Buenos Aires Travel Planet

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Colonia del Sacramento

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Colonia del Sacramento, located only a short ferry ride away from the city of Buenos Aires, is a small and peaceful town located on the shore of the Rio de la Plata, and is a great place to relax, enjoy the serenity of a riverside town, and discover the culture and tradition of Uruguay.

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento, formerly the Portuguese Colónia do Sacramento, is a world heritage site and the oldest town in all of Uruguay. The town was founded by the Portuguese in 1680, later conquered by the Spanish and in 1816 held in control by the Brazilian government, and finally by the 1900’s claimed by the independent country of Uruguay. Today, Colonia is one of Uruguay’s most visited places for its beautiful architecture, riverside location, and various historical sites.


The town of Colonia is very small in size and it is only a short distance from one end of the town to the other, giving visitors the opportunity to discover it by foot, bicycle, or moped. The Barrio Historico (Historic Quarter) was claimed a World Heritage Sight by UNESCO, and includes the riverside area as well as the downtown sector. The town is characterized by old Portuguese style colonial buildings and houses, narrow cobblestone streets, long riverside promenades, and a few city plazas. The residents of Colonia are a major reason of why tourism has continued to be so successful here, never failing to be accommodating their visitors and providing friendly and affordable services. Buenos Aires travel guide consider this a must go side trip.


One of the best activities to enjoy in Colonia is simply walking down the cobblestone streets, visiting various business’s such as art shops and deli’s, sitting quietly in the town’s plazas, or enjoying a tradition meal at one of the local restaurants. The town also offers various historical sites, each located in, or in walking distance of, the downtown area.

  • Porton de Campo - the City Gate and wooden drawbridge
  • Basilica del Sanctisimo Sacramento - a beautiful stone basilica, built by the Portugese in 1808.
  • Lighthouse and convent ruins
  • Iglesia Matriz - Uruguay’s oldest church
  • Downtown - Tourist shops and restaurants
  • Beaches - Colonia’s beaches are perfect for the summer sun

Colonia is a great destination for a day trip or weekend trip, depending on your time. The town offers a few hotels and several great hostels or bed and breakfast type accommodation options, ranging from very budget to moderate. You can also choose to rent a moped or a bicycle to discover more of Colonia; rental and tourism shops are all located in the downtown sector.

Colonia can be reached by boat from Buenos Aires, in either one hour (fast ferry) or three hours (slow ferry).

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