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Esquel is a town in the Argentine Patagonia in the northwest of the province of Chubut. It was only founded in 1906 and is now the main livestock and commercial center of the region. Esquel got its name from the language of Mapuche, from a term meaning ‘quaking bog’ or ‘place of the thistles’. It is located is located by the Esquel Stream and surrounded by the mountains La Zeta, La Cruz, Cerro 21 and La Hoya. La Hoya is a popular ski resort.

For most travelers Esquel is just a quick stop over on their way to the Los Alerces National Park, 31 miles northwest of the city, and other recreation areas. The city is at the southern end of the narrow-gauge train line of The Old Patagonian Express or La Trochita. This train now takes tourists in the summer from Esquel to the volcano and settlement Nahuel Pan, and the other way around.

Esquel is foremost an easy-going and exceeding friendly base camp for activities in the surroundings areas. Possible activities are path hiking, river rafting, fly fishing, horse riding, tours around ranches, climbing and lake circuits. It can be the perfect place to chill for a few days as it rests on a green mountain range valley. The city has two museums, different restaurants and hotels.

Travelers to Esquel need a valid passport. American citizens don’t require a visa for stays up to 90 days. The weather can be pretty cold. The best time to travel depends on your purpose. For other purposes than skiing on La Hoya the best time is from December till March, as there is little rain and temperatures are around 50 Fahrenheit.