When in the busy capital of Argentina, an escape to Tigre Buenos Aires should always be on the cards. Easy to get to and lots of fun, Tigre makes for both a perfect day trip from Buenos Aires or a longer stay on one of its wild islands.
In this guide we’re going to cover how to get to Tigre from Buenos Aires, tell you a little of the history of this enchanting place and layout all the best things to do in Tigre.
It’s one of our all time favourite places in Argentina, so we’re excited to help you plan an adventure to remember. Ready? Let’s do this.
Tigre Buenos Aires
Referred to as ‘continente’ by locals, the town of Tigre straddles the T-junction of the River Tigre and River Lujan. It’s seriously pretty. Think colonial buildings, cool street art, fascinating museums and an incredible artisanal port market.
But as the gateway to a vast 300km network of rivers and wetlands that is the Tigre Delta, there are two very different side of Tigre to explore. A labyrinth of waterways crisscross lush green jungle like veins, creating hundreds of remote islands.
Only accessible by boat, the islands are completely off grid with no mains electricity or water supply. The laid back, charming way of living in this part of Tigre Buenos Aires is what draws tourists and Porteños alike out of the well loved big city vibe of the capital.
The History of Tigre Delta Buenos Aires
Originally just a port for exporting fruit and timber from the region, the Tigre Delta enjoyed a tourism boom in the early 20th century as it drew high society Argentines for weekend getaways. But didn’t last.
Attention swiftly shifted amongst the fickle Buenos Aires elite to the expansion of luxury resorts on the Atlantic coast. The once grand colonial mansions and ornate riverside promenades fell into disrepair.
Save for those working the land, Tigre was all but abandoned.
But all was not lost and in the decades that followed artists and musicians started to be seduced by the rundown watery world. This created a bohemian and somewhat eccentric vibe amongst the communities that settled there.
And in recent years, with the assistance of huge regeneration works by the tourism board the beauty of Tigre Buenos Aires has been completely rediscovered.
These days there is a very eclectic feel to Tigre Argentina. The town is once again being flooded by tourists on summer weekends and coming full circle as the wealthy seek out spas on secluded islands surrounded by nature.
Exploring the Waterways
Probably the most popular thing to do in Tigre Buenos Aires is to take a boat trip around some of the canals and islands.
As soon as you near the water of the Estacion Fluvial (boat terminal), you’ll likely be approached by a boat tour operator. There’s a few different kinds of options to choose from to explore Tigre’s waterways, so it’s a good to have an idea of the kind of boat trip you’d prefer.
You have the larger catamarans that have a couple of decks. They tend to offer half or full day excursions and have better views as you can sit up top. However due to their size they have to stick the main channels of the Tigre Delta Buenos Aires.
Then you have the smaller wooden boats that can access the narrower parts and take you deeper into the Tigre Delta, Buenos Aires. Some of these run guided tours, usually for an hour. This is what we opted for. It was $200 ARS (£3.70 GBP / £4.80 USD) per person.
Other boats of this style are simply water taxis that people use to get to and from specific parts of the delta. Like the block systems in the city, you give the address of the intersection of streams.
Or if you’re after a more individual experience, you can hire a private boat to take you around the waterways. This is a good option if you prefer to have more of an input into your route and wish to make multiple stop offs.
Oars at the ready! The final option for exploring the Tigre Delta Buenos Aires, is a little more manual. Curiously, all along the river Tigre you will find British style rowing clubs. Some are private, but it’s also possible to rent rowing boats or kayaks along here too.
Nature In The Tigre Delta
Picture postcard shots of weeping willow branches frame colorful stilted wooden houses, set back from rickety handmade jettys. It really is very beautiful.
Many of the islands are inhabited and you’ll learn about the fascinating rural lives people lead here. Instead of a school bus, they have a school boat. And if you need to nip to the shop you don’t jump in a car, you jump in your boat.
Others islands aren’t inhabited and are where you’ll find more wildlife knocking about. Particularly birds such herons, woodpeckers and hummingbirds. But also marsh deer called Capybara, otters and the Pampas Cats.
There were once larger cats wandering these parts too. In fact the name Tigre originates from the Yaguareté or American Jaguar. Sadly these were hunted to near extinction so the chances of bumping into one is very slim.
More About Tigre Delta Islands
There are restaurants on some of the islands, some require prior reservations but most don’t. You can grab a map from the Tourist Information point which shows all the different locations.
We didn’t eat at any of them but heard good things about Gato Blanco and Bonanza.
