Bustling, gritty La Boca is one of the most flavorful neighborhoods in the entire city. Located to the southeast of the city, close to the original port of Buenos Aires at the mouth (la boca) of the river inlet, flamboyantly colorful La Boca was largely first inhabited by Italian immigrants who created a unique community and painted their houses with left over boat paint, creating a vibrant mixture of bright colors, a tradition which lives on even today. The area can be a little bit unsafe, but streetwise folk with a bit of common sense should be fine to take a stroll around this fascinating barrio.
La Boca suffered massive economic strains when Puerto Moderno was created and commercial shipping completely left the area. Even now it remains one of the poorest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, and although it has a bustling tourist nucleus by day, at night it is a dangerous area to walk through. The best option is to go into La Boca for day trips since there are nearly no sleeping quarters, and the few that exist are usually home to drug addicts and prostitutes.
However, during the day there is nowhere with a more tightly concentrated array of interesting sights and tourist activities. A haunted tower (Av. Almirante Brown and Wenceslao VillafaÃ±e), live music, street performers, artists, dancers, museums, cafÃ©s, restaurants, vendors, and real time history match in attitude the vibrancy and color of the surrounding buildings.