On our way back from the beach paradise of eastern Uruguay, we decided to make an afternoon stop in the historic town of Colonia. Also known as Colonia del Sacramento, it is the oldest town in Uruguay and a Unesco World Heritage site. It was the only Portuguese settlement along with the Rio de la Plata and has wonderful winding streets and colourful houses.
Colonia makes a great day trip from either Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Montevideo is connected by bus (1.5 hours) and Buenos Aires by ferry (less than 1 hour). It has many excellent restaurants, art and craft shops, museums and a large yacht harbour. The pretty cobblestone historic centre with its tree-lined streets would also make a great place for a picnic.
Several historic sites include Portón de Campo (the city gate), El Faro (the lighthouse) and the Sunday market in the Plaza Mayor. Make sure to take a trip to the top of one of the many lighthouses to get a fantastic city view.
Colonia would be an easy day trip from Montevideo by bus or Buenos Aires by ferry. It’s a quaint and fascinating place to explore. I would highly recommend visiting Colonia.