Tigre used to be known as “Las Conchas” due to the great amount of conch shells found in the river bed which gave name to the area, is very much associated to important events in Argentine history. During the first decades of the 20th Century it became a favorite destination for the “Porteño” aristocracy especially for the summer season holidays.
Today, visitors can perceive the history of Tigre and in its museums and old houses around the city. The colonization of the area began with the second founding of Buenos Aires by Don Juan de Garay in 1580.
During the second conquering of Buenos Aires in 1806, General Liniers landed his troops on the shores of the Las Conchas River ( today known as Reconquista River ) and organized the take over of the city from a neighbour’s house, exactly where the Reconquista Museum is located today.
The first train arrived at Las Conchas and was a great incentive for the development of the area. Before this event, the trip between Buenos Aires and Las Conchas took a whole day. During the times of the yellow fever epidemics in Buenos Aires in 1871, Las Conchas became refuge to wealthy Buenos Aires families and this is the reason many big houses were built then in the area. After the disease had gone, many of these houses became summer residences.
By that time, both the city and the Delta were being chosen by writers, politicians and other personalities to spend their holidays or weekends, amongst them Marcos Sastre and Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. There is still one of Sarmiento’s houses located on the river bearing his name functioning today as a museum.
The islands of Tigre became an important producer of timber and fruits at the beginning of the 20th Century. The electric train arrived in 1916 increasing thus the number of tourists and the popularity of the Delta islands. The Tigre Club with the first casino in Argentina and the luxurious Tigre Hotel were established in those years and new recreational attractions started appearing in the area.
The city today combines touches of the splendorous past seen in the Belle Epoque houses and museums with the modern infrastructure which shows its current progress.