On a long trip, not every destination has to be memorable – so we decided to go to Tigre in Argentina. The small riverside town is a famous getaway for those who live in Buenos Aires; indeed, the capital is only a 1-hour train ride away. While the many canals can be deemed bucolic by many a city-dweller, we weren’t completely enthusiastic…

Planning your day in Tigre, Argentina

Situated only 30-50 min away from Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata, this little town is supposedly a favourite weekend destination of the Porteños (ie. the people from Buenos Aires). Many of them own a secondary residence on one of its numerous streams and enjoy a tour of private boat.

The idea sounded terrific to us: ride the poetically-named “Tren de la Costa” (Train of the Coast) to that place called Tiger and enjoy a boat tour on the delta of the luxuriant Parana River. Wow!

Why not to visit Tigre in Argentina

Well, 1st warning, Dear Reader: that coastal train is a scam. It does follow the coast of the Rio de la Plata, but there’s constantly a row of houses that prevent you from catching a single glimpse of the water. The experience is in no way more charming than with the normal train, so save time and money.

About 2,476,980 companies offer you very similar excursions on the water for about the same fee, but you’ll have to pay the price if you want to go as far as the mouth of the Parana, or take a boat back to Buenos Aires. The usual 1-hour tour (for about $200) takes you along canals with street names and lots of houses. Here’s the 2nd warning: if you’re looking for a nature trip, you’ll be disappointed (as Anna was).

Another thing: the water stinks. Badly. The tourist officer told us it was because of factories dropping their sh*t in the water. Great.

We left the boat and the stinking water and followed the sign “Historic center”. And hither gallops the 3rd warning, my devoted reader: there is no such thing as a historic center in Tigre. It looks just like a random village with single-storey houses and parallel streets. Nothing to boast about.

Bare street view of Tigre Argentina
Streets of Tigre

Too bad, really. You would think that a town built on water could be charming… But the town that is called Tigre because the 1st settlers used to hunt jaguars is not.

Museum of Fine Art in Tigre, Argentina

BUT SUDDENLY, far from the center and the tourist boats coming and going, appear a wonderful 1912 building, now a National Historic Monument housing the Museum of Fine Art -the Tigre Club. Probably one of the most beautiful buildings we’ve seen so far, and home to a varied and interesting collection of Argentinian painters.

Have you ever been on a boat trip? Where was it? Share your anecdote with us in the comments!

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Who am I?

Anthony fell in love with the world, and more particularly with South America. He wants to offer inspirational guides to the curious backpacker, travel stories to the online generation, and incentives for a more responsible and greener way-of-travel for everyone.

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