La Boca and San Telmo

We visited La Boca and San Telmo on Sunday. La Boca means the mouth in Spanish, with its name arising from the fact it is positioned at the mouth of the river Riachuelo. It was also the arrival point for immigrants in the 1800s when it was Buenos Aires’ main harbour. The houses are built from cast off ship-building materials, and painted in fun patch work colours. Known as conventillos, they each used to be home to numerous immigrant families, with one family per room, living in very poor conditions. Now they have mostly been turned into shops and restaurants. La Boca is also supposedly the birthplace of tango. As it was a Sunday there were many people dancing in the streets, though this did seem something of a contrived affair aimed at tourists.

San Telmo is one of the oldest barrios (neighbourhoods) in Buenos Aires and as a result one of the most picturesque. On Sundays, cobbled streets play host to an amazing market about a mile long, made up stalls selling food, antiques, handmade jewellery and lots of incense!


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