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Day Trip: Tigre, Argentina

Day Trip: Tigre, Argentina

Destination Details
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Location

Time Spent

  • 1 day

Cost

  • $20/person
Getting There

Linea Mitre From Retiro Station – train leaves pretty regularly and takes about an hour. You can pay with a SUBE card or go up to the ticket window and purchase a roundtrip ticket for 2 pesos that is good until the last train back (around 10pm).

The Tren De La Costa – is geared towards tourists and take the scenic route along the river, but has an option for hopping on and off.

You can also travel by boat, but this is a little tricker since there is only 1 per day. We didn’t really look into this option.

Exploring Tigre

Budget

River tour companies are plentiful and offer hour long boat rides cheap (we saw one for about 60 pesos). These tours stay on the main waterways and don’t offer interesting stops to restaurants or smaller rivers since they are carrying loads of people.

Water taxis are an even less expensive option, letting you hop on a boat with the locals and travel down the river. Your best bet is to buy a ticket from the office behind the tour stands and hop out at Tres Bocas.

Mid-Range

Safari Delta – guided by Fernando is who we would have liked to go with, but it was still just a little too pricey for us at 900 pesos a person. Fernando offers a 5 hour ride and can even be a private tour for 2 that makes stops for drinks or a meal and goes down parts of Tigre the larger tour boats can’t. His tour also lets you experience more of the nature and animals of the delta.

Fancy

Delta Unplugged – is run by a Swedish couple and is also highly rated on TripAdvisor. Not only do they provide a long tour that is more personalize, one of them is also a chef that will apparently prepare an amazing meal. We might have considered this if Argentina were the only destination on our trip.

Buenos Aires had a lot to see and do (and drink and eat), but we wanted to step out of the urban environment for a bit and see a little outside of the city. We’d heard that Tigre, Argentina makes for a nice day trip and would give us a chance to take a ride on the regional rail. I don’t know why I had such high expecations of a jungle-like system of Amazonian rivers, but Tigre was more like Venice meets the bayou. The waterways are the streets, boats and kayaks are the modes of transportation, but the scenery is more like a swamp with connected brown rivers, grassy banks, and wooden docks that will be knocked over with the next strong breeze.

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    One of the water taxis headed out into the delta

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    There is an amusement park right on the waterway in the main city center

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    This pier, like many others, acts as a taxi stop on the waterway

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    Tigre is a place for porteƱos to escape the city

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    Passing the Crystal Box (Domingo Faustino Sarmiento’s House / Museum)

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    There are a few decaying old ships ashore along the delta

It’s possible we didn’t have realistic expectations of Tigre because it was hard to find a good source of information; we mostly pieced our plans together through TripAdvisor reviews because it provided the most concrete information and opinions. While we had a nice day and the weather was favorable, our opinion of Tigre was probably most affected by our budget.

Check out the details section at the top for how to get to Tigre

Exploring Tigre

There are a few ways to explore the system of rivers once you arrive in Tigre depending on how much you want to spend and we didn’t want to spend a lot. When we arrived, we called and met up with Fernando, a friendly Argentinian that described himself as a tall man with striped hippie pants, who came highly recommended on TripAdvisor. He was very kind and funny in person, but his tour cost more than we wanted to spend at about $90 USD. He advised us to skip the cheap tours since they were brief, impersonal, and didn’t go anywhere interesting and just hop in a water taxi to Tres Bocas. We ended up taking his advice and purchased our tickets for the water taxi that leaves from Estacion Fluvial.

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    Your pier is your garage

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    A view down one of the canals at Tres Bocas

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    Although there wasn’t much to see the weather was amazing

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    The bayou of Argentina

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    One of the strays running up after a quick drink from the river

The ride to Tres Bocas offered us a view into how people live in Tigre; houses (beautiful ones and run down ones) up on stilts or close to the water with their private lawns, dogs running passed on the narrow “beaches” along the water, residents smiling at friends they see in the taxi as they row or motor by on their boats, and glimpses of narrower and more peaceful channels that broke off from the main waterway. Despite the noise of the taxi and the occasional stops, it’s a pretty relaxing ride to take in the views.

It doesn’t take long to reach Tres Bocas, a place that appears to be mostly filled with private homes and hostels. Immediately off the dock there is a large map that we photographed (we’ve developed a good habit of taking pictures of maps to keep with us), and saw that there is a singular path that runs the perimeter of the neighborhood. We decided to walk around as far as we could along what turned out to essentially be a sidewalk. It’s a very quiet area and we didn’t see many people, but Ryan was quickly adopted by a pack of stray dogs that roam around the area. Although it was a sunny day, Tres Bocas is dense with trees that keep most of the place in the shade. Frankly, there isn’t much to see there except rows of private docks and gently bobbing boats. We walked as far as the sidewalk allowed, maybe 30 minutes, before turning back and ending our time there at one of the two restaurants we walked passed. Here we had our first taste of Argentinian steak. We were just glad to enjoy a meal outside, we didn’t have high expectations for the steak itself and it lived up to them.

A visit to Tigre is nothing to write home about if you’re on a budget. We had a nice time wandering the “streets” of Tres Bocas, but if you’re on a budget, it’s not really worth it to make the trip out there. Aside from the neighborhoods on the water, the main area of Tigre is very residential and doesn’t really have much to offer. If you can afford it, splurge on a nice tour to get the most out of being there.

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