Some of the longer boat excursions will include stopping off at an island restaurant on their route around the waterways. Expect to pay more at island restaurants than on the mainland, however most say the scenery is worth the splurge from the reviews we read.
Or you can just take a water taxi there. A quick search on most of the restaurants’ websites, will give specific instructions about how to get there, i.e. which ramp you need to take at the boat station and how long it will be.
For exploring deeper into the Tigre Delta Buenos Aires by kayak, there are some restaurants that also rent them such as Kanoo.
If you aren’t a confident kayaker, this is a more favourable option than renting them from the mainland because you’ll skip out having to mix with the big catamarans as you cross the River Tigre and River Lujan.
There are also options to explore specific islands in Tigre by horse riding or trekking. Although rather than a Tigre Buenos Aires day trip, these are perhaps better activities for an overnight stay. More on those options later.
More Things To Do In Tigre
Museo de Arte Tigre
Dominating this section of the Luján River, this stunning building and elegant promenade was opened as a social club over a century ago. Unfortunately an economic crisis and a new law prohibiting gambling in the early 1930’s resulted in its eventual abandonment.
But recently restored to its former glory and reopened as the Museo de Arte Tigre, it is once again one of Tigre’s iconic buildings. The museum is jam packed with art and there are also some beautiful sculpture gardens to explore.
Puerto de Frutos
If you’re heading to this market for the fruit, be aware that you will likely be disappointed. If, however, you’re after some artisanal crafts and handmade furniture you’ll be in your element because it’s like a giant outdoor etsy shop.
There are a few food stalls selling fresh produce, as well as food trucks and restaurants.
Museo Naval de la Nación
If you’re interested in history of this part of South America, this museum will be right up your street. It takes you through a timeline of the naval history, from pirates to trade ships and warships. There’s specifically lots of information about the Malvinas / Falklands War too.
El Museo de Mate
Curious to learn more about the national obsession of Mate? Or maybe you haven’t tried it yet? Either way, this is your place. Way more than a drink, if you are interested in learning more about Argentina’s customs, be sure to pop in here.
Museo de la Reconquista
To learn about the Spanish empire and South American colonial history, this small museum in Tigre Buenos Aires, is worth half an hour of your time. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens round the back.
On the opposite side of River Tigre to Puerto de Frutos, you’ll find the picturesque Paseo Victoria. The walkway, lined with restaurants and palm trees takes you along the bank of River Lujan. It’s a lovely spot for a peaceful romantic stroll.
And anyway you HAVE to go down there to get to the next spot…
Heladería Vía Toscana
Quite possibly the best ice cream shop in the whole of Argentina. You simply have to drop by here while in Tigre Buenos Aires. Not only do they have incredible ice cream flavors, they will dip the whole thing in chocolate.
It’s called ‘baño de chocolate’ and if you get the coconut icecream it tastes like a giant bounty. Be prepared to get messy, it’s immense.
Here’s the address: Avenida Victorica 470
Sáenz Peña Street Art
Right near Puerto de Frutos is this pretty boulevard decorated with lots of colorful street art. A great place to see an alternative side to Tigre Argentina, it’s worth a little detour.
Parque de la Costa
If exploring the Tigre Delta isn’t enough excitement for you, you can always check out the amusement park. Personally they’re not our thing and I think there’s way better stuff to spend your time on in Tigre Buenos Aires. But it may be good if you’re here for a few days with kids?
Not so much a tourist attraction, just a small shopping centre with tacky souvenirs and cheap eats. If you’re walking past, pop in, but probably don’t go out of your way. The China Town in Belgrano, Buenos Aires, is bigger and better.
How To Get To Tigre From Buenos Aires
Being just 35 km north of the city of Buenos Aires, you have quite a few options when it comes to how to get to Tigre from Buenos Aires.
1. Tren de la Costa
Take a bus to Estación Maipú, it’s around a 45 minute journey depending on where you are in Buenos Aires city. Then you need to hop on the Tren de la Costa to take the train from Buenos Aires to Tigre.
This is the ‘tourist’ train and it’s a picturesque 30 minute ride. For foreigners, the cost one way is $42 ARS (£0.80 GBP / $1 USD) if you are using a Sube card, and if not double.
So get a Sube if you don’t have one – you’ll need it for the bus there anyway because you can’t pay in cash on buses in Buenos Aires.
You can find the timetable for the Tren de la Costa here.
2. Linea Mitre Train
You can also take the ‘normal’ train from Buenos Aires to Tigre. When fully operational this is the most convenient of the two train options for how to get to Tigre.
