Being sooo close, it was hard not to resist…
Colonia, Uruguay is just a one hour ferry ride from Buenos Aries so we decided to take our day Saturday to see another country. It would have really been nice to go to the capital, Montevideo, but that was a 3 hour ferry each way and to be honest I didn’t know if I could handle that much time on the water right now. And actually I think we made a good choice because on the way back to Buenos Aries we chatted with a lady from the UK that went to Montevideo and she said she was really disappointed. She said that you could tell that at one time it was a grand city but that it had lost all it’s glory and she thought exploring Colonia was a much better use of time.
We went on Friday morning to purchase Buquebus Ferry tickets and because it was so busy on the weekend, the only thing available was First Class, so…First Class it was! The Ferry was really nice, much like a Cruise ship with shops and eating places, exercise equipment and lounge areas. Because we were in First Class we were served coffee and cookies on our way and champagne and Hors d’œuvres on the return trip. The seating was spacious and comfortable and the First Class section had their own wash rooms. It was very nice.
Arriving at Colonia…
Colonia del Sacramento, founded in 1680, evokes old Lisbon with its Portuguese-influenced architecture and winding streets. The area, located in southwestern Uruguay on the Rio de la Plata, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. It’s an easy day trip by ferry from Buenos Aires. So off we went!
It is the oldest town in Uruguay and has a population of around 22,000 and is renowned for its historic quarter, and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Modern Colonia del Sacramento produces textiles and has a free trade zone in addition to a polytechnic centre and various government buildings.
The Portuguese founded Colonia in 1680 to smuggle goods across the Río de la Plata into Buenos Aires. The Spanish captured it in 1762 and held it until 1777, when tax reforms finally permitted foreign goods to proceed directly to Buenos Aires.
It is filled with old colonial buildings and cobble-stone streets, like many of the colonial towns we have visited in Brazil. We enjoyed the day walking around and exploring the sights!