One of the mandatory stops of Route 40, the picturesque city of Esquel , rests on a green mountain range valley in the west of the Province of Chubut. Esquel, a city that concentrates the commercial activity of the area, is the prima ballerina in the natural amphitheater formed by mounts La Zeta, La Cruz and Nahuel Pan. Its name means "site where there are thistles" or "quaking bog", due to the marshy land crossed by the Esquel creek where the city is located. Winters are cold with a high rainfall and snowfall rate and summers are template and sunny. Near the mountain, there are special micro-climates, as the different altitudes allow the passage of the humid winds coming from the Pacific. The La Hoya ski resort attracts lovers of snow sports and it is the seat for the Ski National Festival, an important event which has recently incorporated a four-discipline competition. Art is also summoned in this city during the Theater Provincial Festival. In the Patagonian express called "La Trochita", which joins Esquel with El Maitén, visitors may appreciate the beauty of the Los Alerces shire, with its ancient forests and its violet lupinus in blossom. Those who visit the city of Esquel may enjoy various mountain activities: path hiking, river rafting, horse riding, tours around estancias, climbing and lake circuits. Its rivers are a must for fly-casters in search for quietness and privacy.

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