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.
Located in the southeast end of Buenos Aires, the neighbourhood can be a bit of a haul to get to 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 Boca Juniors football club.
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 enjoy the rest of Buenos Aires.
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