The Paraná Delta dazzles nature enthusiasts with its countless rivers and creeks, perfect scenes to paddle on a kayak. A suitable ride for everyone.
Minutes away from the Big City Tigre
lies just thirty kilometers –one train- away from the capital
. It is the beginning (or the end?) of the Paraná Delta. Many porteños
migrate to this city during the weekend but how many of them venture into the first section of the Delta?
We resolved to do this on a beautiful sunny spring Sunday. We took the 9-o’clock commuter passenger boat heading for the Espera River. Half an hour later, we reached the berth called Las Leñas
. It looked as if we were not the only adventurous ones. Two boys and our guide’s girlfriend Carmen got off the boat with us. Our guide’s name was Martín. He also owns Sudeste Paseos.
After a short tour around the facilities, Martín showed us the equipment and taught us to handle the paddles. We did some warming-up exercises and then got on our kayaks. We chose a kayak with a double cockpit, which is more suitable for beginners.
Let’s Set Sail Now!
The first part of the circuit was quite demanding. We took a main waterway and had to paddle amidst the weekend traffic. Luckily, it did not last long and was not that terrible anyway. We turned into a delightful quiet creek, touched by the sunbeams and sheltered by trees. Some houses on stilts (typical of the delta and areas easily flooded) timidly came up here and there. The smell of the privet invaded the whole space and the soft murmur of the water accompanied us all the time. In the distance, we spotted a neotropic cormorant.
After approximately one hour, we found a spot where sunshine and shade co-existed perfectly for us to enjoy some mate
. We stayed there for a while, chatting and appreciating the sounds of nature. We tried to figure out what birds were making those sounds. Was it a woodpecker, a thrush, an ovenbird, a sayacar tanager, a scarlet-headed blackbird, a great kiskadee? One thing was sure: some species from the Delta delighted us with its incredible chant at that riverside wooded area.
As we still had a long way to go, we had to abandon our beautiful refuge and start paddling again. At about one in the afternoon, we reached an island rest area where homemade food was served. We moored our kayaks and sat at a table overlooking the river. The lawn was amazing and very neat. We could also see some inviting swing seats.
After Lunch Talk and Rest
A charming talk followed lunch and then we returned to Martín’s house. We got the kayaks out of the water and onto the lawn and left the life-vests next to the paddles. Then we sat around the table. In a matter of minutes, Martín unfolded some maps and brought some books as we shared some mate and chipá, and he told us about the natural and cultural heritage of the Delta. He also pointed out the route we had just covered and the location of his own house.
We certainly did not feel like abandoning that place. Our plan was to take the 5.30-pm commuter boat back but we ended up taking the 7-pm one. We felt sorry to bid farewell to the Espera River.
Anyway, it was comforting to know that there is such a magical place at such a close and accessible distance. See you soon, beautiful Delta!
Bear in mind: The tour includes a guide/instructor service, a single or double cockpit kayak, a paddle, a life-vest, a waterproof bag, elements to get rid of water entering the cockpit, instructions regarding postures, paddling techniques and kayak maneuvering, steps to follow in case the kayak capsizes, basic security rules to sail the river. It is advisable to bring a hat, waterproof footwear, sunscreen and mosquito repellent, a spare change of clothes and warm clothes for the afternoon.