One of the most popular and well known tourist areas of Buenos Aires, La Boca is a must see for anyone even remotely interested in Bs As history. Since the end of the 19th Century, this neighborhood has grown up around what was this city's first natural port. La Boca was mostly founded by Immigrants -- primarily Italian -- who give this area its particular flavor. Today, though not so much used a port anymore, the neighborhood has a certain charm and some say it's the center of artistic activity.
Unfortunately, the streets that surround the tourist center of La Boca (Calle Caminito, etc) can be quite dangerous at night. But just like any big city, follow common sense rules of travel and you shouldn't find any trouble. And from the city center, it's a rather long walk. My advice is to take either a bus (the 130 or 152) or a taxi.
IT IS NOT A LOCUTORIO - IT IS A HOME FOR US!
Locutorios, you will find everywhere you go in Buenos Aires, but for sure one LOCUTORIO like this one, you will never find..Here there are young people to welcome you and give you every little assistence you need, here you can also eat delicious sandwish and get lost with the huge variety of candies, you can also make overseas calls with a friendly price, this is my headquater right here in the busy Barrio Norte, close to the city centre, we are right in the street that ends up at Santa Fé Avenue.
Marcelo works here, he is the big big commander of this crew, together with the very efficients Joaquin and Guille, the 3 warriors who make Buenos Aires one of the best cities in the World.
Here I spend 7 hours working with internet with the same price I work for just ONE HOUR in Brazil, so you can imagine how cheap it is if you compare to North America and Europe!
And the greatest thing of all here you can make friends!
I strongly recommend you to make use of their spectacular services! You will find them right in the corner of Paraguay and Riobamba Street, coming from Santa Fe just turn your right at the corner of Riobamba, if you come by subway, Callao Station is your best option, take Cordoba Avenue and turn right at Riobamba Street too!
This is a tradition that fortunately has not disappeared. In many corners of Buenos Aires, it's typical to see men selling warm popcorn, called "pochoclo" here, as well as toffee apples (the twist here is that they have popcorn on top of the melted sugar), garrapiñada (sugar coated peanuts), toffee figs (with popcorn on top too) and cotton candy.
Even if you don't buy any, it's a pleasure to go past them and smell them...
The "Real Argentina"
While one may encounter many homeless families in downtown Buenos Aires I was told that to really understand life in Argentina one must travel to the outskirts and into the many ""barrios" in which people live with little access to clean water, medicine, educational opportunities, and other basic necessities that most us have grown accustomed to. My friend Ana took me an hour (by bus) outside the city where I met many wonderful people including Louisa, a local librarian (the library had less than 50 book but we were able to assist her a little). She is also the local traditonal medicine practicioner which is an important role in a community with few doctors and little medicine exist. Anyway, if you can hook up with a local in the city that has connections outside the city and that you trust I suggest you go see what many Argentines call the "real Argentina". Take note on the way there of the changing facial expression as you transition from downtown to the outskirts...deprivation hoplessness is written all over the faces many.
There are over 180 shops in this mall, but that's not what makes it special to me. The highlight is the wonderful central dome with its beautiful frescoes. Every day at 1pm and at 4:30pm in underneath the central dome there are tourist guides that will explain the history of the mall and the artwork inside.