Take a walk with me through La Boca neighborhood to see the famous Caminito street, its history and what makes this area one of the most visited in Buenos Aires.
La Boca is an outside museum close to the port of Buenos Aires. It’s a perfect mix between life, color and a lot of local talent.
In this cool neighborhood, one can walk 6 hours or spend just 30 minutes. The more you walk the more you discover, and it is so worthy to enjoy their vibe, their hidden corners and watch tango dancers.
La Boca was created around the first natural port of the city, that’s why immigrants play a big role in the development and influence, especially Italians.
Now is one of the most picturesque areas of Buenos Aires and the neighborhood also houses the emblematic futbol stadium of Club Boca Juniors.
1. Avellaneda bridge
The bridge was built in 1939, next to it is the old Nicolás Avellaneda Transporter bridge.
Built in 1908 and declared a historic monument. It has been in disuse since 1960.
In 1994, after ordering its disarmament, residents and legislators from Buenos Aires prevented its disappearance, recognizing its emblematic importance for the neighborhood.
At the foot of the Avellaneda Bridge, there are boats that, for a few pesos, cross passengers to the other side of the stream. It is the oldest transportation service in the city.
Unfortunately, the river is quite dirty and contaminated after all these years of dumping garbage.
Vuelta de Rocha:
Declared a place of national historical interest in 1949.
From here, barges departed that carried the export merchandise to the ships anchored in the outer bay of Buenos Aires.
2. Fundación PROA
Since 1996, Fundación PROA has been dedicated to the dissemination, research and promotion of contemporary art.
The building has an Italian facade from the end of the 19th century, today there are three floors with exhibitions, a library and a bar.
Even if you’re not a “museum type of person”, going up to the bar is a must.
From the terrace, you can see the remains of the old port of Buenos Aires and El Riachuelo. You can also sit down and enjoy a drink with a great panoramic view.
The building is closed on Mondays. With the new COVID restrictions, it is necessary to make a reservation before going to the café or visiting the museum. You can do that from its website.
3. Caminito street
Probably one of the most photogenic streets in Buenos Aires.
Caminito street is a colorful paradise. In fact, according to several websites, it is one of the 10 most photographed places in the world.
In case you are confused, Caminito is actually the name of a single street, the pedestrian passage, but many times the Caminito refers to the entire block.
A group of neighbors took care of recovering and cleaning the area (turned into a garbage dump on the 50th) and they also rename the street to Caminito, in homage to the composer Juan de Dios Filiberto, author of tango music.
For some time, plays were performed using the facades of the houses.
Works by many artists were added to the buildings as mosaics, sculptures and reliefs. In 1959 the street was officially declared an open-air museum.
Nowadays, next to the art on the walls, you can also find an avalanche of souvenirs and handicrafts.
Let’s dance tango:
Because what activity is more essential than seeing tango in the street that bears the name of a tango song?
The caminitio (little path) that singer Filiberto was referring to, was the street he walked after leaving work to meet his friends. The lyrics can be seen on one of the plaques of this unique street.
Streets shows and tango dancers are put there mainly for the tourists, but all together gives the area a more cultural and artistic vibe.
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4. Garibaldi Street
Easy to recognize, Garibaldi street is divided by a train track.
Throughout three blocks you can see the original buildings of a very humble neighborhood, houses made of sheet metal and painted in various colors.
The street is less touristic and impressive than the Caminito, but it is perfect to continue knowing the canteens, fairs and cobbled streets.
The painted houses and the train tracks guide us to the soccer stadium, a temple for soccer fans.
5. Stadium Club Boca Juniors
Inaugurated on May 25, 1940, better known as the bombonera, the stadium became the heart of the La Boca neighborhood.
It is a visit especially recommended for the soccer fanatics and it has a museum with the most outstanding of the club’s history.
The stadium full houses about 55,000 spectators. La Boca Juniors is the club with the most international titles (18) in the world together with Milan from Italy.
If the calendar is in your favor, you cannot miss the super classic match. When Boca Juniors plays against River the country is paralyzed in what is one of the number 1 sporting experiences in the country.
It is difficult to imagine how in this humble neighborhood with houses of no more than three floors, narrow streets and where the subway does not even reach, such a number of people can accumulate. It is the greatness of La Boca and La Bombonera.
La Boca is the perfect definition of the sentence: “when two worlds collide”. The humblest Buenos Aires coexists with the hordes of tourists who seek to photograph the colorful houses of its most famous alley.
The neighborhood seems abandoned at some points, not even the subway gets there, but it also shows its own personality, spontaneity and daily life.
And in this contrast both worlds coexist, the tourist bring recognition and money to the area, and La Boca keeps filling the streets with art, restaurants and colors.
Have you been to La Boca in Buenos Aires? What was your favorite spot? Let me know in the comments.
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