Tigre, Argentina: Where the River is Always at Your Door


“But just as the river is always at the door, so is the world always outside. And it is in the world that we have to live.”
― Lian Hearn, Across the Nightingale Floor

It is a rainy day in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which gives me an opportunity to relax from the tourist mode and write about one of our recent adventures, the Delta of Tigre.

Getting to Tigre from Buenos Aires was an adventure itself. Transferring from the green line subway to the blue line subway to the train during rush hour was an experience in which we not only survived, but thrived! With over one million commuters daily, we were jammed and packed like sardines into the subways and train. It reminded us of the chicken buses in Nicaragua, except the train had air conditioning! Good thing we went heavy on the deodorant. All I could see above me were armpits!

An hour and a half later, we arrived in Tigre ready to board the vintage mahogany commuter boat bus to explore miles and miles of interconnecting streams, rivers, and channels through the delta.

Tigre is the starting point to the Paraná Delta. Once home to jaguars, or tigers, the charming waterways are lined with spas, hotels, restaurants, mansions, and thriving water communities. The river is always at the door.

We have always preferred to explore on our own, and found the local Interisleña boat buses, which truly function like buses, dropping off and picking up people along the numerous waterways in the Delta. For $15 rt for both, we could hop on and off to our wandering delight. It sure beat the crowded and expensive tourist ferries and catamarans that only travel on the large rivers and drop off tourists at the most expensive restaurants on the river.

 

The tourist ferries and catamarans start at $50 per person!! Way too expensive for our blood, and not nearly as interesting as discovering the Delta   with locals returning home from their daily shopping trips.

Leaving the port, we chugged past the most touristy part of the river, with large mansions, fancy rowing clubs and sports centers, a casino, a large fruit market which had its own long dock, and…

a huge Ferris wheel! Actually, it was part of an amusement park for families and children. There was something available for every tourist need and want along the Delta of Tigre. But, we were anxious to get out of tourist territory and explore the quaint local water villages. What was life really like on the Delta?

Ahhh…this was what we were looking for! It is fall on the Delta. Leaves are transforming the landscape with brilliant colors. Private docks jut out into the river welcoming visitors.

Every dock has its own unique name so delivery boats and other services can find the houses.

Need groceries? Here comes the grocery boat. It will deliver groceries to your door daily.

If you have your own boat, or use the local boat bus, you can go to the grocery store at a dock! How I love these unique stores on the river!

Garbage is no problem on the Delta. Every dock has a metal box where the garbage boats pick up the garbage on their regular routes around the interconnecting waterways.

Most of the homes are on stilts because the rivers and channels rise rapidly when there is a lot of rain. Of course, the houseboat has nothing to worry about! That is my kind of living!

 

Now how about this house encased in glass to preserve it? It is a museum of one of the first settlers in the Delta.

It was a treat to explore the small communities when we hopped off the boat at a public dock.

Meandering paths wove through the water villages. Beautiful flowers, hidden restaurants, and colorful houses lined the trails.

Resident boats buzzed through the channels. Their motors were the only noise that broke the tranquility of this place.

Although open arms welcomed us into this incredibly fascinating water world, it was time to catch our boat bus back to Tigre.

We boarded the vintage mahogany commuter boat bus and waved at the passing boats. Wait! Is that a tree trimming boat? Haha! Yes it is!

 

We picked up babies sleeping in their mother’s arms, people carrying their bicycles on their heads, and locals returning to Tigre for supplies. I sang, “Rollin, rollin, rolling on the River” the whole way back to Tigre to the laughter of some of the commuters.

Back to civilization again. But, just as the river is always at their doors, the world awaits us on the outside. What a thrill to open so many new doors on the Delta de Tigre!

 

20 thoughts on “Tigre, Argentina: Where the River is Always at Your Door

  1. What a fascinating day! That sounds like our way to travel. It reminded me just a bit of Venice, where we saw boats moving tourists’ baggage across the canal, deliveries being made to the local shops, hospital boats, etc. We are in Bariloche right now and heading to Mendoza tomorrow as well.

  2. My husband John and I just finished a 53-day, 480-mile sea kayak paddle from Orange Beach, Alabama to Homosassa, Florida (which is north of Tampa). We passed through wealthy areas with mansions along the waterfront, and incredibly remote areas of marshlands and swamps. What struck me about your Delta photos were the similarities to what we just witnessed. I would never have guessed that in a million years!

  3. Wow! What an adventure and peek into real life activities along the river. Very interesting narrative! Thanks for taking us along, Debbie.

  4. Wow, thanks for taking us on that tour! The map of the delta is CRAZY! And the trees turning colour – very beautiful. We’re back on Corn Island for a few days and then HOME to spring in beautiful BC. Take care and travel safely you two!

  5. you two are surely thriving! that looks like an amazing ‘your kind of place/my kind of place!’ my heart smiles to know you’re there and have time to share all of this with us! you’ve greatly improved the ‘tone’ of my very-long day… all’s going as well as can be expected, he’s still hanging in there to the relief of his immediate family.. thanks for your kind and dear words! love, z

    • Lisa, I figured out that I have to respond to your posts when you have internet. I am so sorry to hear about your friends. We have been in Buenos Aires for two weeks and we are all citied out. Tigre was a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the city. We are flying to Mendoza tomorrow for the last leg of our trip.
      I can’t wait to share our pictures of Iguazu Falls. Talk about a massive amount of water! Hugs!

      • Dear, lovely Debbie! I am so pleased to know that you and Ron are having a great time – and not surprised that ‘enough is enough’ from the cities, no matter how lovely the experience. Spending time in crowded rooms and away from nature has given me a case of static electricity, something that once affected me often when i lived in the usa.. i can’t remember that happening once in the tropics – but i realized that i needed to ground…. i took a brisk walk, connected with the earth/sky/flowers/positive people (or people who were not dealing with tension-filled grief) and returned half an hour later with all things balanced… it was a little ‘reminder’ for me to keep myself grounded, esp when giving emotional support to others…. for sure this taxi boat trip was a joy for you and ron – it reminded me of the taxi boat that goes to rio colorado lodge up near the nicaragua border….

        well it’s time to go speak to the family; most will be going to the hospital today, then home for new semesters for the younger generations, work for the parents, and i’ll be with the matriarch francisca as she tends her tienda… they’re all hoping for encouraging results from tests on monday/tuesday. love, lisa

    • Definitely, Susan and John! It was such a contrast from BA. Although, we were expecting a small laid-back village. Tigre has skyscrapers, rowing clubs in mansions, and the biggest casino I have ever seen. We had to take the bus boats way into the Delta to see the small water villages.

  6. HI THERE!!!! WOW… SUPER COOL …WHAT ATRIP…MALBEC ..HELADO ,,,GREAT MEAT…YUM YUM YUM!!!!!! THANKS FOR THE PHOTOS .. IVE BEEN ENJOYING IT ALL…
    WHERE TO NEXT?????
    HAVE FUN!!!!!

    • Heidi, it was a lovely change from the busy Buenos Aires! Tomorrow we fly to Mendoza…wine country! That is the last leg of our trip, until our next adventure. We are thinking of Greece, Slovakia, and Croatia…but who knows where we will end up. Lol

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