Introducing El Maitén
In open-range country on the upper reaches of the Río Chubut, about 70km southeast of El Bolsón, this small, dusty town is the end of the line for La Trochita, the old narrow-gauge steam train running between Esquel and El Maitén. It’s also home to the workshops for La Trochita and a graveyard of antique steam locomotives and other railroad hardware – a train aficionado’s dream.
Every February the Fiesta Provincial del Trencito commemorates the railroad that put El Maitén on the map and keeps it there; it now doubles as the Fiesta Nacional del Tren a Vapor (National Steam Train Festival). Drawing people from all over the province and the country, it featuresriding and horse-taming competitions, live music and superb produce and pastries, including homemade jams and jellies.
El Maitén has a helpful tourist office (
Camping Municipal (per person AR$8), directly on the river, gets crowded and noisy during the festival. Hostería Refugio Andino (