Explore Tigre And The Parana Delta

A Day Trip From Buenos Aires In Argentina

Explore Tigre And The Parana Delta On A Day Trip from Buenos Aires

A Day Trip To Tigre And The Parana Delta From Buenos Aires

We explored Tigre and the Parana Delta on a day trip from Buenos Aires.  On our Oceania Cruises trip around South America we had 2 days in Buenos Aires and we wanted to get out of the city for one day.  We enjoyed some time lazily touring the river delta.  And we even stopped to admire the San Isidro Cathedral on the way back to the city.

Our trip out of town gave us a very different view of the area.  We were glad we planned this on our visit to Buenos Aires.

Heading From Buenos Aires To Tigre

Our day trip excursion to Tigre and the Parana Delta was by bus.  But as we pulled into Tigre we passed a new railway station.  If we wanted to visit the Tigre region again, even the slow train took only about an hour to cover the 20 miles from Buenos Aires.

We learned that the town of Tigre was named for the jaguars (called tigers) that used to be hunted in this area.  Luckily or not, we saw no live jaguars on our visit.

Tiger Fountain Statue

The Paraná River runs through Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina for about 4,880 kilometres (3,030 mi).  The name comes from a Tupi Indian phrase meaning “as big as the sea”.  The Parana is the second longest river in Brazil after the Amazon River which we visited earlier on this trip to South America.  We were fascinated when we learned that the Paraná is the only river delta on earth that emptied into another river.  After it merged with the Río de la Plata, it finally emptied into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Paraná delta was an 8,400 square-mile maze of river and rainforest.  There are over one thousand tiny islands.  Because of all the channels between the islands, the Tigre has been described as the Venice of South America.  We were not sure it really is on par with the real Venice in Italy.

Delta Map
From Nasa Earth Observatory – Astronaut photograph ISS027-E-11058 was acquired on April 9, 2011, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.

Wandering In Tigre

After the bus parked, we had a little time to wander by the waterfront in Tigre.  We browsed in a few stores and got a cold drink.  But we knew we had to stay close to the dock.

We saw a mural dedicated to Conti in Tigre.  The Parana Delta is said to have been discovered by Haroldo Conti when his future wife, Dora Campos took him boating there before they were married.  They later bought a house on one of its islands near Tigre.  Conti was an Argentine writer, screenwriter, teacher and Latin professor.  The Delta was featured in “Sudeste” and appeared in other of his works.  

Haroldo Conti Mural - Tigre And The Parana Delta

On May 5, 1976 Conti disappeared during the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional military dictatorship.  The the “Día del Escritor Bonaerense” (Day of the Buenos Aires Province writer) was held to commemorate the date of his kidnap.  

Many different cruise companies offered tours from Tigre.  We followed our tour guide and boarded our boat for a tour through just a small part of the Parana Delta.  As we cruised along, our guide offered other interesting historical notes about this fascinating part of Argentina.  

River Cruise Dock - Tigre And The Parana Delta On Day Trip From Buenos Aires
Delta Map
River Cruise Route

A Glimpse Of Things To See And Do In Tigre and the Parana Delta

We started our river cruise going past a few of the things to see and do in Tigre.  Sadly we only saw these from the water so it would be worth a return visit to enjoy more.

We first went past the colourful Parque de la Costa.  This amusement park had a couple of roller coasters, a ferris wheel, some other rides and a water section.  It was not a massive park but we learned it was the largest of its kind in Argentina.

Costa Park

The boat hovered in front of the beautiful belle-époque building that housed the Museo de Arte Tigre in the Tigre.  The building was once a social club for rich bohemians escaping Buenos Aires. The building eventually fell into disuse but was reopened as a museum in 2006.  The Italian and French style mansion was home to a small collection of 19th and 20th-century Argentine art.  Rotating exhibits occasionally contain more modern works.

