La Boca is a vibrant, gritty neighborhood in Buenos Aires known for tango, art markets, pedestrian streets and homes alive with color. The area most tourists visit in La Boca is the Caminito. Although this area only a few blocks long, it was one of my favorite places in Buenos Aires. Experience a La Boca walking tour to get a bit away from only seeing the tourist sights and see all that this eclectic neighborhood has to offer.
During my 10 days in Buenos Aires, I visited La Boca on two separate occasions, this first on a walking group tour with Joy of Buenos Aires. She is a former G Adventures tour guide who now leads walking tours of different neighborhoods. I had heard some shady things about La Boca and thought going with a group was better than meandering about semi-lost by myself.
With Joy, we visited different sections of La Boca, some where not too many tourists visit. I had the lowest costing empanada of my whole trip and it was good!
Those less-touristy parts of La Boca were concrete, run down, and as Joy told us “dog poop everywhere, watch your step”. There was really dog poop everywhere. So we walked towards the rainbow of colors.
The CABJ (Club Atlético Boca Juniors) soccer stadium, La Bombonera is bright yellow and blue and awesome! The surrounding blocks filled with bars, shops, and even houses are all bright blue and yellow to match the professional soccer team that calls La Bombonera and La Boca home.
Definitely don’t miss this section of La Boca. I was not in Buenos Aires when any soccer matches were being played unfortunately so I never saw the inside. But a friend of mine was able to go to a match and said it was unbelievably fun.
The art market of La Boca that resides on the shady side of these beautifully colored homes had so many cool paintings and sculptures. I was so close to purchasing some prints to hang in my living room but I was worried about carting them around in my backpack since Easter Island was up next on my itinerary before flying back to the United States.
Two of my friends ended up buying the prints I liked so at least someone I know is enjoying them.
In the alley ways and on most solid surfaces near Caminito are murals depicting the fun and gritty life of La Boca. It was about 100 degrees on this day so I did a lot of ducking into alleys and their shops for shade.
While I would not choose the La Boca neighborhood to stay in while visiting Buenos Aires (I’d go with Recoleta or San Telmo), La Boca was one of my favorite sights in Buenos Aires. Definitely carve out an afternoon to wander the colorful streets, watch some tango (but beware- they will hound you for money!), buy some art or souvenirs, and enjoy the contrasts of La Boca.
Reader Question: Do you buy art when you are traveling? Do you have a souvenir type that you usually purchase? I personally collect magnets for my refrigerator