It might surprise some but this Latin American, 90% Catholic, conservative country has one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world – Buenos Aires. It has become a top destination for gay travelers, keeping up with cities like Berlin and Rio de Janeiro. Its popularity is greatly attributed to the incredible night life in the city, but also for the great cultural activities.
If you are traveling abroad to Argentina, whether to live or study Spanish in Buenos Aires, there are a myriad of fantastic, interesting, and very Argentine neighbourhoods to check out. However, there are a few that seem to stand out from the rest, and this week we are featuring La Boca.
La Boca is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, and was the arrival point for immigrants coming to Argentina from all over Europe. Although many Europeans arrived here in Buenos Aires, many Italians who immigrated arrive in La Boca, stayed and the neighbourhood became known for its Italian residents. The name, in English meaning ‘The Mouth’, came to be because La Boca sits right at the end of the Riachuelo, a major river in the Buenos Aires province. La Boca has a long and vibrant history, including being the arrival point for immigrants, the major city port, a centre for radical politics and demonstrations, and today, a major tourist destination.
If you venture into La Boca as a tourist, it is best to take a taxi straight to the road that is ‘why’ La Boca receives visitors every single day: Camanito. This colourful road in La Boca is scattered with antique houses and buildings, tango dancers in the street, art for sale, tourist shops, restaurants, and tango shows. Visiting these few blocks is a great way to venture into ‘old’ Buenos Aires, enjoy a typical Argentine meal, catch a tango show, and indulge in some arts and crafts.
Keep in mind that Caminito is the safest street in La Boca. It is not recommended to stray from these few blocks, as unfortunately over the years, La Boca has become fairly dangerous, and petty theft and muggings are common. Take a taxi in and out!
Interested in more neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires!