A watery weekend from Buenos Aires
The Tigre Delta is made up of thousands of remote islands, streams and canals. (Tim Fitzgerald)
The Argentine capital is well known for its gourmet cuisine, fabulous shopping, frenzied nightlife and top-drawer activities – but when weary porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) wish to escape the commotion of the big city, the town of Tigre and its surrounding delta region make for the perfect weekend getaway.
Located just 35km north of Buenos Aires, the Tigre Delta is among the world’s largest deltas, and is unique in that it is one of the only ones in the world that doesn’t flow directly into the ocean. It turns into the Río del Plata, a river and estuary that borders the city of Buenos Aires and separates Argentina from Uruguay.
The delta is made up of thousands of remote islands, streams and canals that provide the perfect atmosphere for those seeking a quiet retreat. The only way to get around is on the water. If you don’t have your own boat, you can take water taxis and ferries.
While the town of Tigre is charming, most people head straight to the delta where the latte-coloured waters are rich with iron from the jungle streams that flow from inland South America. Boat rides deep into the delta offer peeks at local stilt houses and colonial mansions, and you can hike along peaceful trails. All along the shorelines are signs of water-related activity, from kayaking to wakeboarding, boating to fishing.
Many lodgings are located throughout the region and travellers on a budget should look into renting a cabin. Since many accommodate up to eight people, larger cabins are a great option for a trip with friends. For a more pampering getaway, try a chic resort or spa, like the Isla Escondida Spa which offers spa services and fine dining in beautiful surroundings.
For the more adventurous, El Dorado Kayaks organises multi-day kayak trips through the remote canals of the delta, camping on remote islands along the way.
If you wish to visit on a day trip, Safari Delta offers private tours in a small boat, allowing access to narrower canals and remote parts of the delta.
Trains travel between the Retiro train station in Buenos Aires and the train station in Tigre on the hour each day, taking just under an hour each way.
Tim Fitzgerald is the Buenos Aires Localite for BBC Travel. He also writes gringoinbuenosaires.com.