36km (22 miles) NE of Buenos Aires
The Tigre River Delta is in essence a wild natural suburb of Buenos Aires, but it seems a world apart from the city. The delta is formed by the confluence of five rivers, where they flow from the Pampas into the Río de la Plata. This marshy complex is full of silt and hundreds of tiny islands. Over time, it's continuing to grow down the Río de la Plata. The delta area has grown considerably since the Spanish Conquest. In theory, within several hundred years, the Río Tigre Delta will actually reach the capital. The islands here are a mix of grassland, swamp, and true forest, with a variety of animal and plant life.
The development of the Tigre Delta into a resort area owes to two concurrent historical circumstances in Buenos Aires in the 1870s. One was the construction of railroads from Buenos Aires into the rest of the country. The other was the 1877 outbreak of yellow fever, which caused wealthy Porteños to seek out new parts of the city for new year-round homes as well as summer vacation spots. The English were in charge of much of the construction here, so many of the older neo-Gothic and mock-Tudor mansions and bed-and-breakfasts that line the banks of the river passages look like Victorian London buildings transplanted into the wild marshes of the Pampas.
Today, many Porteños come here on weekends to relax, ride horseback, hike, fish, swim, or do nothing at all. It's also a convenient destination for tourists, since it's easy to come here just for the day, tour the islands by boat, and return to Buenos Aires in time for dinner. There is a year-round population of residents on these car-free inner islands, and they go to school, work, and shop for groceries using a system of boats and docks.