South America Living

Esquel, Argentina Travel Information

The Town of Esquel, Argentina

Esquel – meaning “thorn” or “site where there are thistles” in the native Mapuche language is a midsized town in Chubut Province, Argentina – Southern Patagonia region. It has a year-round population of around 30,000 full-time residents, but fills-up considerably during January to February (summer) and the ski season (July – August).

Just five hours from Bariloche it shares the same ‘summer/winter touristy things to do’ popularity but is much more low-key and lower in cost.

The base of La Hoya Ski Resort is just 13km (1.6 miles) from town making Esquel a popular winter destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts wanting to escape the crowds – and high prices – of Bariloche located approximately 194km (120 miles) north. It will cost you around half the price of skiing at Cerro Catedral in Bariloche.   Ski Resorts in South America

La Hoya is open from June through September and has 24 ski runs for all ability levels. Professional teams congregate here but it is known as a family resort and very low-key. The National Ski Festival is held here every September, the largest winter ski festival in Argentina.

Powder is La Hoya´s specialty and fresh tracks are kept alive by the only artificial snow making machine at a ski resort in Argentina. There is a ski school and one hotel at the base of the mountain. Most visitors stay at one of the many hostals, cabins, hotels or apartment-stays in Esquel. For more information visit the La Hoya Ski Resort Website. Also popular from the town of Esquel are ice cave tours.

Tourists on a Tour to the Ice Caves near Esquel

Esquel, Argentina

Lake near Esquel, Argentina

During summer, warm weather brings fly-fishing, biking & camping enthusiasts in search of the Corcovado River and Los Alerces National Park. Fly fishing is all the rage for Corcovado and the famed 3000 year-old Alerces tree one of the many attractions in Los Alerces. The park is located 50km (31 miles) out of town with various local eco-tour outfitters offering half and full-day excursions.

Esquel is 1 1/2 hours from the border crossing to Futaleufu, Chile (Futaleufú in Spanish). For more information read: Border Crossing – Esquel, Argentina to Futaleufú, Chile.

Nearby Tourist Attractions:
Travel Hot Spot in Argentina – Bariloche
Travel Hot Spot in Chile – Futaleufu
Patagonia, Argentina – Los Alerces National Park
Corcovado River & Fly Fishing – Patagonia, Argentina

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Photographs of the city of Esquel and tourists going to the ice caves by María Belen Herrera, all rights reserved

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