Life on the Delta

This past weekend I took a weekend trip to Tigre and it was an amazing little getaway! I was so intrigued by the lifestyle of this city! Tigre is located roughly an hour north of Buenos Aires and the town sits right on the river front. What I loved most about Tigre was its delta. The river branches every which way through the delta, and the land between the water is inhabited by people. The only way to get to these homes, restaurants, and resorts is to travel by boat [or kayak or canoe or jet ski]. If I had more than a weekend in Tigre, I definitely would have investigated staying on the delta for a few days. Instead, William and I arrived in Tigre Saturday night and left mid Sunday – which was plenty of time to explore the town on the mainland.

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Getting to Tigre

Getting to Tigre from Buenos Aires is very easy and inexpensive!

There are a few options:

Bus

You can take Bus 60 marked “Panam” straight to Tigre and it’ll take roughly an hour and a half.

“Tigre” Train

If you go to the Retiro Station, you will find a “Tigre” Train that is a straight shot to Tigre. It is very easy to find. We just walked into the station and saw signs for “Tigre” and headed in that direction. You can buy one way tickets there for $6 pesos a piece or if you have a Sube card, it only costs $3 pesos and you just scan it as you head to the train. It is very cheap! Recently upgraded, this train is clean and has AC. The ride was very comfortable.

Tren de la Costa

Another option is to take the Tren de la Costa. It cost us $40 pesos one way and the ticket is good for the whole day – meaning you can hop on and off as much as you please. This train offers a more scenic route and I definitely recommend you take it at least one way. You should allot a half day to a full day of your time to get the full experience. You can hop on and off as much as you please and explore the little towns that it goes through. San Isidro, Barrancas, and Anchorena are all worth a stop! Going from Tigre to Buenos Aires, you go to the train station that is right across the street from Parque de la Costa [Tigre’s theme park]. We got off at San Isidro and had lunch at a beer garden. On our walk back to the train station, we meandered through a market full of local artists’ handmade goods and I snagged some lavender oil for $20 pesos. As the train drove through Barrancas, we noticed that there was an antique market that lined the tracks the entire way up until the next train stop. We unfortunately didn’t have time to check it out, but it looked really cool! The train’s last stop is Maipú and from there you have to get off and cross the street to pick up the Mitre train. That train will take you straight back to Buenos Aires. If you are coming from Buenos Aires and want to take Tren de la Costa to Tigre, you will need to get on the Mitre train headed to Olivos and then cross the street to Tren de la Costa. It’s hard to mess up either way because both trains end where the other starts so there is no risk of missing your stop 🙂

I recommend taking the regular train to Tigre and then taking Tren de la Costa back. This way, you can enjoy Tren de la Costa more because you won’t feel rushed wanting to get to Tigre.

Boat

According to Lonely Planet, there is a commuter boat that you can take to Tigre. Sturla Viajes offers a boat service that leaves from Grierson 400 in Puerto Madero at 6:10pm Monday – Friday for $35 pesos.

Accommodation

Tigre was beautiful and I completely understand why city dwellers escape to Tigre when they need a vacation. This town is VERY safe and there are police everywhere. Almost every five minutes of walking, we would pass a couple of cops on duty. I had my DSLR camera out the entire time and I never felt threatened that someone might rob me. Obviously still be smart with your belongings, but it’s a much safer environment than the bigger cities. We stayed at Tigre Hostel which was located right in the heart of the town and we were within walking distance of all the main attractions. Along with the hostel, they also offer hotel accommodations at Posada de 1860. It’s a little confusing with two names, but they’re both ran by the same people. The staff was very friendly and helpful, the room was tidy with clean bedding, and the bathroom was in very good shape. For only 400 pesos a night for a private room, I recommend it!

Activities

Boat ride through the delta

There are a bunch of companies who will try and sell you on their delta boat rides. We honestly didn’t search around much to find the best quality for the best price, but I was satisfied with our choice! We went with a company that our hostel recommended and it was called Catamarena [I think] and it was only a few blocks from the hostel at the corner of Lavalle and Madero. It has a large booth by the river, it’s hard to miss. We paid $180 pesos per person for a 2 hour boat ride. Many companies [including this one] offer 40 min to 1 hour boat tours, but I wanted more time to enjoy the wildlife. If you aren’t staying on the delta, I highly recommend you at least tour it via boat!

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I am a bit envious of the people who live in the delta. It is so beautiful and it offers just the right balance of seclusiveness from the outside world where you can get lost in your own paradise but also jet ski to the market when you are in need of groceries – I love it!

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Dream home anyone?
Dream home anyone?

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A branching in the river that leads to Buenos Aires
A branch in the river that leads to Buenos Aires

There are several resorts in the delta that offer accommodation [both camping and cabin rooms] if you are looking for the ultimate getaway!

Parque Lyfe, a very popular resort
Parque Lyfe, a very popular resort

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Museo del Mate

This quaint little museum has 5 rooms that are solely dedicated to the history of mate. It has a huge array of mate gourds, bags of yerba mate, and bombillas all on display. It only cost us $30 pesos per person and the woman gave us a nice little tour in english. It was cool to learn more about a tradition that is so prevalent in Argentine culture.

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Gourds
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Yerba Mate for days

Museo de Arte Tigre

We tried to visit this museum, but it was closed. Major fail. Make sure to check its hours before heading over! But, we did have a nice stroll [along Paseo Victoria] to the museum and the building itself is beautiful. Although I can’t speak for it firsthand, I have heard great things about the museum [on the inside] and I recommend that you check it out – it only costs $30 pesos to enter.

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Take a Stroll Along Paseo Victoria

Paseo Victoria is a main strip bordering Rio Lujan that is about a mile long and ends at Museo del Arte Tigre. Along the way you’ll find several restaurants, Museo del Mate, and a handful of parks where you can relax and sip on mate – it is a breath of fresh air to! At night, it gets especially busy with locals and tourists alike enjoying a late night dinner with friends. Although the restaurants offer indoor seating, most people opt to enjoy their litre of Quilmes in the seating that lines the walkway along the river.

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We tried a parrilla for two for the first time and it was interesting to say the least. For two people, it cost $300 pesos and it came with an assortment of meat [beef and chicken], a mixed salad, and drinks. The presentation was really cool because the food is served on a mini grill. Some of the food though was very questionable – there were cow intestines, something that looked like brain, and oozing blood sausage. Hard pass on all of that. The rest of the food was good though – bife chorizo, sausage, short ribs, and chicken legs.

Parrilla for two
Parrilla for two
Yeah, no.
Yeah, no.

Puerto de Frutos

What an awesome market! We didn’t allow as much time as I had hoped to explore Puerto de Frutos, but we got a little taste of it. There is an overwhelming amount of shops that offer a wide variety of goods – fresh fruit, customized mate gourds, unique home decor, handmade jewelry, rustic guacho trinkets, crystals [and lots of them!], candles, pure oils, and so much more! There are also several inexpensive vendors that sell food where you can fuel up for a day’s worth of shopping. I wish I had more pictures of the shops, but I was too busy with my crystal hunt!

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View of Puerto de Frutos from the river
View of Puerto de Frutos from the river

Parque de la Costa

Tigre even has its own amusement park that sits right on the water! We didn’t go because we didn’t have enough time and I was a bit skeptical of the rides’ safety, BUT it did look like a lot of fun! And right next to the amusement park, there is a huge casino. For being such a small town, Tigre certainly has a lot to offer!

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2 thoughts on “Life on the Delta

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