La Boca, Buenos Aires

We have been staying in the trendy Palermo neighborhood, it boasts a fancy shopping mall and a bustling nightlife but as we discovered there is so much more character in Buenos aires.

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We loved Boca, Come for the colorful homes and leave with a sense of the rich social history within the area.

We took a bus to Caminito, the touristy part of Boca, not too crowded with hoards of visitors, immediately you can see the colorful metal shacks that have become so iconic of the area. They aren’t like anything you have seen before and it’s just as you might have hoped south America would be like, vibrant, colourful with music blasting in the streets.  The wavy metal walls of the shacks are a throwback to the immigrant beginnings of this dockland area and are now also used to decorate the restaurants interior and build tourist attractions.

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A roaring tourist trade is present like we haven’t seen so far in Buenos Aires. Street performers wearing Tango attire want you to take pictures with them for a fee. Tourists speaking in European languages are more common, menus have an English translation and the restaurants put on a show with fantastic live singers and duets of Tango dancers performing the traditional dance. This tourist racket has not yet ruined the food on offer, which was incidentally our favourite meal out so far at La Barrica.

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Large murals spanning whole apartment blocks are a common site across Boca, the colourful and bold designs will make you look. It seems the whole area is a visual smorgasbord designed to be appealing on the eye and selfie appropriate! Even the humble corner shops are typically highly decorated with Graffiti.

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For football fans and those lucky enough to be traveling with one, no trip to Boca is complete without a stadium tour of the infamous La Bombonera. The beloved nickname comes after a chocolate box that was gifted to its president and for its similarity in design [Bombon means chocolate in spanish]. La Bombonera is the home to Boca Juniors and the humble beggings of such legends as Maradona, Riquelme, and Tevez.

The stadium and the history of the local area are intertwined. The club was the brainchild of a group of Italian boys, immigrants from Genoa who first settled in La Boca. They held a meeting one evening and the rest is history.

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Our tour guide told us of the reason that the number 12 is proudly painted on the home sides stand. For the juniors first tour only one fan could afford to go along with the team to away games. So the team’s entourage consisted of twelve men, today this is a symbol of how all of the fans are a part of the team and are indeed the twelve man out there on the pitch.

La Boca is definitely worth a visit in my books, you don’t need a lot of time there but the sense you get of early immigrant life, the colour and spice are fantastic.

Sabina

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