Rawson (pop. 22,355) is Chubut’s low-profile capital, and in truth there’s little to see in this nondescript bureaucratic outpost. Its suburb of Playa Unión, though, is an ecotourism destination for the glossy black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins that dart around and under launches that motor through the waters fronting its long sandy beach.
To see the dolphins (which are common in other coastal destinations), contact Toninas Adventure (Avenida Marcelino González s/n, tel. 02965/49-8372, toninasadventure [at] msn [dot] com) or Estación Marítima Commerson’s (Avenida Marcelino González s/n, tel. 02965/49-8508); excursions cost about US$25 pp. While waiting, or afterward, try a seafood lunch at a dockside cantina such as Cantina Marcelino (tel. 02965/49-6960).
Playa Unión also has decent accommodations at Hostería Le Bon (Rifleros 68, tel. 02965/49-6638, US$50 s, US$57 d).
Rawson’s Secretaría de Turismo y Areas Protegidas de la Provincia del Chubut (Moreno and Avenida Maíz, tel. 02965/48-1113, www.chubutur.gov.ar ) has information on the entire province. Playa Unión has its own Centro de Atención al Turista (Avenida Rawson and Centenario, tel. 02965/449-6887, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.).
Trelew  to Rawson buses run every 15 minutes; from the Rawson terminal, it’s necessary to catch another local bus or taxi to Playa Unión.