Advantages Perfect for a daytrip from BA. Beautiful. Well Preserved. UNESCO site.
Disadvantages Absolutely nothing!
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
I visited Colonia Del Sacremento (Uruguay) as a day trip from Buenos Aires in January 2010. Colonia is situated in the south of Uruguay and has earned UNESCO status for its historic significance as a city of strategic importance in the battles between the Portuguese settlers and the Spanish invaders. What has resulted is a charming little town which preserves the Portuguese and Spanish influences in a wonderful fusion of cultures.
The centre of Colonia Del Sacremento is only about 10 minutes walk from the ferry port and is easy to find. There are maps available at the ferry terminal and so grab one on your way out.
Everything about this town feels old and historic - and yet it still manages to feel fresh and unstuffy. In all respects it is "perfect". I've heard some people complain that it is "too perfect", that it is too preserved, that it is too protected - but I've never heard of anything as rubbish in my life as someone complaining that a historic town is too perfect and too preserved. There is nothing plastic or unauthentic about this town, and the fact that its a UNESCO site and therefore protected from tourist developments can only be a positive thing! I wish more places were like this and we could preserve some places for the beauty that made them popular in the first place.Yes, its true that Colonia has a lot of tourists that visit as a day trip from Buenos Aires and from other places in Uruguay, but to be honest, this really doesn't detract from its charm. Tourists get here and they seem to take on the pace of Colonia and so there is no rushing around - just meandering, relaxing and quiet contemplation.
EL FARO (the lighthouse) stands at the end of the headland and dates back to 1857. It is worth climbing up to the top as it gives you a good view over the whole of Colonia and towards its beaches and coast. However, if you're at all claustraphobic (as I am) it may be worth staying at the bottom as the spiral staircase that leads you up is pretty tight.PUERTA DE CAMPO is the drawbridge which stands at the beginning of the historic centre and fortifications.
CASA NARACELLO is worth dipping into for 20 minutes or so as its a period colonial house which has been beautifully preserved. To be honest, I love being in the outside and so I wouldn't suggest spending long in here, but it is worth having a quick look.CALLE DE LOS SUSPIROS (Street of Sighs) is the oldest street in Colonia and is a very short cobbled street with buildings either side. To say this street is "cobbled" is not really describing the condition of the road at all....but walking down it is an experience. Although the buidlings are beautifully preserved, many of them now house gallerys and craft shops at the higher end of the price range.
IGLESIA MATRIZ: the oldest church in Uruguay is simple yet charasmatic in its simplicity and authenticity.There are many restaurants and local bars (no chains!!) and part of the experience is to grab a seat and just chill-ax. Most dining is done al fresco and although its fairly expensive in South American terms, it really isn't going to break the bank. I recommend Parrilla del Barrio restaurant for a laid back ambiance with good food.
There are many little boutique shops, galleries, craft shops etc. dotted around where you can pick up an original gift or two. They're not cheap but they are original and well made and so, in my opinion, worth it.
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Only 1 block from Colonia del Sacramento´s historical district, this hotel offers panoramic bay views and a beautiful pool. Amenities include...
Shipping: refer to website
Availability: Price is per double room per night and may vary depending on date booked