Tigre was founded in 1820 and recently has been growing steadily with an influx of people relocating from the city and a rise in tourism. Only 45 minutes from the noise of downtown Buenos Aires you will find an almost unspoiled subtropical delta, full of islands and waterways called Tigre. For many Porteños (people from Buenos Aires Capital) it’s the perfect weekend getaway when getting tired of the big city life.
What and where is Tigre:
We know that Buenos Aires is a city to fall in love. With its features and many things to do, you will probably never get bored of this city due to the fact that you can spend every day in a different manner – try one of the thousands of restaurants, dance in a boliche (night club) until the sun rises again, do a wine tasting, get educated learning Spanish while visiting a museum or just have a mate in a park with friends and enjoy life. But once you’ve spent couple of days or weeks in Buenos Aires you might want to see something new or just escape the city.
The delta is one of the world’s most largest, made up of many remote islands and canals which provide the perfect relaxing atmosphere for those seeking silence and stress-less moments. There is only one way to get around in the delta which is the one on the water. If you don’t have your own boat or know someone owning one, you can rent kayaks and canoes or go by water taxis.
How to get to Tigre:
There are different options to go to Tigre and it’s is easily accessible from the city center. You could either go by public train called Mitre, by another one which is called Train de la Costa, by bus or by boat. I personally like the Train de la Costa which is a little bit more expensive but scores with a great view during the journey.
From Retiro station you can take the Mitre train to tigre. Your journey lasts about one hour and is quite cheap (current prices ca. 6.50 $). If you are not living directly in the center of Buenos Aires and don’t want to take the subte or colectivos to get to Retiro you could also catch the Mitre at Belgrano C station next to Barrio Chino. Trains leave every 15 minutes.
For those who want it a little bit more luxurious, check out the Tren de la Costa which passes various stations along the river on its way. Revamped as a tourist attraction in 1995, the train stops at 11 stations and goes straight to Tigre. Arriving at the station it is just short walk to the Tigre Fluvial Station (main train station) where you can find the water taxis or kayak rentals.
To ride on the Tren de la Costa take the Mitre at Retiro station and get off at station Maipú. It leaves every 30 minutes and costs 20$.
It’s also possible to take the bus number 60 from many stations throughout the city but the journey takes at least one and a half hour – due to the traffic usually more. As the bus prices are constantly rising it is however in my opinion absolutely not worth it to take one. For more buses alternatives click here
Another way of going to Tigre is by boat. You can catch it every day in Puerto Madero at 10 am and go back to the city at 4 pm. As there is only one boat leaving either in Buenos Aires and in Tigre per day but you´d like to go anyway, you should take in consideration reserving it on a Friday morning and spending then at least one night in Tigre or the delta. The prices for renting a boat ride are much higher than those for taking the bus. If you buy a return ticket you have to pay 590$, a one-way ticket costs you 450$.
What to do in Tigre:
Arriving at the city with 300.000 inhabitants you have several options to do and to see which is why you better stay more than one day.
If you are looking for souvenirs, artesanal and home-made stuff you should visit the Mercado de frutas, a market which is opened all week and directly located at the riverside. You can absolutely find everything on the market from odds and ends to Argentine goods like dulce de leche or mate, typical clothes or decorative items – and although it may occasionally seem hard to believe, as the name suggests also some vegetables and fruits. If you visit the market on the weekend you might even find more goods than during the week.
Anyone who has come to Argentina might have already been getting in contact with its famous drink mate, a herb mixture filled up with hot water. Argentines love it really really much – they carry their mate cups and thermos around in the parks while enjoying their free time or just drinking it instead of a coffee for waking up in the morning. For those who don’t know what it is I recommend reading our blog about Mate – The Popular Drink from Argentina or visiting the mate museum in Tigre called El Museo del Mate.
After spending one hour inside getting to know something about Argentine culture it might be time to relax your brain once again. If that is the case, visit the theme park Parque de la Costa located close to Mercado de Frutas. You shouldn’t expect a Disney World or any other BIG park but nevertheless you can find water rides, roller-coasters and also a Ferris wheel…
… Just like the old saying saving the best for last here is my all-time favorite of Tigre and its delta.
Take at least a day off and rent a kayak or canoe and do a trip throughout the delta. You could either do an organized journey or explore it on your own – it’s always worth it! There are a lot of different tours to choose from, but don’t let yourself being persuaded by one of the overpriced tours which offices are located near to the train station. It is more recommended to do a little research before arriving to make sure that you get the most out of it.
Once sitting in your canoe you can enjoy the silence and tranquility you have probably missed in the city center of Buenos Aires. Let yourself sweeping along a relaxing tour on the small rivers surrounded by large trees plants while getting the feeling of being in the jungle. In the midst of water and islands you can find small restaurants where you can stop for having lunch or dinner and of course a good Argentinian wine. If you decide staying for the night I would rather reserve a lodge in the delta than a hotel in town. You can find really nice ones on airbnb for accessible prices which bribe with their cozy atmosphere including fireplaces. To make sure that the Argentine flair of carne and choripan never is missing, a lot of the lodges you can find have their own parillas (barbecues). Sounds like the perfect day, doesn’t it?
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