The colours of La Boca


It’s a grey and dreary autumn day up here in the northern world. Much better then to imagine summer, now fast approaching in the southern hemisphere. I’m thinking back to an afternoon ambling among the warm, vivid colours of La Boca.

La Boca's colours

Genoese fishermen and La Boca’s colours

In one of Buenos Aires’ poorest barrios, you’ll find the most brilliant colours. Near the city’s old port, La Boca was settled by fishermen from Genoa in Italy. Houses were made of wood or corrugated zinc and painted in bright primary colours. Legend has it La Boca’s colours were the result of the fishermen using leftover paint from their boats on their homes.

These photos are from the pre-digital era. I spent an afternoon in La Boca long ago. Hardly anyone was about. Could have been lunch time. Or siesta. Sounds of tango music emitted from within and a few kids kicked a football about. I like to think one of those boys might be part of the famous footie team Boca Juniors now.

I’d love to return and play around with my current cameras and improved skills. I’d be sure to snap a few photos of kids with footballs, too, if any were about.

Though I hear La Boca is more crowded these days.

Have you been in La Boca’s recently? Was it busy?

More travel photo fun at Budget Travelers Sandbox.



42 Responses to “The colours of La Boca”

  1. Shane Curtis 19 November 2012 0324 #

    Those houses looks pretty cool. I love the brilliant access they have.
    I think it’s a great place to live cos it looks lively to me.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0102 #

      The colours look lively at any rate.

  2. Leigh 19 November 2012 0349 #

    Absolutely lovely Sophie. I have BA in my sights a year from December. That area looks like a photographer’s dream destination though wonder if I’d feel like an intruder.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0103 #

      BA – Argentina in general, really – is a place I’d love to explore further.

  3. ItalianNotes 19 November 2012 1445 #

    Never been to Argentina, but I’ll be here if you stage another photo journey anytime. Those pictures made me smile.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0104 #

      Oh yes, let’s plan a photo journey to Buenos Aires, Mette. That would be such fun.

  4. Ana O 19 November 2012 1933 #

    Indeed, it’s become a must-see for tourists. It’s always full of people. Your photos have an intimate air about them that makes the place look more like the working class neighbourhood it used to be than the tourist hotspot it is nowadays. Having said that, it’s still worth a visit if you happen to be in Buenos Aires.

    Chau, che 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0105 #

      Yes, I hear it’s quite the tourist magnet these days. I’d be more than happy to revisit, crowds or not.

  5. Susan From Travel Universally 20 November 2012 1345 #

    The Bright colors indicate that the La Boca people are optimistic and they believe in good times. It would had been more great if we could see some pics of the locale of La Boca.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0107 #

      You means locals, I think…? Yes, I don’t know why I didn’t snap photos of the boys playing football. Less shy about that now. 🙂

  6. Andrew Graeme Gould 21 November 2012 2302 #

    Beautiful colours in this series, Sophie, and that’s how I remember La Boca from my visit many years ago. This post of yours has reminded me of just how much I’d like to go back there, too. I’m sure I will within the next short while, and then I’ll post photos and give you that report on how busy it is, or not — unless you make it back there before me!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0108 #

      Looking forward to that report and photos, Andrew 🙂

  7. Jackie Smith 22 November 2012 0536 #

    Those colors are a knock-out! Would love to explore this place sometime. There does seem to be a vibrancy, a feeling of life in those Latin American cultures that we don’t quite capture up north. Of course, its been pouring rain out of leaden clouds here all week, maybe these colors just seem to be so dynamic when viewed against this dull Pacific Northwest backdrop.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0923 #

      Sounds like the Pacific Northwest is fairly similar to Norway at the moment.

  8. jan 22 November 2012 0610 #

    Argentina is so far away, but we hope to get there one day. I love the bright colours.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 November 2012 0929 #

      Yeah, I think it’s 14-15 hours from Sydney – and all over water.

  9. jan 22 November 2012 0618 #

    Love those lively colours.

