In September 2021, there was worldwide news saying that capybaras have invaded a neighbourhood in Argentina. After watching the YouTube video on this phenomenon, the area that the Capybara decided to invade is the city of Nordelta and Tigre in Buenos Aires. Suffice to say, I was excited. I love seeing crazy shit like this happen. As soon as I arrived at my first hostel in Argentina, I immediately asked Wendy (the one in charge of the place) how I can go see the capybara’s invading those cities in Buenos Aires. At first, she gave me a confused look because she has never heard this sort of request from any tourists. Wendy told me that they called capybara’s “carpincho” in Argentina and she would love to help me figure out a way to see them.
After doing some research, Wendy determined that we need to go to Tigre, Buenos Aires. We would have to take a 40-minute train ride to get there.
Journey to Tigre, Buenos Aires
To reach Tigre, Karen and I went to Retiro-Mitre by taking the local metro. From there, we boarded the train which would take us to Tigre in Buenos Aires.
The train ride itself was interesting. Random Argentine people would board and try to sell you stuff. These peddlers would sell notebooks, candy, chocolates, chips, etc. No one seemed to think it was weird for these peddlers to board the train to sell stuff to the passengers. Between the peddlers, entertainers would also board the train and play their music. We even had a rapper come in and spit some beats while we were taking the train.
After their performance, they would come around and ask for money from the passengers.
As a tourist, it can feel intimidating for these peddlers to come to you to try and sell you stuff. But, after travelling to numerous countries, I’m quite accustomed to being harassed to buy stuff. I don’t like it but I understand it exists and deal with it as they come.
Lazy Tigre in Buenos Aires
When we arrived in Tigre, I started going around asking how I can go to Nordelta to see the “carpincho”. I kept getting mixed messages from the locals. Some would tell me that it’s impossible to enter Nordelta because it’s a private residential zone. And some would tell me that I could go to the golf course which is open to the public and try my luck to see the “carpincho” there.
I was getting overwhelmed with all this mixed information so Karen and I decided to get a bite at a local restaurant. Personally, I didn’t like the restaurant that much. I found the owner to be lazy and snobbish. So far, I am not liking the vibe in Tigre even though this city is pretty looking.
After eating lunch, Karen and I found the tourist information office and we proceeded to ask how we can see the capybara. Finally, they told us that it is impossible because Nordelta is a private residential home. They said the capybaras are in there and we can’t see it unless we live there.
After hearing this disappointing message, Karen and I spent the rest of our time walking around the city to check it out. But deep down inside, I didn’t care. All I wanted was to see the capybara and they’re out of reach. I don’t want to see the ones in the zoo either. I want to see the ones invading Nordelta.
Not long after, we made our way back to our hostel in Buenos Aires to my disappointment.
I was so obsessed with trying to see these capybara’s that I told Karen we should pretend we’re looking to buy a property in Nordelta so they would let us in and we can see the capybaras. Nordelta is a rich neighbourhood in Buenos Aires which makes sense why it’s a private and gated community.
I’m not giving up on the capybara just yet and I will find a way to see them outside of a zoo setting in my future travels to South America.