Tulips, Wine, and Dragons in Trevelin: Patagonia’s Best Kept Secret

An unexpected tulip field at the foot the rugged mountains of Patagonia is putting this tiny Argentine village on the map.

But there is a lot more to discover in Trevelin beyond the blooms.

This town and its surroundings features wineries, a national park, and the remnants of Welsh pioneers.

It is still very much untouched.

Bariloche is the beautiful powerhouse of Northern Patagonia but if you’re looking for pristine nature that is still off the radar for most travelers, this is it.

This post is a complete guide to help you discover Trevelin, Argentina from tulips to tea time.

QUICK NOTE: This post contains affiliate links and Sol Salute may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no extra cost to you.

Discover Trevelin, Argentina

Trevelin is one of my favorite places in Patagonia, I’ve been twice in as many years and it’s one of those places I don’t want to leave when I’m there.

Tourism in Trevelin is booming with domestic travel but still remains off the radar for most foreign visitors who tend to flock to big city Bariloche.

And while Bariloche is stunning, it has outgrown its pristine mountain village feel.

If you want the small Bariloche of the 1990’s, you want Trevelin and neighboring Esquel.

Where to Stay in Trevelin

In Trevelin you’ll find complexes of cabins and mountain lodges. It’s all charm and no large hotels.

If visiting in high season, especially in October to see the tulips, reserve your accommodation as soon as possible.

Do not wait, Trevelin is rapidly growing in popularity and while there are more accommodation options opening each year, demand often outstrips supply.

  • Estancia Río Abajo – We’ve stayed here twice and I love it and the owners. These cabins are just outside of town near the central gate to the national park. Two bedrooms with well stocked kitchens, you’ll be very comfortable. It’s a great option for families.
  • Ladera de Nant y Fall Tiny House – Ideal for couples, friends of mine stayed here and raved about it. Views are epic and you’ll be close to the attractions surrounding the tulips, Nant y Fall, etc, with a short drive into town.
  • Challhuaquen Lodge – Fishermen or luxury junkies will love it here, it’s far from town (close to the border with Chile and Bodega Casa Yague). If you’re staying here, you’ll stay mostly on the property enjoying amenities or (most likely) fishing.

How to get around Trevelin

The easiest way to get around is with your own car, check rental rates in Esquel, the closest city to Trevelin.

Taxis are also available, but being a small town with the main sights involving long distances you’ll have to call remis companies and wait for them to pick you up.

It helps you get to the further flung areas but don’t expect to be able to freely and quickly call a car if you’re far from town, so it isn’t ideal.

If going to lunch somewhere far, like Casa Yague, arrange for your driver to return for you at a set time. We ended up bringing stranded tourists back to their hotel in our car as all the remis companies seemed to be taking siesta when they needed to call a ride home.

Alternatively, you can hire a remis for a day or half-day, rather than have to call them back later. Just know that you’d be putting your own day trip itinerary together, they wouldn’t be your guide, just a driver.

Read More: Things to do in Esquel, Trevelin’s Neighboring City

Public transportation in Trevelin? During October when the tulip field is open, local transport company Jacobson operates a shuttle bus to and from the field.

It departs 3 times in the morning from tourist information downtown with 3 returns in the afternoon. In 2023 it cost just 500 pesos each way.

If you’re traveling onwards from Trevelin by bus, Transporte Jacobson has routes to nearby cities, check their website.

For long distance buses Busbud is a great resource.

Tourist Information via WhatsApp: Trevelin’s tourism board is very active and very helpful. Don’t hesitate to pay them a visit for assistance or, if you have a quick question, send them a message on WhatsApp!

They were very responsive: +54 9 2945 41-8098

Things to do in Trevelin

There is a lot more to to do in Trevelin than you may suspect.

I recommend going for at least 3 days and upwards of a week if, like me, you prefer slow travel.

We spent 5 full days there, filled them all, and were left wanting more in 2022.

So we returned for 7 days in 2023 and again, I loved having so much time there.

ITINERARY PLANNING → Stay with me until the end of the article for tips on how to organize your itinerary by organizing these activities by area.

See Patagonia’s Tulips

Every October the Ledesma family opens the doors to their farm so we can admire the tulip field and its impressive mountain backdrop.

The field is open roughly from October 1 through November 6 each year, check exact start and end dates each year to be sure.

Go in mid-October for the most blooms and to see them at their absolute best.

You can check their Instagram page to see the range of dates where you’ll see the most blooms that year.

In 2023 entrance was 5000 pesos per person, no reservations required.

You can walk freely around the perimeter field. Do not pass the rope barriers and walk among the flowers.

Check with Tourist Information if there was a storm or snow the night before.s

There is a tea house on the property for cake, tea, and coffee with a view and food trucks serving choripans and lomitos, beer, etc.

