Last weekend I rode the train north to Tigre to enjoy a pleasant autumn Sunday afternoon out of the city of Buenos Aires. Tigre is a relatively small town with a population of 380,000 situated on the Paraná Delta. The Paraná Delta is massive covering about 14,000 square kilometers in a network of islands and wetlands.
Tigre was named after the jaguars, mistaken for tigers, that were occasionally seen the the area. Streams and rivers from the Delta cut through the town making a section of the town technically an island. There is so much water around there are even water taxis to take you to various spots in the city.
Tigre was founded in 1820 and recently has been growing steadily with an influx of people relocating from the city and a rise in tourism.
How to Get to Tigre from Buenos Aires City
Tigre is incredibly easy to reach from Buenos Aires city, I took the Mitre Tren from Retiro Station, the return trip was ARS 18 and I paid with my sube card. This train leaves every 20-30 mins and it takes 1 hour to reach Tigre.
There is also the Tran de la Costa (costal train) which you can take by taking the Mitre Tren to Bartolomé Mitre station with connection to Maipú station of Tren de la Costa. This train then takes 30 mins to reach Tigre, however its concept is to give tourists the ability to hop on and off at the 11 stations on the way, many with interesting activities, markets and historical landmarks. There are two kinds of tickets available so if you want to check out the stops on the way make sure to get the hop on and off ticket specifically.
What to See
When you first arrive at Tigre and exit the train station the first thing you will see is a very impressive long line of flagpoles flying flags from every country. Went spent some time strolling the roadside, trying to name all the countries and checking our guess with the plaques at the foot of each pole. We decided to take a scenic walk along the water edge and just take in the sights and sounds of this bustling town. Quite accidentally we stumbled upon the Mate Museum and decided to check it out. This was a cute little museum, easily explored in under an hour, but with a surprising amount of Mate paraphernalia.
I see Argentines drinking their mate, thermos under arm, on a daily basis so it was really exiting to learn a little more about its origin and uses. There is also a little patio where you can sit and buy a mate to try yourself.
Puerto de Frutos
Next we headed to the famous Puerto de Frutos, once a fruit market by the riverside is now home to an enormous craft market. You really could buy anything here, there are stalls selling handmade souvenirs, home decor and art, jewelry, leather and wood work and so much more! And of course delicious smells surround you from the many riverside restaurants and food stalls selling an array of traditional Argentine cuisine as well as quirky food novelties such as pizza waffles. We had lunch waterside at one of the smaller restaurants. It was a little pricey, but only what you would expect for such a spot.
Walking past rowing clubs, beautiful houses and accidentally picking up a stray dog on the way we headed towards the Museo de Arte Tigre. There were quite a few stray dogs wandering the parks and one little cutie decided to join us, sometimes following, sometimes leading, always checking we were near. We did our best not to encourage him, I worried he might not find his way back to his other dog friends and we joked that we had never had a dog so well behaved. But thankfully as we approached the museum he spotted another dog friend in the distance and he was off again.
The Museo de Arte Tigre
(formerly the Tigre Club) stands on the banks of the Luján River and houses a small but outstanding collection of Argentine art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The building itself is a work of art and worth a visit, declared a National Historic Landmark 1979. From the second story you are able to walk out onto an extensive balcony, upheld by dozens of decorative columns. The balcony extends at least 20 metres to the water edges and provides many great photo opportunities of both the delta and the museum. Again this museum is easily enjoyed in under an hour.
That was all we managed in our afternoon in Tigre but we our already planning our return. Attractions we missed this time include a sizable amusement park full or water-slides and roller coasters and the boat trips. There was an overwhelming number of companies offering 1-2 hour boat rides and tours exploring the extensive delta and stilted houses which boarder the water. It is also possible to take a boat from Tigre across the Rio de la Plata to Carmello, Uruguay.