A Trip Down The Tigre Delta, Buenos Aires

Room with a view

Whatever floats your boat!


So we started the day full of excitement about going into the unknown. If we do any city tours or trips we always like to find the small ones. They’re more personal and less boring. We had 3 days in Buenos Aires, but when we decided we wanted to visit the Tigre Delta to take us out of the city for the day, we weren’t expecting to be able to do it on such a personal level due to its distance from the City (about an hour).

Tigre is a natural tourist attraction at the mouth of the Parana River Delta. With a combination of typical and picturesque river houses mixed with wild landscapes. The area is perfect for those who love nature (not me really) and bird watching (still not me) or spending the day on a river boat with 5 people you’ve never met before eating amazing food prepared by Ralph the chef and listening to stories about life on the river from Ralph’s wife Ana whilst she poured copious amounts of Malbec red and rose! (Food and wine bit definitely me!).

Purple is my colour!

They arranged for us to be collected in shared taxis and taken to the dock in Tigre one hour away . From there we took a river taxi (here I imagined the beautiful wooden style boats a la Venice, head scarf and dark glasses donned, a la Audrey Hepburn, but sadly we were met with a rickety old fishing boat, with a purple driver’s seat, grey shag pile walls, rear view mirror and a sign for the emergency exit at the back of the boat! No scarf or sunglasses were needed here. We arrived at Ana and Ralph’s jetty where they were both excitedly waiting for us to take us on our adventure.

We started with a short tour of their old house, which used to be a 1930’s tango club with original decor with a wonderful old kitchen with its original oak fridge and clay oven where the Swiss chef Ralph who had travelled the world using his skills, bakes his bread, cows and meringues (hopefully not altogether). After a short history of the area we sat down to wonderful home baked breads, jams and tea to set us on our way. We met the German couple from Bonn, an ex Navy officer and teacher, one retired the other on a year long sabbatical (I’m so jealous) passionate tango dancers, who travel around visiting all 5 continents of Tango clubs; Milongas: wherever they go. Then there was Ken a mid 70’s Aussie from Melbourne, Juliet a mid 70’s Aussie from Sydney, who had coincidentally met each other on the Alaskan cruise they’d just stepped off, and Gill, an Aussie/Brit here for work but on a day off before she flew home. Lovely Combo of people we’d never ordinarily meet or stop to chat to, but such an interesting bunch.

Bird, what bird?

Slowly sailing through the back waters, passing by houses, schools, floating supermarkets and floating ice cream vans, I couldn’t help feeling curious as to how on earth they entertain themselves on a daily basis. Electricity is ok during the week but once the weekend crowd come down with all their extra electric needs the whole area loses power! We did a bit of bird spotting, I was always too late to the party and by the time I’d discovered what it was they’d spotted, it had flown away!

Murky waters, or were they?

We anchored up and stopped for lunch, a wonderful feast of butternut squash quiche, chicken, steak, salad and potato rosti all cooked by Ralph, wines from Mendoza and litres of beer, dessert was a tasty and perfectly cooked orange panna cotta, and then more drinks to follow should you not be tipsy enough! A sail back round the other way to their home, passing by the fire boat and local vet’s jetty, then back for some home made ice cream, humming bird photography and a traditional Argentinian meta tea drinking ceremony which made us all feel like we were high on the leaves, sucked from a silver straw and shared amongst us 🤑.

Part of me hoped Ken and Juliet would end up as a couple of mid 70’s travellers together, but sadly I soon learnt that they both had spouses back in Oz, so the Shirley Valentine romance was not to be.

The river taxi returned to take us home where we all continued to share stories and we returned back to our hotel an hour later. We got out and walked at the end. Traffic in Buenos Aires is bad, and we spotted an angry emoji on the drivers what’s app chat so felt it best to get out! 🤣 

Now to find some energy for a late evening at a hidden speak easy bar called Franks, if we can work out the password and then actually find the place! We took our tour with Delta Unplugged who have not paid me to write this review!

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