Why are the tulips here? They harvest the bulbs in February, but we get to enjoy the blooms in October!

Public transport to the tulips? Transporte Jacobson offers a bus with 3 scheduled trips to the tulips throughout October (and 3 returns). Confirm hours here and get the bus in front of tourist information. Once you’re at the tulips you’re walking distance from Viñas del Nant y Fall (100 meters) and for a lot more walking but doable, the Nant y Fall waterfalls.

Go Wine Tasting

Tasting wine from a deck with a view at Contra Corriente

With tulips, berries, and cherries it’s easy to see why Trevelin is called Chubut’s Garden. It’s also obvious what comes next in wine loving Argentina: vineyards.

There are three wineries in Trevelin offering tours, tastings, and lunch:

  • Viñas del Nant y Fall – Nant y Fall is the oldest winery in Trevelin, next door to the tulip fields. They have a restaurant on site for lunch of pastas and empanadas and a lovely gift shop featuring local products.
  • Contra Corriente – Owned by 2 fishing enthusiast friends from Montana, this fishing lodge doubles as a vineyard. It’s the easiest to visit, just outside of town on the way to the national park.
  • Casa YagüeThis family-run winery is my favorite. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful and the wine is very impressive. Schedule a lunch or sunset dinner here to make the most of the beautiful property. It is the furthest (nearly to Chile!), so if you take a taxi make sure to schedule a return pick up as calling one from town can involve a long wait.

Parque Nacional Los Alerces – Central Gate

Crystal clear water in Trevelin’s Parque Nacional Los Alerces

Lakes, waterfalls, and centuries-old Alerces trees characterize this UNESCO recognized national park.

The central gate (Portada Central) just outside of Trevelin is the main entrance to the park on Ruta 71.

This is the main gate where you can visit the Intendencia (main office) in Villa Futalaufquen for visitor information, there is also a small convenience store and bathrooms here.

You can go with your own car or by taxi and explore the many hiking trails.

Check Alltrails for a breakdown of all the best hikes. If you only have time for one, do Sendero Lahuan Solitario, an easy hike with epic views even my hike hating 3 year old did mostly on his own two feet.

Playa La Usina is a popular beach (all rocks, no sand) on Lago Futalaufquen. With a huge parking lot, you can’t miss it.

Stop for some sun, a picnic, or even an asado on the parrillas overlooking the lake and mountains.

One of the more popular ways to explore the park are with organized boat excursions to the oldest Alerce tree in the park, one of the oldest in the country.

There are a few companies that offer these tours, Glaxiar offers smaller group tours for the best experience.

Parque Nacional Los Alerces – Southern Gate

The park has three entrances and two are in Trevelin (the third being the northern gate in Cholila).

The southern entrance leads to a smaller section of the park that does not connect to the rest of the park, so visit this area on its own (rather than as part of a larger park visit).

It’s most known for the Presa Futaleufú (the Futaleufú Dam) but there are a few trails here as well.

Don’t miss the Mirador de los Pozones, where the rocks in the river have formed make shift pools of transparent, turquoise water.

It is low effort/high reward at its best.

Cascadas Nant y Fall

Cascadas Nant y Fall is a short, easy for everyone hike to three waterfalls.

The access road to the falls is off of Ruta 259 just across from the tulips and Viñas del Nant y Fall. You can easily do all of them together in one morning/afternoon.

You’ll drive about 4 km to the parking lot for the falls. Walk to the booth to pay for your entrance which was just 500 pesos per person (as of November 2022).

The hike itself is just 500 meters, the equivalent of 5 city blocks. It is wheelchair and stroller friendly with viewpoints of three major waterfalls.

There are bathrooms and a small shop and restaurant at the base selling drinks, sandwiches, pizza, and cakes.

Molino Nant Fach

Molino Nant Fach is a perfect replica of the antique flour mills that used to dot the valley here.

It was built by a Mervyn Evans, great-grandson of one of the original Welsh pioneers, Thomas Dalar Evans.

Entrance was 3000 pesos per person (October 2023) and included a 45 minute guided tour where you’ll learn the history of the mill and the valley.

The museum is open from 2 – 6 pm (guided visits start at 4 pm), Wednesday to Sunday.

Ride the Patagonian Express on La Trochita

If you’re a train enthusiast, La Trochita in nearby Esquel is something you cannot miss.

This scenic train route is part of the historic Patagonian Express, a famous piece of Argentina train travel.

Important: Check departure times here as they depend on the season.

In high season La Trochita operates daily but in low season it operates just a couple of days each week. Reserve in advance in busy season (October, for example).

You’ll board the historic steam engine and ride an hour to Nahuel Pan.

Here you’ll have about 45 minutes of free time to peruse market and get a snack of torta frita (fried bread) before commencing the hour long return journey.

