Along the Paraná

Vacation Homes Along the Delta of the Paraná

I was talking to my friend Bill Korn a few minutes ago. When he happened to mention that there were massive fires in the delta of the Paraná River, I was shocked. I was familiar with the Paraná Delta, having taken a boat tour of the area in 2006 and 2015. I pulled up an article The Guardian, which described parts of the delta upriver from Tigre, around the city of Rosario: The area with which I was familiar was where the river feeds into the Rio de la Plata. It is an a weekend getaway for the residents of Buenos Aires that is densely vegetated, very pretty, but full of mosquitoes.

The Drainage Area of the River Paraná

The Paraná is the second longest river in South America. Its drainage area includes Argentina, all of Paraguay, and parts of Brazil and Bolivia. As you can see from the above map, Rosario is not far from Rosario, a city I went through on a night bus on the way to Puerto Iguazu, where the boundaries of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina meet, The river is some 3,030 miles (4,800 km) long and is navigable for much of its length with several deep water ports along its length. In Puerto Iguazu, I dined on surubi, a fresh water fish caught on the river.

View from a Boat Ride on the Delta

I have been to Argentina three times and fallen in love with the country. I hope that, what with Argentina mired in the coronavirus, they manage to save some of the beautiful places I have seen. It is along the river that much of Argentina’s Yerba Mate crop is grown. I remember from that bus ride passing through almost a hundred miles of fields where the tea leaves are grown.

 

Cruising the Paraná

Cruising the Delta of the Paraná in a Launch

Cruising the Delta of the Paraná in a Launch

One of the fun getaways from Buenos Aires is the massive delta of the Paraná River, second only to the Amazon in South America. Rising at the confluence of the Paranaiba and Grande Rivers in Brazil, the Paraná flows south some 4,880 km until it becomes the Rio de la Plata near the Argentine capital. Headquarters for delta cruises is Tigre, about an hour out of Buenos Aires.

Last month, I boarded a launch in Tigre and took a one-hour cruise of several branches of the 60 km wide delta. There is an entire community that lives along the delta that is reachable only by boat. There are grocery boats, barber and beauty salon boats, and others that ply these waters servicing the population which likes the poky life at the edge of one of the world’s great waterways.

Drainage Basin of the Paraná

Drainage Basin of the Paraná

As you can see, the river drains portions of five South American countries: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Argentina.The river is broad enough for container ships to go several hundred miles upstream past Rosario and Santa Fe.

One could get to Tigre by train, bus, or even boat. Don’t make the mistake of going by train on a weekend however, as it is standing room all the way from Retiro train station.