Parque de la Costa
“Argentina’s largest amusement park”
February is one of the least interesting times of the year. Belgium is cold and wet, everyone seems to suffer from a winter depression and most European theme parks are closed. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect month for travelling? Yes, it sure does. On Valentine’s Day 2019, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean (plus the equator) and we exchanged the European winter for a South American summer. Our destination: Argentina. This country is well-known for its natural wonders, its wines and its juicy steaks. However, it isn’t exactly an ideal roller coaster destination. According to the Roller Coaster Database, there are just 22 operational coasters in Argentina. The largest theme park in the country is Parque de la Costa and we obviously planned a visit. Parque de la Costa can be found in Tigre, a coastal city within a 45-minute drive from Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires.
Parque de la Costa’s two biggest roller coasters are placed right next to each other in the eastern corner of the park. Argentinian visitors seem to consider them as highlights, but they’re actually very standard to us. A Vekoma SLC and a Boomerang count as the count as the most thrilling coasters in the whole of Argentina. During my entire life, I have made one single ride on a Boomerang coaster. That ride (Cobra at Walibi Belgium) made me feel so nauseous that I’ve refused to ride Boomerangs ever since. This precept has cost me lots of coaster bingos, but I’m not planning on changing my mind.
The reputation of a Vekoma SLC isn’t necessarily better than a Boomerang’s, but I decide to join Nick for this next credit. Let’s start with the good news: I love Desafío’s colour scheme and the queue is nearly empty. However, the actual ride experience is exactly as I imagined it to be. The lift hill and the brakes are fine, but everything in between could be described as painful, horrible and why am I doing this? I admit that Desafío isn’t the world’s worst Suspended Looping Coaster, but please don’t take this as a compliment. It’s still really bad.
Spinning coaster Montaña Rusa Torbellino appears to be the park’s most popular ride. It’s not busy at all, but we end up in a 50-minute queue. Let’s hope that the actual ride experience is fun, right? Unfortunately, this turns out to be a very tame ride. Torbellino is a Chinese copy of the classic Reverchon spinning coaster and the drops are notably less steep in this version. I don’t consider this as a bad thing, though. I really don’t trust those cheap Chinese roller coasters, especially if they’re placed in South America. Arriving in the station alive, that was my main goal.
Parque de la Costa offers a total of four roller coasters, but one of them is hidden in a remote corner of the park. I’m talking about El Vigía. Just like the park’s other coasters, El Vigía is a standard model. We’re talking about a large Tivoli coaster, manufactured by Zierer. This ride can be found at many amusement parks and the ride experience is mediocre. However, Parque de la Costa has considerably improved the ride by integrating it in an artificial mountain. I actually think that this is one of the better looking Zierers in the world.
Parque de la Costa can be considered as a permanent funfair with a few bigger amusement park rides. Keeping in mind that most South Americans aren’t used to large theme park chains, this makes perfect sense. There’s a big variety of attractions that look standard to us, but locals seem to enjoy them a lot. These rides include a classic wave swinger, some children’s carousels, a Ferris wheel and a few thrilling flat rides. One of these flat rides is Samba, a Tagada. This weird attraction can be found at some European funfairs, but it’s notorious for its safety issues. Consider it as a revolving bouncing castle on steroids. There are no restraints, so you might end up on the gondola’s floor. Never ever will this ride be accepted in the United States.
This might come as a surprise, but Parque de la Costa also offers a dark ride. A very small one, though. La Mansión del Terror is a ridiculously bad haunted house with poor scare effects and an old-fashioned, low capacity transportation system. It reminds me of the ghost trains you’ll find at your local funfair and the scares seem invented by a toddler. La Mansión del Terror definitely isn’t a must do, but it’s hilarious.
WORTH A VISIT?
Parque de la Costa is Argentina’s largest and (probably) best amusement park. From my perspective, that’s a little sad. The park is rather small, theming is limited and most attractions are standard. From a coaster enthusiast’s point of view, I could state that the park lacks a few signature attractions. However, Argentina just doesn’t have the roller coaster culture we know in Europe, Asia and North America. I probably won’t come back, but I’m very glad that I paid a visit to Parque de la Costa. The overall atmosphere is perfect and local visitors seem to enjoy the park a lot.
Parque de la Costa
Photo Gallery 2019
Would you visit Parque de la Costa during a trip to Argentina? Do you know other theme parks with a Tagada? Does South America deserve more thrilling roller coasters? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.