Located in La Boca, aka the ghetto end of town where Boca Jrs play, Caminito literally means ‘little walk way’ and has become the face of postcards in Buenos Aires and a major tourist destination.
It feels like a disney’fied version of Buenos Aires but is a pretty way to spend the afternoon.
The area is a pedestrian walkway famous for its brightly coloured buildings. Inspired by the neighborhood history, it was a personal project of artist Quinquela Martin.
Originally an abandoned railway siding, he painted the buildings to make an open air museum.
The restaurants are rather pricey on the strip but luckily there’s also a number of hot dog vendors if you don’t want to splurge, and some of them serve it with chimichurri sauce.
I say its a ghetto with much sarcasm because its draped in tourism and wrapped in a bow but I would still recommend it to anyone visiting as it makes a nice set of photos.
There was a huge immigration boom in Buenos Aires from 1880-1930. The neighbourhood of La Boca was largely inhabited by Italian immigrants who worked at the shipyard.
In Genoa it was common to paint the outside of homes with the leftover paint from boats as it was readily available and affordable.
When the Genoese came to Argentina they continued the tradition.
The sidewalks are lined with handicrafts and souvenirs stores.
If you want a painting or photograph there are plenty of options here but I’d be prepared to haggle as you’re in a prime area for tourist prices.
While many neighbourhoods argue they are the original site of tango, La Boca makes one of the strongest claims.
Today the art and souvenirs sold continue to reference the dance.
If you are looking for that ultimate tango photo there are plenty of tango couples, dressed who will pose for money.
Locals and travel guides look down on the area as a touristy, tacky money-grabbing area. Complaints are that it’s not authentic or reflect the true history of the area.
This is likely true, but just like Niagara Falls, it’s tacky and ridiculous but you still have to go see it.
I agree. Just b/c an area is ‘tacky’ or ‘touristy’ doesn’t mean you won’t have a blast! Great photos!
Hey, I love Niagara Falls! Cheesy can be fun!
Oh wow the photos are amazing. I love bright colors. Very interesting place.
This is one of the towns that I’m super excited to visit in Argentina because of the colorful buildings. I love that photo with the cat in the chair! Nice capture.
Great photos! I am not one to do touristy areas like this but interesting about it being the home of the tango!
I agree on this – La Boca very touristy. You’ll get to eat parrillada for 3x the price, surrounded by colorful favelas, listening and watching to tango music.
If you walk a bit outside the Caminito, you’ll see the real favelas – the ones that are not painted in fancy colors.
When I went there one afternoon, I met some of the people living there… they told me there are some times 30 people living in one of those tiny favelas! And that not all of them have a kitchen or a bathroom. I guess that’s the real La Boca out there…
It does look cute. How is Buenos Aires cost-wise compared with other parts of South America you’ve been to?
The bright colours of the exteriors/walls and window frames are beautiful. I love seeing neighbourhoods with vibrant colours, adds an energetic vibe to the area, which something I don’t see often back home in Toronto.
Loved this place when I went and have a pic of one of the tango couples! Have you gone to Calle Florida yet?
And… What do you think of the Argentinian men? They were HANDS DOWN the most handsome (and varied- lots of blonde, dark, strapping, slim hotties) I have EVER seen while travelling.
I just get more and more excited for Buenos Aires – it does look touristy, but for good reason! How great are the colours on those buildings? 🙂
I have a weakness for colorful places like this. You’re not helping my wanderlust with all of these amazing pictures and stories! 🙂
I moved to Ecuador in January and I can’t wait to get down to Argentina. I read your blog as soon as I get it.
Oh I absolutely love Ecuador, spent 3 months there and was so sad when my visa expired. Where are you living? I spent most of my time in Cuenca.
Great photos, as always!! They serve only to solidfy my already strong desire to go to Argentina!! Have you made a plan where you are headed off to next?
Buenos Aires is so massive I could be here a while. I’m still somewhat on track of my original plans to head some in June but only for the summer.
yep, def missed that one when i was having technical difficulties with my subscription to your blog 😉
Love the fact that you are actually having fun in “touristy” places 🙂
Great pictures Ayngelina, keep them comin!
Well there’s lots of touristy stuff to do in Buenos Aires and someone has to do it!
What a funny and quaint town! I had never heard of this barrio. Your posts make me want to head over to South America.
Yes you should come and hang out with me!
I LOVE the hand painted signs!
They are rather cute, you see them throughout Buenos Aires.
La Boca IS touristy but still has a fun vibe to make it worth visiting. Best part, you don’t need to pay an entrance fee.
Advice: Don’t do it with a tour, take a leisurely stroll on your own terms (vs getting quickly herded along).
People actually do a tour through this? Wow so not needed…
Albeit touristy, we quite enjoyed he afternoon in La Boca. You sure get some colorful photos in this barrio. I also really liked the street graffiti that you would find in some of the back streets, some magnificent art. Great photos as always Ayngelina,
We went on a weekend and I’d actually like to go back during the week, hoping there would be less tourists so I could get some clean shots. But you do need a few people around because once you are on the outskirts you are no longer safe walking around with a DSLR.