Museo De Arte Tigre - Tigre And The Parana Delta On Day Trip From Buenos Aires

When we went into the waterways, we slowed down as we passed the Sarmiento House.  The glass-covered house was the former residence of Domingo Sarmiento, the 7th President of Argentina until his death in 1888. It was declared a National Historic Monument in 1966 and was now a museum.  When Sarmiento built his house in the Tigre region, he wanted to use materials that were “neither stone nor brick” and chose willow wood.  We saw that the house was built on stilts like typical houses in the area.  Since the Sarmiento Museum was accessed only by boat, if we wanted to visit on another trip we needed to find a boat that stopped there.

Museo Casa Sarmiento -Tigre And The Parana Delta

When we explored Tigre and the Parana Delta we found lots of reasons to visit for a longer time that just a river cruise. 

Life On The Water

We left the main river and headed into the smaller channels.  There were no roads or bridges connecting the different islands in the flood plain, just canals that were travelled by motorboat or canoe.  The waters carried a heavy load of muddy sediment and were coffee-colored.  Small channels went off at regular intervals.  Along the river bank we saw giant willow trees. And occasionally we saw rusting wrecks left in the shallows.

River Waters
River Willow Tree

As we cruised along we were amazed at the variety in the houses that we saw.  Many of the homes had a British flair. We saw mock Tudors, Victorian mansions and even British-style gardens that reflect England’s influence and ties with Buenos Aires.  The houses had personal docks and most of them were up on stilts for some safety from floods from the fluctuating water levels.

We learned a little about the life of the “Isleños” or the “people who live on the islands of the delta”.   Children went to and from school on school ferries, the mail was delivered by boat and many supplies were delivered right to the personal docks.  We saw a small church on the river banks and a small well-stocked store. In several places we saw beaches and picnic areas.

Church -
Tigre And The Parana Delta On Day Trip From Buenos Aires
Beach and Picnic Spot

Cruising around Tigre and the Parana Delta we found that life on the water was quite complete.

Getting Around On The Water

The water was a busy spot when we visited.  We saw such a wide variety of water craft.  The police (or “prefecture”) had a visible presence on the water.

River Boats
River Boats
Police on Water - Tigre And The Parana Delta

But maybe the most interesting thing was the high number of rowboats we saw.  There were many different rowing clubs along the waterfront.  Many were started by immigrants from countries such as Spain, England and Italy.

Row Boats
Row Boats And Rowing Club - Tigre And The Parana Delta On Day Trip From Buenos Aires
Row Boats

As we moved through the channels we saw other tour boats of all shapes and sizes.  It would be easy to visit this area and just get out for a tour.

River Cruise
River Cruise - Tigre And The Parana Delta

When our tour boat finally got back to the dock, we went directly back to the bus.  We left with just a glimpse of all the Tigre and the Parana Delta had to offer.

A Stop At San Isidro Cathedral

There was on more stop on our day trip from Buenos Aires.  We pulled up at the San Isidro Cathedral and got out.  This church was considered as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Argentina and was declared a National Historic Site.  A local market was set up in the Plaza Mitre across from the church.

San Isidro Cathedral

We wandered over and walked around the outside of the church.  The distinctive neo-Gothic architecture drew our eyes up to the clock tower which stood over 225 feet in the air. When we looked at the windows from the outside, we knew the stained glass inside would be stunning.

San Isidro Cathedral - Day Trip From Buenos Aires
San Isidro Cathedral

We wandered inside and got a view of the cathedral’s cross-shaped design.  A statue of Christ was displayed over the main altar.  And all around the church we marvelled at the colourful stained glass art.

San Isidro Cathedral
San Isidro Cathedral - Tigre And The Parana Delta On Day Trip From Buenos Aires
San Isidro Cathedral - Tigre And The Parana Delta On Day Trip From Buenos Aires
San Isidro Cathedral - Tigre And The Parana Delta

Our stop at the San Isidro Cathedral was a beautiful way to end our day trip to Tigre and the Parana Delta.

