Summer in Buenos Aires is a steamy affair. And when the going gets hot, the Porteños head out of the city to find respite.
Top on the list of day trip destinations is the Tigre Delta, 5,405 square miles of lazy waterways and islands which empty into the Rio de la Plata. It's simple to reach the Delta from the heart of Buenos Aires, and the leafy waterways are an excellent means of escaping the heat of the city.
What to Expect:
Should you choose to time your arrival in Tigre with a pitch-perfect sunny Saturday, expect to be greeted by hordes and hordes of Portenos and international tourists who have also chosen to descend on the Delta. Should you arrive by bus or by train, you'll ultimately find yourself in a cramped waterfront area, built along the waterway's edge and crammed with wooden tour boats. Though seemingly overwhelming, this main visitor's hub is also home to a super-helpful visitor's center where employees will help you get your bearings, hand out maps and explain what there is to do and how to do it.
What to Do on the Delta:
Funny thing: the main attraction is Tigre, is, essentially, to get out of Tigre. Sure, the town houses attractions like the Museo de Arte Tigre, and a fun outdoor market, as well as a casino. But essentially, what you're gonna want to do on the river delta, is get out and SEE the river delta.
There are 2 easy ways to explore the Delta. Purchase tour boat tickets from one of the companies outside the visitors center, and you'll be taken on a tour of the winding Delta waterways, seeing the region's islands, grasslands and stunning Belle Epoque-style summer homes of well-to-do Argentines.
A less expensive option for exploring comes in the form of the low-cost public water taxi. It's possible to buy a ticket and ride the boat along the same route as the tour boats, seeing the same sights but without a tour guide's commentary. This could be a good option for budget travelers.
Take the taxi to the "hub" (and hub is a mighty strong word) of Tres Bocas. The paths, canals and homes offer a sense of actual life in the Delta. Though there aren't shops or amenities here, you will find a restaurant, El Hornero, which serves mediocre food, at best.
If you're hoping to spend longer than a day in the region, check out one of the local spas or country clubs for accommodation.
What to Do in Tigre:
The heart of the actual town of Tigre includes the Puerto de Frutos, a waterfront market (previously mentioned), where you can buy all manner of goods and souvenirs, including mate gourds and gaucho-inspired leather goods.
A small amusement park, the Parque de la Costa, offers recreation for families, while others can play the odds at the town's casino.
How to Get There:
A train departs Buenos Aires's Retiro Station for Tigre multiple times a day, and there is also a ferry that leaves from Puerto Madero. It's also easy and inexpensive to take the city's number 60 bus. Depending on where in the city you're picking up the bus, the ride can take anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes.
Travel tip shared by Val Conners