This is why you should go to Caminito Open Air Museum in Buenos Aires

Caminito Street is a treasure trove of history, art, and cultural significance that has made it a must-visit spot in Buenos Aires. Let’s dive deeper into the vibrant tapestry of this iconic destination.

It’s an “open-air” Street Museum and a traditional alley located in La Boca. This Buenos Aires neighborhood is famous for its colorful houses, its tango, and its soccer team.

Caminito” (Spanish for “little walkway” or “little path”) was named after a 1926 tango song composed by Juan de Dios Filiberto, which tells of a love lost.

Caminito Argentina 28

A Glimpse into History

In the 1800s there was a small stream flowing into the Riachuelo River. After the river dried up, tracks for the Ferrocarril Buenos Aires y Puerto de la Ensenada were installed at the site. Along Garibaldi Street, you can still see the disused tracks. Later, when the railway route in La Boca closed (1954), the area fell into neglect. Inspired by the tango song, Benito Quinquela Martín (an Argentine painter) and his friends decided to breathe new life into this forgotten space (around 1955) by adding color and later (1960) a theatre stage.

The Birth of Caminito’s Colorful Transformation

The transformation began when the artists used leftover paint from the nearby shipyards to splash color onto the buildings. These structures, initially abandoned, became canvases for their creativity. The result? A kaleidoscope of hues lining the cobblestone streets, each building telling a story through its vibrant façade.

Travel Tips

In Argentina, they use the Peso as their currency, which is symbolized by the dollar sign ($). Spanish is the main language spoken there. Oh, and if you’re planning your schedule, remember they follow the UTC−3 time zone. When you hit the road, keep in mind they drive on the right side. As for visas, many countries get a sweet deal—a 90-day free pass to explore all the wonders Argentina has to offer!

Caminito, Things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Caminito Street

A Cultural Melting Pot

Caminito isn’t just about colors; it’s a microcosm of Argentine culture. Tango, the passionate dance synonymous with Argentina, was born in these streets. As you stroll along, you might catch impromptu tango performances. The rhythmic beats, the intricate footwork—there’s an electric energy that fills the air.

¿Hablas inglés?

In Argentina, Spanish is the primary language spoken. While many people in touristy areas and certain industries might know some English, especially in hotels, restaurants, and shops, the overall English proficiency might vary outside those areas. It’s always a good idea to have some basic Spanish phrases handy, just in case! 

Like, in Spanish, you would say “¿Hablas inglés?” ( pronounced: AH-blahs een-GLEHS?) to ask someone if they speak English.

Suggested Read: Here’s a pocket guide of handy English-to-Spanish translations for your trip to Argentina.

Things to do in Caminito, La Boca

Exploring Caminito

The street itself, just 100 meters long, is packed with visual delights. You’ll encounter artists selling their creations—handcrafted goods, paintings, and souvenirs that showcase the local craftsmanship. Art galleries dot the area, displaying the works of emerging and established Argentine artists, offering a glimpse into the contemporary art scene.

The Rhythm of Life in La Boca

Beyond Caminito, La Boca pulses with life. The neighborhood, historically inhabited by Italian immigrants, boasts a unique blend of cultures. Wander through its streets to witness the fusion of Italian and Argentine influences, from the aroma of homemade pasta to the sounds of passionate debates over a game of football.

  • Have something to eat or drink at one of the many restaurants. Some restaurants also have tango dancers performing while you eat. A photo of two of the dances will cost you a few pesos (at your own discretion) as a gratuity fee.
  • Buy work from local artists.
  • Take photos of the figures of Juan and Eva Perón, Che Guevara, and soccer legend  Maradona, who wave down from balconies.
  • See the Statue of General Don Jose de San Martin who was an “independence” leader in Washington, D.C., USA. He led the liberating army across the Andes. As the founder of Argentine independence, his name represents the American ideal of democracy, justice, and liberty.
Travel Tip(s)

In Travel and Home’s luggage bags: Leak-proof sleeves for shampoo, conditioner, etc. to prevent spills.  The Remington neatens up any hairdo come dinner time. Slip into a classic silk satin tank top and matching pants. Ready to go to dinner!?

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Tips for a Memorable Visit to Caminito Street

  • Timing: Weekdays offer a quieter ambiance, perfect for leisurely exploration and photography. However, if you seek the full experience with bustling street performances and vendors, weekends are the way to go.
  • Safety: While it’s generally safe in touristy areas, it’s advisable to stay within the main spots, especially after dusk.
  • Engage with Locals: Strike up a conversation! Many locals are more than happy to share stories about the neighborhood’s history and culture.
  • Photography Etiquette: It’s courteous to ask before taking photos of street performers or vendors. Respect their craft and space.
Caminito, open air museum,Things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Caminito Street

Must-Visit Attractions Nearby

The Proa Foundation, an avant-garde art space, is just a stone’s throw away. It hosts exhibitions featuring both local and international artists, providing a deeper insight into modern artistic expressions. Then there’s the Quinquela Martín Museum, dedicated to the artist whose vision played a pivotal role in Caminito’s transformation.

Address: Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929 y Caminito, La Boca, Buenos Aires.

PROA, historical Italian house refurbished at the end of the XIXth Century, Contemporary Art
PROA: At the close of the 19th century, an ancient Italian house with historical significance underwent renovation, marking the birth of this Contemporary Art Center.

Getting to Caminito Street is Easy

  • The distance from Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery Airport (AEP) to La Boca is roughly around 10 kilometers (about 6 miles). It’s relatively close, so depending on traffic and mode of transportation, it could take around 20 to 30 minutes to reach La Boca from the airport.
  • La Boca is situated about 3 to 4 kilometers (approximately 1.8 to 2.5 miles) from Buenos Aires city center. It’s relatively close, making it accessible by various means of transportation like taxis (which is what we did), buses, or the subway, taking roughly 15 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic and the mode of transport you choose.

Reliable Airport transfers in Buenos Aires

Accommodation near Caminito

We stayed at the Cyan Recoleta Hotel. It’s right across from Cementerio de la Recoleta, where Evita Peron’s grave is. This spot turned out to be perfect for us because it’s smack in the middle of all the sightseeing action, plenty of restaurants, and the buzzing nightlife. Great call on the location!

Travel Tip(s)

Scan for seasonal deals before booking your stay.

If you have a bar fridge in your hotel room, check with reception whether the content is on the house, or pay as you use.

Embracing Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, often called the “Paris of South America,” is a city brimming with character. Beyond Caminito, delve into its rich history by visiting the historic neighborhoods of San Telmo and Recoleta. Feast on delicious Argentine cuisine—succulent steaks, empanadas, and dulce de leche desserts are a must-try!

Weather Insights

The weather in Buenos Aires is generally mild. Summers (December to February) can get hot and humid, while winters (June to August) are cooler. Spring (September to November) and fall (March to May) offer pleasant temperatures, making them ideal for exploring the city.

Parting Thoughts

Caminito Street is not just a picturesque spot; it’s a living canvas that encapsulates the essence of Argentine culture. From its humble origins to its vibrant present, it’s a testament to the transformative power of art and community. So, as you embark on your journey to Buenos Aires, prepare to immerse yourself in a world of colors, rhythm, and stories waiting to be discovered around every corner.