Visiting Tigre and the Paraná delta had been on my list for a long time, but with all the things Buenos Aires has to offer, I had ended up never going there. So when I finally boarded the local train towards the northwest of the city, I was excited and looking forward to seeing this river delta. The ridiculously cheap train ride was fun in itself, and when we arrived at the final stop, we found an information booth right away which furnished us with a map of the region, as well as some advice on what to do and where to go. The town of Tigre has a special name: it is called after the jaguars that were once hunted in the area - but for some reason ended up being called Tigre (tiger). A few minutes walk took us to the dock from where boats leave into the Paraná delta region, and before we knew it, we were on our way in a nice, wooden boat. Even thought it was a weekday, the boat was full, and we wondered what it would look like during a weekend. We sailed through the Luján river, with a luna park on one side and majestic buildings on the other. Besides cottages, we also saw impressive buildings like the Buenos Aires Rowing Club, which from a distance looked more like a church with a bell tower, and other prominent, old buildings that added to the charm of our surroundings. Quite soon, we turned left, into the slightly narrower Sarmiento river. Still, we saw lots of boats here, and countless wooden piers, and houses behind them.
The captain of the boat proved very skillful in docking at those small piers, allowing passengers to jump off or on board, before moving ahead full power. Whenever someone alighted, there was almost without exception a pack of dogs waiting for the passenger. All banks of the rivers we were sailing seemed full of piers, while behind them, we saw one house after the other. Being so close to the enormous capital city of Argentina, the Paraná delta is an obvious place to escape the city concrete, and many inhabitants seem to have a summer house on the green banks of the brownish Tigre waters. While the boat had been full when we boarded, most of them had left the boat when we arrived at Tres Bocas. It was lunchtime, and we took a nice table right on the river bank where we had a nice view over the activity on the river while enjoying lunch in the sunlight. Apart from the inevitable speed boats, there were also catamarans fitted with chimneys that seemed too big for this river delta, carefully plying the waters of the Tigre. The advantage of Tres Bocas is that you can walk around, and we ended up walking first along the Sarmiento river, and then turning to the hinterland. This turned out to be the nicer area, with small canals, wooden piers, steps leading right into the water, all surrounded by tall trees and colourful flowers. Here, the noise of the main canal was gone; we could now occasionally hear someone mowing his lawn, otherwise: nothing.
We hardly saw anyone, and were alone with the scenic views of rickety wooden piers, the quiet brown waters, a lone kayak, and empty houses - some of which well kept, others slowly crumbling away. Most of them were built on surprisingly high stilts, and we wondered whether the water could rise that much. Just no one around to ask the question. It was very quiet here - we felt far away from the metropolis we knew was actually so close. Walking along one of the small canals, we continued until we found a bridge, crossed, and walked back on the other side. The closer we came to the Sarmiento river, the more small boats and wooden stairs we saw, until we reached another bridge, rising high above the canal below, largely hidden from view by the many trees surrounding the canal. From here, it was a short walk back to where we had arrived, and another mahogany launch took us back to Tigre. We walked to the Tren de la Costa station, a special train running close to the banks of the Río de la Plata; the station seemed abandoned and it turned out a strike had brought the train to a standstill. We walked back past the docks of the Paraná delta boats again to the other station where we took the same local train back to Buenos Aires.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Tigre Paraná Delta (Argentina). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Tigre Paraná Delta.
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