An Enjoyable Day Trip To Tigre And The Parana Delta From Buenos Aires

We enjoyed our day trip to Tigre and the Parana Delta from Buenos Aires.  We loved the chance for a glimpse into all that the small town of Tigre had to offer.  If we went for a longer visit we learned there was much more to explore.

When we cruised along the waterways we saw a very different life on the water.  Next time we might plan to take a smaller boat and explore more of the channels.  Some tours even headed to the open waters of Rio de La Plata and provided a view of Buenos Aires in the distance.

We found much to see and do in Buenos Aires.  But we were still glad we headed out of the city for one day.

Did you do a day trip to Tigre and the Parana Delta from Buenos Aires?  Have you explored more of this area than we did on a quick day trip?

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  1. As someone who lives near the real Venice, I’d love to do this boat trip! The homes along the Parana Delta are incredible and so charming. It’s cool to see the legacy of the European immigrants that came to settle there. Getting to Argentina is a big one for me one day, and this day trip sounds perfect.

  2. The more I read your posts about visiting South America on a cruise the more I feel like doing it myself! Tigre looked interesting and I would love to see the Isleños people. The photos reminded me of communities I have seen and visited in Asia. And that church is divine inside and out. I love the pink hew of the facade and of course the exquisite stained glass windows inside. Seems like a lovely place to visit.

  3. Tigre reminded me first of Tigre bread! The 2 don’t have a connection at all! Haha. Anyways, Tigre looks like a great day trip from BA. A short cruise in the river sounds perfect. The willow trees, stilt houses, mock Tudors, Victorian mansions and British-style gardens are just so picturesque.

  4. The canals on the Parana Delta would be one of my favourite place to explore on a trip here. Those rustic houses on stilts make you wonder how life here would be like. As a keen photographer, I’d like to spend a few days here and just observe. I can imagine that at night there is no other sound that the one of nature. What a good night sleep these sounds would provide! If I go to Buenos Aires I will make sure to add Tigre and the Parana Delta on my itinerary.

    • There was so much to see and on in Buenos Aires it was hard to decide what to do. But we were glad we headed to the Tigre area and saw a very different way of life. And learned some interesting history too.

  5. You day trip to Tigre and Pirana Delta is a very pleasant one. It is a unique experience to explore the area through boats and canoe.Its nice to learn that Pirana is the only delta in the world that merges into a river and not an The beautiful town of Tigre has lot of attractions to be covered on a boat tour. The parque de la Costa, the museum de Arte Tigre, the murals dedicated to Harold Conti, the glass covered Sarmiento House and the peach colored facade, the huge click tower stain glass architecture of San Isidro cathedral. Parana is undoubtedly the Venice of South America. It’s a pleasure to see houses, shops, churches built on stilts reflecting traditional Tudor and Victorian architecture and rowing clubs, willow trees bordering canals branching out across the town of Tigre. I would definitely love to visit Pirana delta and Tigre.

  6. Buenos Aires seems to have many sides to it. I have never heard about the Tigre area or Parana Delta but they look very interesting. I love the houses by the river and how they all look a little different. We often also visit churches or cathedrals as they are so pretty and they have a lot of history in them. San Isidro Cathedral is also beautiful!

  7. Gettin out of Buenos Aires for a day trip was a great idea. I have never heard of Tigre and the Parana Delta but already made a note on my places wish list. I love exploring by boat and the Parana Delta looks so lovely. I would spend a day there just exploring, taking pictures and relaxing.

  8. Seeing all the museums in the area made me think that this place has so much history. I find the belle-époque building intriguing and I am trying to imagine how the rich bohemians spent their time there. On the hand, the life on the water seems so different.

    Anyway, happy to know that you enjoyed your trip.

  9. Oooh very cool! I did not know much about the Parana Delta, so this was all new to me. It is really interesting to see the difference between the nasa photo of the maze of rivers from above, compared to the neat buildings on stilts and boats along the waters edge!

