Isla Martin Garcia

Tigris, The Paraná Delta & Isla Martin Garcia,

A great trip while in Buenos Aires is a visit to the Paraná Delta. The Delta is a 14000 km2 area of islands, inlets, water channels, rivers and backwaters. It's a great area to explore and you get away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires. On weekends legions of people flock to Tigre, the gateway to the Delta and you will see massive queues infront of the shuttle boats taking you out onto the many waterways.

Tigre is about a 1 1/2 hour bus ride (number 60) from the city. Alternatively you can take the train from Retiro or the Tren de la Costa. However,  the latter is definitely overpriced and it charges tourist prices! I find Tigre itself quite boring. There is the Puerto De Frutos, a major tourist market, but that's about it. There is also the Tigre Casino, but that's a rather sad than exiting place. Worst of all, there does not to be a decent restaurant in town. The best recommodation I can give is a grilled chicken take away called Super Pollo.

A great day excursion you can do from Tigre is to visit Isla Martin Garcia. It's a three hours boat ride to this island. The boat leaves at 9 am, so if you are coming from Buenos Aires you will have an early start. Alternatively you sleep over in Tigre and start the day in a less stressful way.

Isla Martin Garcia is not really part of the Paraná Delta, but rather lies in the Rio de la Plata closer to Uruguy than to Argentina. The highlight of the whole trip is the 3 hour boat ride itself. The first 1 1/2 hours take you through the Delta and afterwards you are crusing up the Rio de la Plata. If you are lucky you can sit outside on the roof of the boat and let the secenery pass by. Once you turn into the Rio de la Plata it is worth to have a look back. You will be rewarded with a view of the Buenos Aires skyline in the distance.

On Martin Garcia you get a one hour guided tour around the inhabited  part of the Island. There are some interesting details about the island. Juan Perón was once imprisoned on the island and one of the first practisioners of blood transfusions - Luis Agote - was living and working there. Today the island is owned by the government and the people living there only lease there homes from the government. Bird watchers will love the island since it offers excellent bird watching oppertunities and if you like other wild life you can try to spot one of the many lizards inhabiting the island. And in case the local bakery is open make sure to get a pan dulce. The pan dulce from Martin Garcia is renowned in whole Buenos Aires.

Here are some pictures from our trip to Martin Garcia.