With its colorful characters, cobbled streets and vibrantly painted, ramshackle houses, this dockside Buenos Aires neighborhood almost looks like some kind of theme park. La Boca is actually very real—and yet it has been discovered by tourists. Visitors come to stroll the Caminito, a pedestrian alley with artists' studios and shops selling artworks, crafts and souvenirs. Here, street performers dance the tango and vendors sell fresh fruit while a stop at a café or bar can provide another glimpse of life in La Boca.
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a little romance
We were touring La Boca where around every corner is a photo opportunity of vivid color, when my friends seized the moment and broke into a tango, no doubt inspired by the mural. For the evenings head to the safer Puerto Madero area where many many excellent restaurants await. Try the sorrentinos (a ravioli like local pasta) and the provoleta (a baked cheese). When in Recoleta the place to go is El Sanjuanino for an amazing selection of empanadas. Two hotels we like are the Loi Suites in Recoleta and the Plaza (now a Marriott property) at the top of Calle Florida - both are reasonably priced and very well located.
La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio, in Buenos Aires. The conventional explanation is that the neighborhood sits at the mouth ("Boca") of the Riachuelo River. This is a map of the area as you hop off the bus on your way to "El Caminito" where music for a famous Tango song was inspired.