  10. I love the idea of living somewhere on the water. It’s interesting to see how mail is delivered and to learn about how people navigate the waterway. Cathedral was magnificent.

  11. I would love to explore Tigre and the Parana Delta on a day trip from Buenos Aires. It would be so cool to take a boat tour through the channels. Love the views and the church especially.

  12. Tigre looks like a beautiful place to explore, I have never seen anything like it! I would love to backpack through the whole of South America one day! Thanks for sharing.

  13. The weather girls were right: So many men, so little time. However, this is the case not only with men but far more importantly with great places to visit on travels. There were so many places in and around Buenos Aires that I had to skip the delta. Now that I see it in your pictures, it might have been a mistake. But since I loved Buenos Aires anyway, I’m sure that I’ll be back one day to do all the things that I missed on my last trip. Thanx for encouraging me 😉

    • I am sure you will be back to Buenos Aires one day and can pick up a trip to Tigre and the Parana Delta. We were glad for this trip out of town. But know there are many other great day trips.

  14. Okay this is now on my bucket list! I would love to visit the Tigre And The Parana Delta. It looks amazing. Glad to hear that it is an easy day trip from Buenos Aires. Thank you so much for sharing this information!

  15. I spent a few days in Buenos Aires, and the city delighted me, but I missed the idea of a river cruise! It’s a pity, and I know I have to go back. I had no idea it could be such a fascinating river trip, and the life along the river is so interesting there.

  16. So crazy that people actually live in that area. There’s so much space in Argentina and yet they chose such a complicated way to live. 😀 But it’s fascinating, I would actually like to experience a life like that for a few weeks, going everywhere by boat. At least I would love to go on a tour like you did, it sounds like it was all worth it, and the cathedral looks incredible!

    • I am sure living on the river full-time would be a challenge many days. But a nice relaxing way to take a break. We were happy to see this as a day trip from Buenos Aires.

  17. Domingo Sarmiento’s tiny residence is so cute! Why is it covered in glass? (Protection due to the unusual building material?) This sounds like a beautiful day trip from Buenos Aires, and it’s a great reminder to get out of the city sometimes.

    • They are protecting this historic site. Not really sure about the glass. But it was one of the interesting things we saw when we visited Tigre and the Parana Delta.

  18. It never ceases to amaze me how vast the life on water really is from the grounds we live in. Looking at all the water houses in Parana delta reminded me of the water villages they have in Brunei. We took many photos along the way that reminded us of communities I have seen and visited in Asia. It was overall one of the best experiences we had.

    • We were fascinated with the variety in the houses along the rivers in Tigre and the Parana Delta. Brought back a fascinating history and interesting view into life on the river.

  19. I had no idea this could be a day on a South American cruise! It looks incredible and there’s so much to do! I plan on looking into these cruises now!

  20. Exploring the Parana delta and Tigre sounds wonderful. I’ve been at the Parana river in Santa Fe but the river itself was not too interesting. When in Buenos Aires, I spent all my time exploring the city (with a side trip to Colonia in Uruguay).

  21. Seems like a fantastic way to explore Tigre. Although you weren’t able to explore some areas on foot, the boat ride more than made up for it plus it’s worth a return trip there as you mentioned. I’d definitely like to explore the Sarmiento House and Museo de Arte Tigre.

    • We love when we find day trips like Tigre and the Parana Delta. In this case, it was a great escape from the city. So much to see and do. Well worth a repeat visit.

  22. What an interesting excursion! I was just in Buenos Aires and hadn’t thought of exploring by water. Thanks for sharing!

  23. What an interesting place and trip to take. I’d love to visit Buenos Aires and didn’t realise there were excursions out on the water like this. I can see why you’d like to return again and explore more. Heading onto the Rio de La Plata would be great too.

    • Most people spend their time in Buenos Aires because there is so much to see and do. But we were glad we headed out for a day trip to Tigre and the Parana Delta.

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