A popular day trip from Buenos Aires, the riverside town of Tigre is the gateway to the idyllic Tigre Delta region, one of the world’s largest natural deltas stretching over 5,400 square miles. Named after the American Jaguars that once frequented the area, the Tigre Delta is the meeting point of the Paraná river, South America’s second longest river, after the Amazon, and the Río de la Plata estuary, which bridges the borders between Buenos Aires and Uruguay.
A vast network of islands, canals, forests and grasslands make up the region, inhabited by a vibrant community of islanders connected to the mainland by water taxis and ‘supermarket boats’. With the river flowing through its heart, the main way to get around the Tigre Delta is by boat, and catamaran river cruises are the best way to experience the water-logged lifestyles of the Delta tenants. Drift along the canal ways where you can take in the stilted houses, yacht clubs and markets along the waterfront, and pay a visit to the house and museum of former Argentina president Sarmiento, who spearheaded the development of region.
Boat excursions aren’t the only thing to do in the Delta; horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and bird watching excursions are all popular alternatives and many of the islands have been recently redeveloped as luxury spa resorts, reportedly visited by Madonna on her last South American tour. In the town of Tigre, the lively port of Puerto de Frutos hosts a colorful crafts market; the nearby casino and Parque de la Costa amusement park draw in the crowds; and the Museo de Arte Tigre, housed in a striking belle-époque building, is also worth a visit.
A world away from the historic tango halls and shopping districts of Buenos Aires, Tigre is just a 45-minute train ride from Buenos Aires, as well as being accessible by boat from the city’s Puerto Madero docks. Alternatively, hop on the scenic Tren de la Costa (Train of the Coast), which runs along the Rio de La Plata coastline from Olivos (an easy train ride from central Buenos Aires) to Tigre.