La Boca is a district in Buenos Aires that over the years has become a tourist attraction. It’s not because there are museums, galleries, or beautiful buildings to see. In fact it’s quite the opposite. La Boca is one of the poorest areas of Buenos Aires. The houses are made from corrugated iron, wood and other building supplies found by it’s residents near the port area. The thing that draws the crowds are the colours. These ramshackle buildings have been painted in bright colours that make the place look a little like something in Disneyland.
The street called Caminito is the most famous and where you’ll see examples of the brightly coloured buildings, mosaics on the walls and beautiful trees.
On the corners of La Boca, you’ll find tango dancers performing for the crowds, restaurants, cafes, and shops selling all kinds of bits and bobs to entice the tourists. You can walk around some of the old homes and get an idea of what life was and still is like today. At the time when the houses were built, it was not uncommon for up to 6 families to live in one building: a family per room.
Although the area is certainly colourful and a great place to take photos, poverty is still very present, and it was probably the only time on the trip that I didn’t feel safe. My advice is definitely stick only to roads well travelled by tourists (you’ll see them so not hard to find), don’t go there alone if you can help it and definitely don’t visit after dark. I was quick to jump back on the tour bus as the sun was setting. If you’re not on a tour, I would advise getting a taxi there and back to make sure that you aren’t wandering around trying to find public transport.