La Boca is one of the most picturesque, historic and artsy neighborhoods of Bueno Aires, famed for its colorful houses, tango and soccer team. La Boca means “the mouth”, as it is the mouth of the river Riachuelo, it was the first port, the entrance for all vessels coming from Europe and the place where all immigrants found their shelter in Argentina.
The centerpiece is the cobblestone strip, El Caminito, or little walkway. It acquired a cultural significance because it inspired the music for famous tango “Caminito” back in 1926. You can see restored “conventillos,” shared homes made of wood and corrugated zinc and painted in bright primary colors.
The pedestrian lane features an outdoor fair where artists sell their wares and tango dancers prance along the sidewalk in between photo ops with tourists. It’s a great place to shop souvenirs, handicraft items and paintings. And of course, there’s a lot of bargaining!
There are a ton of restaurants in the neighborhood, but no nightclubs, since the neighborhood is described as ‘seedy’ after dark. (P.S: it is a safe place to visit during the daytime, just take cabs to and from your destinations). You will see a lot of open-air tango on display to entertain the patrons at the outdoor cafes.
Banchero Pizzeria which opened in 1932 and claims to be the creator of Buenos Aires style “fugazza” pizza, topped with cheese and onions, is a great place to stop by for a quick snack. The restaurants there don’t accept credit cards, but they do accept a lot of different currencies!
La Bombonera is of course the stadium that is to the world famous Boca Juniors. It’s possible to do tours of La Bombonera, but the best way to see it is during a game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to witness one, hmm, may be next time!
The cobblestones, colorful corrugated-iron houses and artists’ studios, makes La Boca postcard perfect!