If you can’t or don’t want to ride the train (I definitely did not want to as I was alone with two cranky toddlers), you can always hang around the station when the train returns or departs.

We luckily pulled up to the station minutes before it returned, joining the large crowd to watch.

It was really all my 3 year old needed out of La Trochita. When the kids are bigger and less afraid of the sound of a steam engine we will actually ride the train.

Go Fly Fishing

Fly fishing for rainbow trout is great all across Patagonia but it seems to be a way of life here in Trevelin.

The season starts on November 1 and runs through final days of April.

Click here for more information and a full list of the area’s fishing guides.

If you speak Spanish and are willing to do a bit of the leg work you can call/message the guides on that list.

For a more complete experience, stay at one of Trevelin’s fishing lodges like Challhuaquen Lodge.

Important: You’ll need a fishing license, click here for prices/options.

Try Welsh Cake at Nain Maggie

Don’t miss trying Torta Galesa from Nain Maggie

Trevelin is a Welsh settlement and in Argentina that means only one thing – Torta Galesa.

This Welsh cake originated here in Chubut, rather than Wales as one might guess.

Harsh conditions for the settlers required the matriarchs of the families to get a bit creative with the few ingredients they did have on hand.

Brown sugar, flour, and nuts were the base for what is now the region’s most iconic cake.

Try the best Torta Galesa with a tea service at Nain Maggie, the village’s oldest and most traditional Welsh tea house.

They open at 3:30 in the afternoon and they don’t take reservations.

Show up early to line up and ensure your spot.

Portions are generous so don’t make dinner plans that day.

We were told to plan on it filling us up for the rest of the day, calling it a “meren-cena”, a blend of merienda (afternoon tea time) and cena (dinner).

See the Dragon Breathe Fire

You may skip tourist information when you visit most towns but you won’t miss the one in Trevelin’s main square.

The dragon clinging to the roof won’t let you.

It was welded together by local sculptor and artist Tomás Schinelli Casares and sits perched on the roof of the information office, greeting tourists from all around the world.

The story of the red dragon is important in Welsh history and folklore.

It’s even immortalized on the country’s flag.

Learn about the history and see the dragon breathe fire (YES, really!):

  • November-March: Every day at 8 and 10 pm
  • July-October – Every day at 6 and 8 pm
  • April, May, June – Weekends only at 6 and 8 pm

When we went, it breathed fire off and on for maybe 5 minutes and seemed to be done.

Everyone left but we were slow loading into the car with two small kids, which helped us catch an unexpected final fire breathings.

So it may behoove you to stick around a little longer after the crowds leave.

Visit Establecimiento Hisashi for Cherries

For 25 years the Japanese Kikuchi family has been cultivating cherries at Establecimiento Hisashi.

When their children were grown they decided to move to the south to start a new life, planting an orchard of nearly 1,000 cherry trees.

Harvest is in the summer, in late January/early February with the flowers blooming in September/October.

You can visit them in person most days of the week after 4pm (confirm with tourist information).

If you can’t visit them, don’t worry. You can pick up their alfajores at the airport, in some shops in town like Cafe al Paso or at the Nant y Fall vineyard’s gift shop.

Everything they make is delicious but it’s a small batch production as the owners do everything themselves.

See cherry blossoms in Trevelin in October

Paso Ancho Berries

Paso Ancho Berries is a berry farm where you can pick your own berries, purchase raspberry treats like liqueurs and chocolates, or buy the already picked fruit to take home.

They’re open every day in late Spring through the summer from 4 pm (confirm before visiting, just in case).

We went in October and while there was nothing to see (the plants are only beginning to sprout anew then), I still really enjoyed our visit and learning about the berries they grow.

The best time to go is in summer, when you’ll actually see the berries growing (and can try them, the best part, am I right?).

If you can’t go in person, like most local products you can purchase their juices and jams in town.

Learn about Bees & Honey at Valle Andino

Not far from Paso Ancho (and easy to combine in one afternoon), Valle Andino Establecimiento Apicola and their bees produce incredible honey.

Visit their establishment off of Ruta 71 en route to the PN Alerces southern gate, and if you have children definitely be sure to include this in your itinerary.

Open Thurs-Sun from 4 – 8:30 pm (always confirm hours beforehand as these things often change, especially seasonally).

They have a small interactive circuit with informative stations that will teach you everything about bees, their hives, their habits, and honey.

At each station there are games for children, keeping them engaged along the way (priceless).

There is a small shop set up where you can try their varieties of honey, all with unique flavor profiles due to the plant life surrounding the specific hives.

Don’t miss this, it’s more entertaining than you’d expect with epic views to boot.

We came home with a box of honey jars jingling in the trunk.

Trevelin’s tea houses and dragons abound with the regions iconic Welsh culture

Where to Eat in Trevelin

Food is always a priority, am I right?

