Getting there & around
Esquel’s full-service bus terminal (451477/79; cnr Av Alvear & Brun) is an easy walk from the center.
Transportes Jacobsen (453528) goes to Futaleufú, Chile (AR$15, 1½ hours), Monday and Friday at 8am and 6pm. Buses go hourly to Trevelin (AR$3, 30 minutes), stopping near the corner of Av Alvear and 25 de Mayo on the way out of town. Buses to El Maitén (AR$16, two hours) leave at 1:30pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, returning at 4pm.
In summer, Transportes Esquel (453529) goes through Parque Nacional Los Alerces (AR$9, 1¼ hours) to Lago Futalaufquen daily at 8am and 4pm. The first bus goes all the way to Lago Puelo (AR$23, six hours), stopping in Lago Verde (AR$13) at 10:30am and Cholila at noon. If you plan on exploring the area by bus, purchase an open ticket (AR$30), which allows passengers to make stops along the way between Esquel and Lago Puelo or vice-versa. Service is reduced off-season.
Esquel’s airport (ESQ; 451676) is 20km east of town off RN 40. Taxis cost AR$35.
LADE (452124; Av Alvear 1085) flies several times weekly to Bariloche (AR$103), Comodoro Rivadavia (AR$176) and Buenos Aires (AR$395), and at least once a week to Puerto Madryn (AR$181), Río Gallegos (AR$411) and El Calafate (AR$411).
Compact rental rates start around AR$100 a day, including 100km and insurance. Try Patagonia Travel Rent A Car (455811, 02945-15-692174; www.patagoniatravelrentacar.com in Spanish; Av Alvear 1041), which has a good range of vehicles.
The narrow-gauge steam train La Trochita (also known by the Spanish diminutive El Trencito) departs from the diminutive Roca train station (451403; www.latrochita.org.ar; cnr Roggero & Urquiza; 8am-2pm Mon-Sat). There’s a frequent tourist-oriented service to Nahuel Pan and infrequent passenger service to the railroad workshops at El Maitén (nine hours). For the timeless Old Patagonian Express feeling, it’s best to catch a bus to El Maitén for the less touristy excursion to Desvio Thomae, but this service is sporadically available. Confirm schedules online or via the tourist office.