Skip Navigation

Travel Guide South America Argentina Chubut

edit

Introduction

Chubut is a province in southern Argentina, situated between the 42nd parallel south (the border with Río Negro Province), the 46th parallel south (bordering Santa Cruz Province), the Andes range to the west, and the Atlantic ocean to the east. The province's name derives from the Tehuelche word chupat, meaning "transparent," their description of the Chubut River.

The largest city is Comodoro Rivadavia in the south of the province; it has 180,000 inhabitants. The administrative capital is Rawson (40,000). Other important cities are Puerto Madryn, Trelew, Esquel and Sarmiento. Gaiman is a cultural and demographic centre of the region known as "Y Wladfa" in which Welsh-Argentines are concentrated. Of the 25,000 Welsh speakers in Argentina, 5,000 live in the Chubut region, particularly in the early Welsh settlements of Gaiman, Trelew and Trevelin.

Top

edit

History

Before the Spaniards arrived in the Americas, nomadic indigenous Tehuelche peoples had inhabited the Patagonia region for thousands of years. They lived as hunter-gatherers and covered territory in seasonal cycles as they followed game.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Spanish missionaries came to the area, and founded the San José Fort on Península Valdés. The indigenous people later destroyed it. In 1865, Welsh people came to Chubut in the Mimosa ship and settled in the Chubut Valley area. The region was disputed between Chile and Argentina until 1881. Chile renounced its claim in order to prevent Argentina from entering into the War of the Pacific, in which it was already fighting against Peru and Bolivia.

As part of the Conquista del Desierto (Conquest of the Desert), Argentina organized the National Territory of Chubut in 1884, after the last indigenous cacique, Inyacal, surrendered to government forces. Luis Fontana was named governor. At the beginning of the 20th century, after the Boer War, some Boer people settled in the town of Sarmiento and in lesser number in other nearby towns.

In 1944, the southern part of Chubut and northern part of Santa Cruz were designated the Comodoro Rivadavia military zone. The zone was dissolved in 1955, and Chubut was declared a province. Studies in the 1950s revealed mineral wealth in the province, which the government has tried to develop.

Top

edit

Geography

Chubut is located in the Patagonia region in South America. Chubut stretches from the Atlantic to the Andes with 3 distinct environmental regions: The Andes, the central plains and the coastal regions. The Andes in the westernmost parts of the province mostly extend along the Chilean border.[8] The Andes are not that high in Chubut, with most peaks averaging around 1,500 and 2,000 metres, which becomes smaller in altitude in the southern parts.[8] The highest peak is Cerro Dos Picos, located east of Lago Cholila with a height of 2,515 metres. The Andes in this province are of tertiary origin and are separated by wide, deep transverse valleys that are oriented in an east–west direction. These valleys are occupied by glacial lakes and rivers flowing east from the mountains. Most of these valleys existed before the Andes were formed. The lakes, which are mostly located in the western parts of the province are of glacial origin because during the last ice age, the movement of the glaciers lead to the formation of extensive areas of depressions that were filled up with water to form the lakes today.

Top

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Top

edit

Weather

The Andes cause humid winds from the Pacific Ocean to rise so most of the moisture precipitates on the western side of the Andes, leaving all except the Andean portion of the province dry. In the Andean region, the climate is cold for its latitude owing to the higher elevations there and the influence of winds from the Pacific Ocean. The peaks are usually snow covered throughout the year. In this region, precipitation ranges from 700 mm (28 in) to over 2,500 mm in some areas. The central parts of the province have an arid climate with hot, sunny summers but cold winters and only average 200 mm of precipitation a year. The central parts of the province are very windy throughout the year. The coast has an arid or semi-arid climate with hot, but short summers and cold winters. It is the mildest region in the province with the warmest annual mean temperatures. The coast region's climate is a transition between the more temperate climates to the north and the colder climates in the south. Summers tend to be much warmer than Santa Cruz province to the south, particularly in the summer since subtropical air from the north and a branch of the warm Brazil Current can reach the province up until 46°. Because there is little land masses in the Southern hemisphere, most of the cold fronts, which usually move in a west to east direction are moderated as they pass over the Pacific Ocean. As such, cold temperatures are not as extreme as they are in the northern hemisphere. Similar to the rest of Patagonia the climate is characterized by strong winds throughout the year, which also leads to higher evapotranspiration, another factor in the province being mostly dry.

The western parts of the province are the coldest with an annual mean temperature of 8 °C owing to the higher elevations while the coastal areas are the warmest with an annual mean temperature of 12 to 14 °C. The central parts of the province have an annual mean temperature of 10 to 12 °C since they have a higher elevation than the coastal areas. During winter, the mean temperature in the coldest months ranges from 6 to 7 °C in the northern parts of the province to 4 to 7 °C in the southern parts. In the Andes, the mean temperature can be close to 0 °C. Unlike the northern hemisphere, most of the cold air masses originate from the Pacific Ocean, which moderates the cold air and as such, extreme cold temperatures are rare. Occasionally, cold air masses from Antarctica are not moderated by the ocean, resulting in very cold temperatures. During summer, the temperature gradient is greater than in the winter. The northern parts of the province, have a mean temperature greater than 20 °C in the warmest months while in the southern parts, the mean temperature in the warmest month ranges from 17 to 19 °C owing to the influence of subtropical air from the north. The westernmost parts of the province are the coolest during the summer, averaging only 14 °C. The central parts of the province have the most extreme temperatures which can reach over 40 °C during the summer and below -20 °C in the winter. The lowest temperature recorded in Chubut was -33 °C in Sarmiento.

In general, relative humidity values do not vary a lot across the province and the contrast is not that large. In the coastal areas, the mean relative humidity is about 70% while in the rest of the province, it is around 50%–60%. The exception is in the higher altitude areas in the Andes in the colder regions where humidity levels are considerably higher. During the summer months, humidity levels are relatively low.

Because the Andes block most of the moisture from the Pacific Ocean from coming in, causing it to release most of the precipitation on its western slopes, most of the province is dry, averaging less than 200 mm a year. In the central parts of the province, some areas receive less than 100 mm of precipitation a year. In the Andean part, precipitation increases towards the Chilean border and precipitation ranges from 700 mm to over 3,000 mm. A Mediterranean like precipitation pattern, similar to central Chile with dry summers and wet winters is found in the area between the Andean region to the west and the dry steppes to the east. Although precipitation can widely vary among the province, in all locations, precipitation is higher during the winter months. Thunderstorms are rare and occur exclusively during the summer.

Top

edit

Getting There

The Ruta Nacional 3 runs along the coast line up to Buenos Aires, and down to Tierra del Fuego. The Ruta Nacional 25 crosses Chubut from East to West, connecting Trelew and Esquel, but half of it has not yet been paved. Regular long distance buses run several times a day to Buenos Aires, and to many locations in the Santa Cruz Province. The Trelew airport (IATA REL) serves regular flights to/from Buenos Aires and El Calafate. Airports are also maintained at Comodoro Rivadavia, Rawson and Esquel.

Four roads travel west to Chile's Aysén region, including Balmaceda and Coihaique Alto, and two to Chile's Los Lagos region from Corcovado to Palena and from Esquel via Trevelin to Futaleufu.

Top

edit

Getting Around

Short range buses to towns in Chubut run at least once a day. There are also daily summer buses on the route #25.

Top

Top

Accommodation in Chubut

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Chubut searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Chubut and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as Hien (3%)

Chubut Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Chubut

This is version 9. Last edited at 9:09 on Feb 14, 18 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License