Location: From Esquel to Nahuel Pan
Attraction Type: a Train journey
Significance: A narrow-gauge train with wooden carriages and steam engine; National Historic Monument of Argentina
Best Time to Visit: May to August
Visiting hours: Journey commences at 10 am
How to Reach: By flight or road to Esquel
Nearest Airport: Esquel Airport
Patagonia Express is an enchanting train journey in Argentina from Esquel to Nahuel Pan. Locally called ‘La Trochita’, this 30 inches narrow-gauge historic train journey is a special attraction for all tourists traveling to Argentina. Old Patagonia Express journey is a two and half hour enthralling experience primarily through Patagonian steppes. Still pulled by the original steam engines, the tour is a romantic escapade. Novelist Paul Theroux penned ‘the Old Patagonian Express’ to capture his experiences on this historic journey.
Patagonia Express in Argentina launched in 1922 was originally a 250-mile journey from Ingeniero Jacobacci to Esquel, which was later cut short, as operating a narrow-gauge railway over this distance was technically unviable.
Patagonia Express Journey
Everything associated with the train is fascinating. Starting from the booking counter to the interiors of the coaches, everything is made of wood. Inside the wooden office, you could view old memorabilia relating to this train as well as its journey through Patagonia in Argentina. After the train enters Esquel station it moves back and forth a number of times allowing tourists to take photographs before they board.
Each carriage of the train provided with wooden seats and stoves lit by wood offers a cozy ambiance. Even for a journey of 12 kilometers, the guests are served snacks and coffee from a dining carriage. The onward journey of Patagonia Express is up to Mapuche, a village with ethnic traditions. Here you could collect artifacts and handcrafted items made by these tribesmen.
Accommodation and Dining in Esquel
To undertake the Patagonia Express train journey you need to stay in Esquel. Hotel Tehuelche, Hotel Sol del Sur, Hotel Residencial Esquel, La Cautiva, and Residencial Ski are some of the renowned hotels to select from. Maria Castana is a renowned Esquel restaurant specializing in local delicacies.