the city. If you want more tranquility and green spaces, the area of farms near the Chubut River is ideal. Three recommendations for lodging in Trelew are:

  • Rayentray Hotel: located in the heart of the city center, it occupies a tall building. Comfortable rooms, excellent breakfast and indoor pool.
  • La Casa de Paula Hosteria Artesanal: 500 meters from the main square, it is an accommodation to enjoy the tranquility of the garden, the decoration of its common spaces and a very abundant breakfast.
  • El Colibrí Cabins: run by its owners, the cabins are located on the outskirts of downtown and very close to the Chubut River, ideal to enjoy nature. They have a swimming pool.

🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Trelew.

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There is a lot to see in Trelew, don’t you think? What do you like the most? any questions or doubts?

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