  10. Muza-chan 22 November 2012 1355 #

    Beautiful place 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2112 #

      Thanks, Muza 🙂

  11. Andrea 22 November 2012 1606 #

    I always love seeing photos of beautiful La Boca buildings!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2112 #

      So lively and bright, aren’t they?

  12. Aleah | 22 November 2012 2203 #

    Those colors are really sure to brighten up anyone’s day! I would love to be there, I like seeing and taking pictures of unique buildings/houses.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2113 #

      So do I 🙂

  13. Nancie 22 November 2012 2318 #

    Love those colors! Korea needs some houses using this color palette.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2113 #

      Yeah? Houses in Korea a bit drab, are they?

  14. Vera Marie Badertscher 22 November 2012 2351 #

    How nice that you have your colorful travels to warm you up on those dreary long days of northern winter! I have always thought that the hot colors used in Central and South America and in southern climes generally, would be more needed in the northern part of the northern hemisphere.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2118 #

      I was in Svalbard earlier this week – and remember the houses in Longyearbyen are very colourful. I say remember, because of course, with 24 hour darkness, it was too dark to see the colours now.

  15. InsideJourneys 23 November 2012 0045 #

    Wonder if the fishermen used the same color combination on their homes as they use on their boats. I do love the colors — they put a smile on my face.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2119 #

      Oh, me too. Can’t have too much colour!

  16. Michele @ Malaysian Meanders 23 November 2012 0821 #

    The bright colors on the houses are so festive and beautiful. If I tried to paint my house in Texas like this, the homeowner’s association would send me a warning letter about not using an approved color. They like things boring.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2122 #

      I do remember lots of white and beige houses in Texas. 🙂

  17. Cathy Sweeney 24 November 2012 2205 #

    I like your description of La Boca hearing the tango music on a quiet afternoon. Great captures of color in the photos.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 November 2012 2123 #

      Thanks, Cathy.

  18. Mary @ The World Is A Book 25 November 2012 2258 #

    Beautiful photos, Sophie! I love how you captured all the colors but also their normal everyday living with the clothes hanging out. I haven’t been to South America yet but Buenos Aires is surely at the top of the first places I would visit.

  19. Stephanie - The Travel Chica 26 November 2012 0440 #

    I wish I had seen La Boca before it became a tourist trap.

  20. Linda McCormick 26 November 2012 1351 #

    Beautiful colours. If only other places would use a little more colour in their buildings grey days wouldn’t be quite so dreary!

  21. Homer 27 November 2012 1018 #

    Hi Sophie,
    My name is Homer and I’m writing from Travel News ( a real time travel community of travel bloggers, travelers and people who like traveling in general. It’s a free and open community for anyone to participate, think of it as digg but dedicated to traveling.

    We would really like your opinion on it and we would love if you could join the community. It is completely free and you can submit as many links as you want there is no limit and they show up in real time.

    Some more info on Travel News; We started travel news as an application for our friends to share interesting links about traveling but became apparent that a lot of people liked the idea and started to share their links. After requests from users we have added lots of functionality like voting/commenting/mark as favorite/read later, many more will follow. Since August 2012 TN has done a great progress, grew 400% since when it started and we expect that growth to continue, more than 200.000 unique visitors every month with 550.000 page views.

    Already a lot of bloggers are submitting their great articles to Travel News, more than 9000 travel articles covering nearly 25.000 destinations.

    All in all we hope to make it a point of reference of finding the most relevant information about destinations and the experiences travelers have in those destination (removing all the noise).

    I hope you join us.

    Homer from Travel News Team

  22. Abby 8 December 2012 1658 #

    Gorgeous! I went there a year and a half ago and was blown away. My friend’s local fiance though wouldn’t let us stay long — the second the sun started to set we were on our way home. Stunning photographs, Sophie!

  23. Gabriel 21 October 2013 2200 #

    We’re in the Dominican Republic now and close to our house is a place called La Boca, I thought you where talking about here and figured you are right next to us but that’s somewhere else lol.

  24. frankaboutcroatia 7 August 2014 0639 #

    La Boca is such an interesting neighboyrghood. Haven’t been there for over ten years now. Lovely photos! Thanks for sharing and bringing back some great memories.


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