It is easy to access Uruguay across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, the easiest and closet port of call is Colonia.
Colonia del Sacramento, formerly the Portuguese Colónia do Sacramento) is a city in south western Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay and capital of the Colonia Department. It has a population of around 27,000. It is renowned for its historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Modern Colonia del Sacramento produces textiles and has a free trade zone, in addition to a polytechnic centre
- Colonia del Sacramento is situated opposite Buenos Aires on the east bank of Rio de la Plata. It is 50km across by ferry to Buenos Aires and 180km west of Montevideo.
- It is easy to travel by ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia and takes less than 2 hours. We recommend that tourists in Buenos Aires do this as a day trip, alternatively, visit Uruguay for longer and include Montevideo (a 2 hour drive from Colonia), the capital and Punta del Este(a f4 hour drive from Colonia) to your itinerary. Punta del Este is also referred to as ‘the Monaco of South’, ‘the Pearl of the Atlantic’, the Hamptons of South America and the St Tropez of South America, being also compared to Miami and Cannes (Source: Wikipedia)
- There are two ferry companies available, either Busquebus, Seacat Colonia or Colonia Express (cheaper option)
- Ferry ticket including snack on ferry together with 30 minute bus tour and 30 minute walking tour of the historic quarter, US $85 per person
- Colonia is quaint town with cobblestone streets lined with Sycamore trees
- As the tour guide mentioned, the only thing that changed in Colonia over the last 100 years is the addition of internet
- There is a lot of history in this town and we highly recommend doing the short walking tour to get a feel for the place
- Walking tour could be followed by a bit of retail therapy as there are a number of interesting shops with clothing, paintings, jewelry and various other items
- Tourists have a wide variety of restaurant options to choose from most of them with outside tables in the cobbled streets
The antique cars scattered throughout the old town, like an informal car museum, definitely adds to the charm
- If taking the later ferry, one can watch the sunset over the Rio de la Plata
- The Colonial architecture is beautiful
The Portuguese started the first settlement in 1680 and the territory was under Portuguese and Spanish rule a number of times till Uruguay gained independence from Brazil in the 1900’s
- Points of Interest includes: Portuguese Museum, Municipal Museum, the City gate and wooden drawbridge, the lighthouse and the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament built by the Portuguese in 1808
- Last but not least…in Uruguay beef is the main export commodity with approx. 12 000 000 cattle and only approx. 4 000 000 people in the country
- In our experience food and drinks was cheaper in Colonia compared to Buenos Aires
Contact me for more information and bookings in South America.