If you are in Buenos Aires for the first time, La Boca is a place where you definitely need to go. The images of La Boca’s colorful houses are something you can see in just every tourist guide on earth. So it’s no surprise that La Boca is normally full of foreign tourists wandering around, taking pictures in front of everything. The locals are of course adapted to this, so if you want to have a completely ordinary meal, a small and nothing special steak at the Michelin 3-star prices, you should try one of the restaurants in this neighborhood. If not, it is the best to avoid all of them, albeit this may be quite a challenge as the restaurant owners are literally pushing people into their restaurants.
La Boca is a nice place to wander around (even if you have been here many times before) and get lost among all the little houses, painted in just every possible colour. This comes from the history, as the former residents of this area painted their houses with leftovers of colours from painting their boats, so the houses were really very colourful.
The most famous and well-known part of La Boca is Caminito, a cultural monument of Buenos Aires and a street museum. Caminito is also a famous tango song, originally written in 1926.
On a beautiful sunny day La Boca’s streets are also full of tango dancers, artists selling their paintings, stalls with sometimes very interesting local crafts and it is always full of life, that’s what I love the most. This time it has been a bit different: there have been a lot less tourists than usual. There are two main reasons for this, first all the prices in Argentina are currently extremely high and there are less tourists in general, and second there is a crisis in Brasil and almost no tourists from Brasil are coming to Argentina lately. Tourists from Brasil represented almost 70% of all the tourists in the previous years.
There are other interesting things in La Boca rather than only Caminito: football lovers can enjoy La Bombonera, the home stadium of CABJ, Club Atletico Boca Juniors. If you come and have a look inside the stadium, you may get the feeling that Diego Maradona is still there…
It is not the best idea to walk outside of this tourist area, as the other parts of La Boca may be quite dangerous, and there is actually not much to see. People with too much courage have been victims of La Boca’s “motochorros” many times, so don’t be too courageous and avoid it, if you want to keep your belongings and yourself safe.
And after an enjoyable day in La Boca you can stretch your legs, sit at the river and have some delicious garrapinadas (freshly fried warm peanuts or almonds in sugar). At the same time you can have a look at the waters of Riachuelo, think of old times and maybe listen to another famous tango, Nieblas de Riachuelo. And enjoy being in Buenos Aires.