Like the city’s Obelisk, the Woman’s Bridge and the unmistakable sounds of tango, the open-air museum of Caminito has become an emblem of the city.
Caminito today is a pedestrianized cobblestone street and a unique museum not to miss.
A stroll down Caminito — Photo courtesy of Luis Argerich
Works of art from Argentine artists like Benito Quinquela Martín, Julio Vergottini and Luis Perlotti are on display. However, the eye is naturally drawn upward to the brightly-colored buildings that line the street and have become representative of the area’s working-class port origins.
A few local artists sell their works here, which often have tango themes.
In the 19th century, Buenos Aires was often defined by its bustling port. Everything and everyone that went in or out of the city came through La Boca. But since then, the ports have moved north, the city has expanded and Caminito has turned into a tourist attraction.
Caminito officially got its name in 1959. Caminito is Spanish for “little walkway,” but it was also the name of a tango composed by Juan de Dios Filiberto in 1926, inspired by this very street.
When you turn the corner, Magallanes Street seems to blend into Caminito, where you will find a crush of restaurants and souvenir shops. A couple performing tango is a common sight.
In the other direction, local artisans have set up stalls where they sell mate gourds, leather items and jewelry. The contemporary art museum Fundacion Proa is right off of Caminito, too. They regularly have art exhibits and lectures, and the cafe has a view of the water.
To get to Caminito, try taking a group tour bus (The city’s hop-on, hop-off tours stop there, and many private group tours do, as well.); a remise, which is a private hired car; or a taxi.
However, as a visitor to Buenos Aires, you shouldn’t plan to stray too far from Caminito, especially when wielding a camera. Though La Boca neighborhood has historical significance and the famous La Bombonera stadium (home of the Boca Juniors soccer team) is nearby, the neighborhood is a depressed one that is known for its high crime rate.
Stick to Caminito, don’t go to La Boca at night and you should be fine.
With its brightly-colored buildings and old-fashioned port surroundings, Caminito is a worthwhile tourist attraction. You'll be glad you saw it.