Buenos Aires: Part 2 – A day trip to the Tigre Delta
On Friday we took a trip to Tigre. Tigre is a town just north of Buenos Aires and is a gateway to the rivers and wetlands of the Parana Delta. It is a popular weekend getaway spot for locals and I highly recommend including a trip to Tigre on your travel itinerary when you visit Buenos Aires. Travel time to Tigre will be about an hour. There is so much to see and do in the town, so make sure you allocate a whole day for your Tigre visit.
How to get to Tigre
There are three options for getting to Tigre, bus, train or boat.
The bus will take an hour to an hour and a half. The bus system in Buenos Aires is complex and I would not recommend it. If however bus is your preferred mode of transport it is possible to take the number 60 bus from various points in the city.
A commuter boat leaves from dock four in Puerto Madero, Monday through Friday. But there is only one boat per day and the departure time is at 6:30pm. This is a great option if you are planning a weekend trip to the town of Tigre.
In my opinion the easiest and most economical way to get to Tigre is by train. There are two train options. The first is the Linea Mitre line from Retiro station directly to Tigre. This is the option that I would recommend. The second option is the Tren de la costa. The Tren de la Costa is or rather was a tourist train that takes a more scenic route up the coast. To take this train, you will need to take the Linea Mitre line from Retiro station to Maipu station, and then cross over to the Tren de la Costa line.
Our travel experience
We chose to take the Tren de la Costa train to Tigre, and the direct Linea Mitre line home. The travel was simple and easy and the train lines are clean, easy to use, and run on time. For us the biggest challenge was getting across town from our home in Barracas to the Retiro station.
We initially planned and attempted this trip on Thursday, but because of protests and demonstrations in the heart of the city, the roads were completely grid locked and our taxi couldn’t get through the city to the station. We had much greater success on Friday and made it trouble free to the train station, although it was a lengthy taxi ride.
I had travelled on the Tren de la Costa on my previous visit to Buenos Aires, and it was a delightful experience. There were many stops along the way that were worth a short visit and the journey itself could be turned into a half day trip. Worthwhile stops included Borges station, named after the writer and dubbed the “station of the Arts”. The English styled Barrancas Station and my personal favourite, San Isidro, which had a small urban centre that offered leisurely shopping and outdoor pubs and restaurants.
Unfortunately, due to political problems with the train system the Tren de la Costa is no longer what it once was, and to my disappointment, all the stations along the way, although still operational as stops, where no longer open for tourist trade, were boarded up and in some instances derelict. My advice would be to forget the Tren de la Costa and take the direct train to Tigre.
The town of Tigre
The town of Tigre has much to offer day visitors and those that choose to stay longer.
There is a whole host of museums, including the El Museo del Mate (Mate Museum), the Museo de Arte Tigre (Tigre Art Museum) and the El Museo Naval de la Nacion (National Naval Museum).
The Parque de la Costa theme park, offering roller coaster rides, a water park and a ferris wheel. (Aidens eye caught a glimpse of the ferris wheel from a distance and all he wanted to do was to ride it, we had to go to great lengths to distract him).
And the three-floored casino, the Trilenium, for those that are keen on chancing there luck.
We would love to have done and seen more, but time was limited, and travelling with a three-year-old can sometimes feel like travelling with a ticking time bomb, you are never quite sure when limits will be reached and meltdowns will ensue.
So we focussed on visiting the Puerto de Frutos, which is the towns old fruit harbour and now a busy craft market. It is well worth a visit, the artisanal crafts on offer are of a very high standard and there is a lot that one does not see in Buenos Aires, especially the wooden craft.
And of course, a trip to Tigre would not be complete without a boat trip along the Tigre Delta to explore its many islands. The trip lasts about an hour and gives you a good sense of what life is like living in the Delta. Our trip came with a guide who provides you with plenty of information and insight into the Delta, provided you can speak Spanish. The boat trip was an awesome experience for all of us, and has been one of the major highlights of our world tour thus far.
We ended our day with a lunch at a fantastic restaurant along the banks of the Delta. We were lucky enough to have a waiter from Columbia, whom could speak some English. Its funny how being able to converse in your mother tongue is taken for granted and how much it is treasured when you are in a foreign language country. The restaurant had a very relaxed outdoor area, with a play gym for Aiden. We all had a very enjoyable meal, which ended in a big bowl of pink ice cream for Aiden. And a complimentary glass of champagne for Lauren and I, courtesy of our waiter and, I think Aiden. In his very “Aiden” way, he seemed to delight and charm our waiter.
On the way home, Aiden fell asleep on the train and Lauren and I both ended up chatting about how it would have been nice to take a couple of days out from Buenos Aires and to have had an extended stay in Tigre. If your itinerary allows for it, I would highly recommend allocating a few days of your trip to spending in Tigre.
Our adventures from earlier in the week.
The highlight of our week for us was undoubtable our trip to Tigre, but it was not the only highlight of the week.
On Monday, Lauren and I took advantage of Granny Gayle being in town, and went out on our own to explore the port area of Puerto Madero. We walked along the port, crossed the famous Puente de la Mujer bridge and ended our adventure at Plaza de Mayo. Before finding a little coffee house for some cake and coffee. This is the first time since leaving Cape Town we have had a morning to ourselves and although we have treasured every moment with Aiden and the focus of our trip is family, it was very special to just explore the city streets in our own time.
On Tuesday we took a trip to the Japanese Garden. Barring the high humidity and heat, it was a very enjoyable morning out, Aiden seems to love playing and exploring the gardens, first in Rio and now in BA. This is our second experience of a Japanese Garden, you can read about our first experience we had of a Japanese garden in the botanical gardens in Rio de Janeiro. The serenity and peace of a Japanese garden is something special, and we are feeling stronger and stronger about including Japan on our world trip itinerary.
For the most part this week, we just lived normal life, shopping, playing games at home, swimming in the pool and exploring our local neighbourhood. That is, after all, what this year is all about, spending time with family. Yes, we are fortunate enough to be able to spend this special time together in amazing places, but it is the time we spend together, and not the places we spend it in that we will remember and treasure the longest.
My wish for all of you is that you too get to go out and explore the world with your loved ones. But even if that is not on your bucket list, my wish is that you are able to free up your time so that you have more time for special moments with family. We have unlocked the secret to achieving this, you can learn more about how here.
Until next time,