Trelew is now the largest city in the Viedma department with a population approaching 100,000. Similarly to Puerto Madryn, the town was settled by Welsh immigrants and is home to three excellent regional museum and two well-preserved Welsh chapels, the oldest of which was built in 1880. Its chapel cemetery maintains the graves of many early settlers. The nearest full-service airport to Peninsula Valdes is located on the outskirts of town, and has several flights a week to and from Buenos Aires. Proud of its title as the gateway to the Atlantic Patagonia, Trelew is as popular with visitors arriving by plane just as Puerto Madryn is with those arriving by car or bus.
Three Great Museums
The Egidio Feruglio Paleontological Museum, just south of the main square (the Plaza del Centenario), has superb multilingual displays on dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that once roamed these parts. One block south is the Pueblo de Luis Regional Museum, which has its own exhibitions of the history and indigenous communities of the region, as well as dioramas on its Welsh pioneers. And the ultra-modern Visual Arts Museum, right next to the town's tourism office, is regarded as the finest of its kind in the south of the country.
Egidio Feruglio Paleontological Museum Pueblo de Luis Regional Museum Visual Arts Museum
A Home Away from Home
The Welsh influence is most easily seen in the two chapels erected by pioneers in the late nineteenth century as well as the old town meeting hall. The building was constructed in 1913, when the language and customs of Trelew were much more akin to what one would find in Great Britain than Argentina. Be sure to spend some time meandering through its well-kept plazas with their plant gardens not seen elsewhere in Argentina. The Welsh in Patagonia Article
The Great Outdoors…Patagonia Style
Trelew, due to its inland location and healthy environment, is also noted for its outdoor activities and is well equipped to outfit bicyclists (including mountain bikers), trekkers and equestrians. Recently the city has become a hotbed of ecotourism, and several tour agencies offer both short and extended tours to estancias and the many provincial and national parks in the area. And of course what would Trelew be without some homage to its penguins: every year in late September the city throws the Fiesta Provincial del Pingüino, the Provincial Penguin Festival.
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