However there are currently some major works underway so it is only running further along the line from Nuñez station. Not from Retiro and Belgrano stations as usual. We’ll update these details as soon as this changes.
You can take the bus or metro to Estacion Nuñez, again around 45 minutes. This train journey is 30 minutes from here too, but cheaper at $15.50 ARS (£0.30 GBP / $0.40 USD) one way. We know – crazy cheap right?!
Get up to date times and availability information direct from Google Maps.
3. Direct Local Bus
Another option for how to get to Tigre from Buenos Aires is to take the number 60 direct bus. This does however go all around the houses and will take a minimum of 2 hours depending on traffic.
You will find the local App ‘Cómo Llego’ helpful for times and bus stops, download it direct from your App Store for free.
4. Taxi or Uber
You can expect to pay around $600-700 ARS (£11-13 GBP / $15-17 USD). That’s one way. It’s by far the most expensive route, however you’ll be there direct in around 30 minutes.
Beware that Ubers are technically illegal in Buenos Aires so they can’t always pick you up from all locations. Having said that we used them all the time without issue.
5. Take A Tigre Tour
The final option you have for visiting Tigre Argentina is to take an organised tour direct from Buenos Aires.
When To Go To Tigre Argentina
Tigre Buenos Aires is best explored during summer months but late spring and early autumn days are also pleasant. So you’re looking at October – April for the best weather.
Because the Tigre Delta is such a popular spot for weekend trips from Buenos Aires, it will be much quieter during the week. It’s also best to avoid long bank holiday weekends, Easter weekend for example is ramma jammed as Porteños leave the city on mass.
Where To Stay in Tigre
We only went on a Tigre Buenos Aires day trip and we really wish we’d had the time to stay overnight on one of the islands. From camping to full on luxury spa and wellness resorts there’s options for every travel style.
We’ve picked out a few of our favourites for you here.
Secluded: Cabañas Le Parc en Delta de Tigre
These cute stilted wooden cabins are perfect for a romantic getaway. Situated in between the trees along the banks of Arroyo Angostura, surrounded by green nature and beautiful views. It’s impossible not to relax here in this part of Tigre Buenos Aires.
Cabins are air-conditioned and have a kitchenette and patio. Breakfast is included and served in your room. It’s over 18 accomodation only. There’s a couple of restaurants and shops on the island, plus plenty of trekking routes.
Adventure: Bonanza Deltaventura, tu estancia en el Delta
Situated within 60 hectares of private gardens and beaches, there’s an array of activities including hiking, cycling, horse riding and fishing. This is the place to stay in Tigre Argentina if you’re after some adventure. Great for families and groups.
Full board with all meals included is offered and there is also a free boat shuttle service from the port of Tigre. Rooms are air-conditioned with private bathrooms. And the shared lounge, with cosy fireplace, has a wide range range of books and board games to be enjoyed.
Luxury: Delta Eco Hotel
An elegant health resort surrounded by green gardens with tailored spa programs, including including yoga and hot stone massages. It has two jacuzzis, two swimming pools and a sauna. If you are hankering after a spot of pampering while in Tigre Buenos Aires, this is your place.
All rooms feature air conditioning and private balconies. Some have private hot tubs. Rates are full board and include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, if staying Saturday to Sunday, guests can use general facilities until 6pm and also enjoy a buffet lunch.
Camping in Tigre Buenos Aires
It is also possible to camp on the Tigre Delta Buenos Aires, but you will need to enquire directly with the campsites for prices and availability.
There’s also lots of accommodation on Tigre mainland also.
Travel Insurance For Tigre Buenos Aires
As with any trip abroad, make sure you have a good quality travel insurance in place. Our go to travel insurance provider is World Nomads. They have a no bullshit approach to policy wording & are perfect for adventurous travellers like us.
Get a no obligation quote here:
Do You Speak Spanish?
One thing to be aware outside of Argentina’s main foreign tourism hotspots, is that not many people speak English.You can of course usually get by, but since we started learning Spanish we found that it has hugely enhanced our travel experiences.
Not to mention enabled us to travel around Spanish speaking countries more confidently.
Which is why we’d like to recommend this Travel Spanish Confidence course we took recently. It enabled us move beyond a basic level to being able to communicate effectively in Spanish.
If you don’t know a word of Spanish however, this won’t be for you yet. Better to get started with Duolingo or some basic language classes first.
Have unanswered questions about planning your trip to Tigre Argentina? Drop us a note in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help!
If you are travelling around Argentina, you may also find our other Argentina content helpful.