Trelew (Welsh: Tre Lew(is)) is a city in the province of Chubut, in ArgentinePatagonia. The city is the largest and most populous in the low valley of theChubut River, with an estimated 100,000 inhabitants as of 2010. The Trelew municipality is part of the Rawson Department, whose capital,Rawson, is also the provincial capital.
Trelew is an important commercial and industrial centre for the region and is the main hub for wool processing, accounting for 90 percent of activity in Argentina. The produce of this industry is mainly shipped and exported through Puerto Madryn and Puerto Deseado.
Trelew is home to the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio, showcasing the paleontological heritage of the Patagonic region, and considered one of the most important of its kind in South America and the Astronomic and Planetary Observatory.
The city is served by the Almirante Marcos A. Zar Airport, of both civilian and military use. The airport's runway is shared with the Almirante Zar Naval Base, home of the Lockheed P-3 Orion squadron of the Argentine Naval Aviation.
The city was founded in 1886 by Welsh settlers, hence its name of Welsh origin, a feature shared with many other cities and towns in the area.
Trelew city centre
Trelew's foundation is linked with Welsh settlement in Argentina, the leaders of which were Captain Sir Love Jones-Parry of Madryn and Lewis (Luis) Jones, who acted as spokesmen to deal with the Argentine government in the beginning of the 1860s. The town was named Trelew in honour of Jones, tre meaning "town" in Welsh and Lew being an apocope for Lewis.
Trelew was established on 20 October 1886 as the starting point for theCentral Chubut Railway line that would link the lower Chubut River Valley to Puerto Madryn. Railway building equipment and 400 settlers arrived on July 28 of that same year on the steamer Vesta. The line was opened in 1888 and later extended from Trelew to Gaiman, Dolavon and finally to Las Plumas. In 1961, the line was closed.
Trelew is the centre of the touristic travels to the Central Meseta, the Valley of the Chubut River and the coast. Punta Tombo, the biggest penguin reserve in South America is accessible from the city.