Few settlements in Chubut’s Andean interior retain the Welsh imprint, but tranquil Trevelin, with historic houses and teahouses to rival Gaiman , is the exception. Only half an hour from Esquel , it owes its name to a Welsh compound meaning “mill town” after its first flour mill, now a history museum.
Trevelin (pop. 4,849), south of Esquel 24 kilometers via RN 259, is also unique for its disorienting octagonal Plaza Coronel Fontana, from which the highway continues south as Avenida San Martín; it’s the main commercial street and thoroughfare to Corcovado and the Chilean border post of Futaleufú . Other streets fan out from the plaza.
Chile-bound motorists should fill the tank here, as Futaleufú has no gas station and Chilean prices are substantially higher than those in Argentine Patagonia.
In 1922, Welsh immigrants founded the Molino Harinero de la Compañía Andes, the flour mill that’s now the Museo Molino Viejo (Molino Viejo 488, tel. 02945/48-0189, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily Jan.–Feb. and July, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. the rest of the year, US$1 adults, US$0.50 children under age 12).
Commercially closed in 1953, it was then used for wool storage; a fire gutted the interior in 1972, but its solid brick walls survived to become the city’s historical museum. Contents include period clothing, furniture, carriages, and agricultural machinery as well as photographs, maps, and documents. It also devotes space to the Mapuche and Tehuelche, and notes an early-20th-century banditry crackdown, by the army, that was tough on honest settlers.
Two blocks northeast of the plaza, the offbeat Museo Cartref Taid (Malacara s/n, tel. 02945/48-0108, 10 a.m.–noon and 3:30–8 p.m. daily summer and July, 3:30–8 p.m. daily the rest of the year, US$2) holds the Tumba de Malacara, the final resting place of a horse that helped its rider, Trevelin founder John D. Evans, flee an Araucanian raid during the Argentine army’s 1880s war against the indigenes.
At the south end of town, built of brick, the Capilla Bethel (Ap Iwan and Laprida) is a Welsh chapel dating from 1897; it has also served as a school.
About 19 kilometers south of Trevelin via RN 259 and a short southbound lateral, Reserva Provincial Nant-y-Fall is a provincial park with a 400-meter footpath to a string of waterfalls, the highest of which is 67 meters. Nant-y-Fall’s source is Lago Rosario, a sub-alpine lake on a Mapuche reservation 24 kilometers southwest of Trevelin via RP 17 and a short eastbound lateral.
Six kilometers west of Nant-y-Fall, the provincial Estación de Salmonicultura (salmon hatchery) offers guided tours 10 a.m.–noon and 2–8 p.m. weekdays. There are several campgrounds and cabañas along RN 259, which leads to the Chilean border.
In the Valle 16 de Octubre, about five kilometers east of Trevelin via gravel road, the historic Escuela No. 18 stands near the site of a 1902 plebiscite that determined that Trevelin would stay on the Argentine side of the border (the original adobe building no longer exists). The onetime school now holds the Museo del Plebiscito 1902 (11 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sun. summer, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Thurs.–Sun. the rest of the year, free), an outlier of Trevelin’s regional museum that commemorates the 1902 events.
In summer, Plaza Coronel Fontana hosts a weekend crafts market that also takes place on holidays. The rest of the year, it takes place every other Sunday.
Except for cabañas, which are primarily for family groups, accommodations are few. On high ground a few blocks east of the plaza, the HI affiliate
Casaverde Hostel (Los Alerces s/n, tel. 02945/48-0091, www.casaverdehostel.com.ar , US$10–13 pp dorm, US$35–42 d) is a prize: comfortable rooms, a bar, and extensive grounds with views of the Andes. It’s small, though, so reservations—or good timing—are essential. It also rents bicycles, but breakfast costs extra.
Other options include Residencial Pezzi (Sarmiento 353, tel. 02945/48-0146, hpezzi [at] intramed [dot] com [dot] ar, summer only, US$42 d) and Residencial Estefanía (Perito Moreno and Sarmiento, tel. 02945/48-0148, santidoc [at] ciudad [dot] com [dot] ar, US$42 d), which has petulant ownership.
New in 2008, Trevelin’s best new option Hostería Casa de Piedra (Brown 244, tel. 02945/48-0357, www.casadepiedratrevelin.com , US$66 s or d), a 10-room two-story B&B of stone and polished natural wood that offers king-size beds, continental or buffet breakfast, and amenities that include Wi-Fi.
Welsh teahouses are fewer here than in Gaiman , but the quality is still outstanding. The traditional favorite, in modern quarters, is Nain Maggie (Perito Moreno 179, tel. 02945/48-0232), but there’s nothing wrong with Las Mutisias (Avenida San Martín 170, tel. 02945/48-0165). Very filling late-afternoon teas cost about US$10 pp.
Reservations are advisable at Patagonia Celta (25 de Mayo s/n, tel. 02945/48-0722, lunch and dinner daily), which has a diverse menu of Argentine regional specialties in agreeable surroundings as well as excellent service. Despite the name, it has no direct Welsh connections.
Decer (Almirante Brown 398) has outstanding ice cream.
In daylight hours, Transportes Jacobsen/Vía Trevelin shuttles between Esquel  and Trevelin frequently; some buses continue to the Chilean border crossing at La Balsa/Futaleufú (8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Mon., Wed., and Fri., US$8). Long-distance travelers have to return to Esquel.