I totally fell in love with this area when I traveled Buenas Aires! I think it has the most amount of character. It reminds of me of the East Village in NYC, but with color!
Beautiful set of photos! Just infused with life and color – not only do I feel like I’ve seen this place, I want to go! LOL Touristy can be pretty, too. 😉
Great pictures! The colors really show the “disney” feeling you are talking about. Looks touristy but I would probably have gone anyways too.
Authentic or not it’s a pretty walk and I’d recommend it to people.
Hey Aynge, love the pictures here! Did you meet any of the Boca Jr players in the ghetto?
Looks like a place worth visiting. I agree, that just because its touristy doesn’t mean it cant be interesting. I would definitely go there if I ever make it to Argentina 🙂
“Touristy” places can still be a lot of fun. 🙂
Love the photos – the one with the cat on the chair is awesome!
Cute during the day. Not so cute after dark 🙂
Great photos! We walked around a similar “ghetto” in Mexico yesterday- and just like you said, it was wrapped in a bow and tourist were all around. I like these kinds of places were old meets new and you have an interesting view of how tourism plays apart of building (and maybe) changing the society.
Or even the history, things don’t seem as bad when they’re wrapped in bright pink paint.
Definitely worth a trip during the day, once maybe twice. However- not the nicest place to walk through at night, right?
I like how both of us knew that but did it anyway. “This is exactly what you write not to do!”
Yeah thankfully I didn’t have to write the post This one time I got robbed in La Boca…
I totally agree. The Taj Majal is touristy. You can’t walk 5 inches without someone trying to sell you a magnet. But if you’re in India, you feel obligated to see it. As you said, if for no other reason than the glorious photos.
Can you imagine going to India and not seeing the Taj Majal just because it’s touristy.
This looks like a place I would completely enjoy! The colors of those buildings was great. Love the pictures.
I liked La Boca and Calle Caminito. When I was there, there wasn’t anyone about, only me. Colourful place, but slightly spooky. Looks like it has developed into a livelier place.
I love all of the colours! They get me each time 😉
PS, the cat picture is adorable.
There are a lot of cats around here, fortunately they’re all very cute.
It seems like everyone is in BA right now!! Your pics are amazing. Can’t wait to get there at some point. BTW…loved Cali thanks for the recommendation of Tostaky!
I think staying there really makes Cali so much better, the neighborhood is fantastic and Vinz is amazing. Hoping you had a chance to dance at Tin Tin Deo?
How awesome is that. I really wish i was there right now. Can almost smell the energy on the streets.. !
How about we switch places for a while so I can eat some decent sushi 🙂
Even though it’s touristy it looks really fun. The colorful buildings and architecture make me want to see it.
It is really fun, a nice afternoon walk. We didn’t eat there but I’ve heard from others that it’s nice.
I’ve seen many pictures of La Boca but I had never heard of Caminito. I’m really interested in visiting those places… they are so colorful! I guess the tacky part that makes it stand out is what lures us to visit them.
I’ve decided from now on not to be afraid of the tacky as it’s just as amusing as the authentic.
I kinda like the tacky, kitchsy side of travel so I’d be all over this place. Like wax at Niagara… 🙂
Exactly! Just like the wax museum, which oddly enough I haven’t been to but now I kind of want to go.
I did see the giant stamp in Cleveland and delighted in its tackiness.
Brightly colored, tacky and cheesy?? Wonderful, it can’t get more glamorous.
What a delicious slice of life you’ve discovered. I would love to check it out because it seems so lively and the caminito is a great place to people watch.
As Jaime points out, fantastic photos!
Gorgeous looking street. You’re right about it looking Disneyfied – It looks like Main Street USA in Disneyland. Haha.
Your photography is amazing. And I love the history behind it all. 🙂
LOL sounds like Vegas to me “tacky and yet you gotta see it”
I’ve never been to La Boca, but I’ve heard that it’s very similar to Valparaíso, Chile, where they also painted their houses with left-over boat paint (and actually constructed their houses with left over boat parts in some cases). Great pictures!
I want to go to Valpariso too when I’m in Chile in the Fall, interestingly I think they have similar issues with crime in both areas.
I spent an entire afternoon in La Boca / El Caminito and my camera just couldn’t stop clicking!! LOL. Yes, tacky. But also charming!
I know it’s too cute not to go.
Argentina is becoming more and more appealing to me, especially with posts such as this one. The photos alone make you want to go there and experience it. With a camera in hand of course!!
Every time I go to BsAs I visit La Boca. I don’t care if it’s a tourist trap, I love it. The best dulce de leche liquor can be found there, as well as one of my most favorite artist’s. Great pics!
Love it, look at the colors and the charm of this place. Love how you did some magic color to the photos too. It does added some feeling to it. Great place to write about. Thanks for the share
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