  • Fonda Sur – A must do, the best dinner in Trevelin with excellent wines and local specialties
  • Arbo – Wine bar and cafe right on the main square that would feel right at home in Palermo Soho
  • El Lolo Empandas – Empanadas by a man from Salta who has called Trevelin home for over twenty years, a go to for us when we need takeaway
  • Alma Cebada – For the beer lovers
  • Indica Cerveceria – More for the beer lovers
  • Casa Yague – If you love wine and farm to table fine dining and gorgeous views, you MUST reserve a lunch here.

How to plan your Trevelin Itinerary

A list of things to do in a place is great and all but figuring out how to piece that puzzle into an itinerary can be overwhelming.

For Trevelin, I recommend doing this by area.

Things to see here aren’t IN town, so plot out the map and see what you want to see in each direction, see map:

RN 71 north to PN Los Alerces Central Gate

  • Purple pins on the map above.
  • Spend a morning (or entire day) in the national park, along the road stop to see the Trevelin sign and lagunas for a photo op, Laguna Brychan is here for a short, relaxing walk near town (easy yerba mate spot), and Bodega Contra Corriente is right at the entrance to town

RN 71 South to PN Los Alereces South Gate

  • Yellow pins on the map.
  • The route dead ends into the southern section of the national park. If you like to hike spend a whole morning hiking, if you don’t you can spend just a little time seeing the sites near the road.
  • Paso Ancho Berries and Valle Andino are here, both open at 4 pm, schedule accordingly.
  • Example: We spent a lazy morning in town with the kids, after lunch headed to the park, then at 4 pm did Paso Ancho and Valle Andino.

RN 259 and La Ruta Galesa

  • The green pins on the map
  • The most common route and organized day trip sold in agencies in town is “La Ruta Galesa” including Viñas de Nant y Fall winery, the Nant y Fall waterfalls, and the Molino Nant Fach museum (open at 2 pm).
  • Also on this road is my favorite bodega Casa Yague, a must for food and wine lovers (definitely book a lunch or sunset) and of course, in October, the tulips are here.

Trevelin – In Town

  • Blue pins on the map
  • The dragon blowing fire – Don’t miss seeing this before dinner one night
  • Welsh tea – If this is your thing (it is not my thing), it begins at 3 pm, save an afternoon for that.
  • Weekend market – On Saturdays and Sundays there is an artisan market around the main square
  • Museums – There are a couple regional museums in town as well, marked on the map above
  • Bodega Corriente – This winery is in town making it easy to schedule a tasting and tour in between other activities

How to get to Trevelin

The closest airport to Trevelin is in Esquel, just 20 minutes to the north.

There aren’t a lot of daily flights from Buenos Aires so if you want to fly here, plan in advance.

In busier months (October through December) there are more flights per week but in lower seasons there can be as few as 2 flights a week.

Alternatively, you could fly into Bariloche and road trip southwards (we did this exact road trip in reverse).

If you don’t want to rent a car, you can take the bus easily in this region.

Check rental car rates here and bus schedules/options here.

For our road trip, we rented a car in Esquel (from this small local agency) and returned it in Bariloche.

The fee was just under 100 dollars to return the car in Bariloche (we also visited El Bolson along the way).

Since we didn’t have the time to loop back south to Esquel it was well worth the cost for me.

Argentina Travel Resources

  • TRAVEL INSURANCE | It is always a good idea to travel insured. It protects you in so many cases, like lost luggage and trip cancellations, medical emergencies and evacuations. It’s very affordable with the potential to save you thousands in the case of an emergency. I recommend SafetyWing.
  • PHONE PLAN | These days, traveling with data is essential. Especially in Argentina where everything is managed on Instagram and WhatsApp. I recommend this E-SIM card. It’s hassle-free and affordable, for more read how to get an Argentina sim card.
  • ACCOMMODATION IN ARGENTINA booking.com is the most common hotel site used in Argentina and it’s where you’ll find the most options.
  • RENTAL CARS | I love to travel Argentina via road trip, I’ve always used rentalcars.com, now they are operating under the umbrella of Booking.com’s car rental system.
  • BUS TICKETS | Check Busbud for long distance bus routes and tickets.
  • VPN | If you’ll be using a public WiFi connection and want to secure your data, I highly recommend using a VPN, I personally use and have had a good experience with ExpressVPN. I also use it to access Hulu and American Netflix from Argentina.
  • FLIGHTS | Always check Google Flights and Skyscanner for flights to and within Argentina. Aerolineas Argentina is the local airline with the most routes. FlyBondi and Jetsmart are two budget airlines with dirt-cheap prices (but expect to pay for every add-on like luggage).
  • BOOK A CONSULTATION | I offer one-on-one travel consultations to help you plan your trip to Argentina. Pick my brain to get a local’s insight. Click here for more information.

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