Argentina Travel

Places to Visit near Argentina: Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay Colonia del Sacramento, or simply Colonia, is a lively colonial town, with narrow cobble stoned streets flanked by whitewashed buildings. A trip to this charming town will seem like a trip back in time. Being only a small body of water away from Buenos Aires, Colonia could be a convenient side-trip on your vacation.

Without a doubt, Colonia is well worth a day. Spend half of it on a guided tour and the other half exploring at your own pace. Several small hotels are located in the historic area.

For information on the climate and temperatures in Colonia please visit the Buenos Aires Weather page. The weather in the two destinations is pretty much the same.

Colonia was founded in 1680 by the Portuguese and has served as a port for contraband for a number of years. Now Colonia a quiet resort town that is cultural jewel and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.

Colonia Uruguay The Atmosphere
Built in a Portuguese style of stone houses and cobblestoned streets, the historic portion of Colonia reminds visitors of old Lisbon. Tourists now stop to enjoy the excellent restaurants, art and craft shops, museums and yacht harbor that give so much character to this quiet city.

Sights and Things To Do
The Beach:
Colonia is a favorite getaway for many Argentineans because of one its greatest features, many miles of beach coastline. During summer weekend the beaches will be full of people from Buenos Aires that took the ferry to lie on the sand.

El Faro:
The lighthouse, El Faro, was constructed in 1857 from the stones of the ruins of convent.

Museo Portugues
The museum on Plaza Mayor is a look at Portuguese architecture, furnishings and military uniforms, standards and other items from the period

Getting There and Away
Not counting the small airport for private planes in Colonia, the optimal way to get to the city is via a ferry from Buenos Aires. There are about 3 ferries in each direction per day. There is a fast ferry that takes just under an hour, and there is slower, and less expensive, two and a half hour ferry.

It is recommended that you take the early(~9am) boat, enjoy the day in Colonia, and return on the evening(~7pm) boat. Remember to get to the ferry port early because buying the ferry tickets is not a trivial matter and you will have to go through all the customs procedures because you will be entering a different country(bring your passport).

Link to Ferry Website (in spanish)

Getting Around
Everything you want to see in Colonia is within easy walking distance, including the port for ferries to Buenos Aires and the bus terminal for transportation to Montevideo and Punta del Este.

Where to Stay
For a quiet stay, Gondwana Hotel is located 10 km. outside of Colonia and is very peaceful with views of the river, a nice pool, comfortable rooms and a 15 minute walk to a secluded beach.

Other hotels include the 5 star Kempinski Colony(site in spanish), and the nice Hotel el Mirador.

Travel Advice
Uruguay is a different country than Argentina. Remember to bring your passport on this trip and be ready to change some money into Uruguayan Pesos.

Uruguay Information
The complete Uruguay data sheet can be found in the Country Study.

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