In a city that comes alive after dark thanks to tango dancing, a lively party scene and mouth-watering steak dinners paired with full-bodied Malbec, there’s a pocket of Buenos Aires that’s best seen during daylight: La Boca.
Hands-down the most colourful and photogenic district, it has a bohemian feel and is popular with visitors for good reason.
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Tour Buenos Aires
Located in the southeast end, the neighbourhood can be a bit of a haul to get to on Buenos Aires tours from areas like Palermo and Recoleta, but the time in transit is worth it.
The specific area to explore is El Caminito (“Little Walkway”) which was formerly a rail route. There, travellers find themselves surrounded by a vibrant streetscape, with a kaleidoscope of colours in every direction—all thanks to the immigrants who settled the area and painted their houses with whatever leftover paint they could find from the nearby dockyard.
From the facades of the storefronts and shanty houses to the sidewalks themselves, it’s like a rainbow at every turn.
La Boca is the type of place one simply wanders around in, taking in the sights of the pseudo-art galleries lining the laneways, the sounds of buskers entertaining the crowds, and the smell of grilled meat wafting out of the restaurants. Those who choose to visit in the evening can also enjoy one of the many tango shows that continue into the wee hours of the morning.
Soccer fans will want to head to the nearby Estadio Alberto J. Armando stadium (commonly referred to as La Bombonera) which is where Diego Maradona once played and is home to the football club Boca Juniors. Click here to book
While La Boca is one of the most visited areas of the city, it’s worth noting that being a working class area there are safety concerns, and it’s best to stay near El Caminito and the few adjacent blocks. Tourists who keep their valuables close at hand and visit during the day shouldn’t have too much trouble provided they stay aware of their surroundings.
Since there are really only a few square blocks to explore, visitors only need to budget an hour or two to see colourful La Boca, before heading off to continue to tour Buenos Aires.
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
- Caravan BA: A jungle of leafy palms welcome travellers to this bright, modern hostel, which is a hit with travellers due to its price, cleanliness and great location in the Palermo district. Click here to book
- Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires: Guests love this boutique property’s large rooms (especially the suites with a private jacuzzi, friendly staff and excellent breakfast.Click here to book
- The Glu Hotel: The modern, spacious rooms at the Glu Hotel feature balconies overlooking the Palermo district, and gets top marks for its customer service. Click here to book
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La Boca is such a colorful neighborhood! I wish I came to Buenos Aires earlier so I could have explored this.
Gah I know you totally missed out! Will just have to head back…Patagonia round 2 with less rain this time? 😉
Wow, that is definitely a colorful neighborhood – and perfect for photos! I love how vibrant everything is, and would love to one day see it in person.
My gosh it’s so colourful & I love exploring colourful places.. Definitely la boca is now on my bucket list & if Diego Maradona once played there then I can’t skip that place by any means 😀
The perfect place for soccer fans!
Wow, La Boca is beautiful! Do you believe it’s safe enough to take kids there during the day? I hope to visit Argentina within the next few years and I will put La Boca on my list of areas to see while we visit. I love colorful buildings! I think the painted cobblestones are wonderful, too. It sounds like a great area to soak up the scenery (and yummy smells).
You can definitely take kids there during the day, but again just stick to the main tourist areas and don’t stray from them.
Such beautiful shots. La Boca is truly quite a colorful neighborhood or Buenos Aires. Did you get a chance to catch a game at the stadium? This takes me back to a wonderful experience in the city.
Your pictures make me want to go back to South America 😀 – However I missed out going to Argentina when I as there last but I’m planning on going back within the next couple of years. I have heard so many great things about Buenos Aires, I know about the Tango and party scene, of course the famous steaks and friends have told me how vibrant La Boca is but I’ve not seen many pictures of it.One thing I will have to do being a football fan (soccer) is watch a Boca Juniors match – Ok after reading this you’ve made me want to start my planning for Argentina now haha
I know, I hadn’t been to South America for a few years before I just went back down to Argentina and Uruguay, and I totally missed it! I’m already hoping to head back down next year, maybe to Chile 🙂
La Boca looks incredible! Your photos are so vibrant and full of color…and life. They certainly make me happy! This has to be one of the most colorful places in the world…and if and when I ever head to Buenos Aires, I’m definitely going to explore El Caminito. I’m so enamored by your descriptions and photographs! Thank so much for sharing…adding to the bucket list now!
Thanks Jose, glad you enjoyed it 🙂
This is awesome. I love that they took paint from the dockyards that they could find. They created such a beautifully colorful city. I didn’t know about this, but now I would love to visit.
OH. WOW. 🙂 I’m a very passionate photographer, and this post really inspired me! I love the “artsy-ness” of this area – the bold colors of the buildings, the architecture, the graffiti…all of it! I think wandering around taking photos and soaking in the smells, sights and sounds would be an AWESOME way to spend an afternoon or a day!