Colonia Tourism Information
Colonia del Sacramento is the official name for the one of the oldest towns in Uruguay. It is renowned for its historic quarter, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It is a popular tourist attraction for visitors, specially from Buenos Aires.
The historical section is very beautiful, with many cobblestone streets, hand-craft shops, galleries and historic buildings giving the area a true historic feel.
Colonia is very similar like Montevideo, it enjoys mild temperatures by being on the edge to Rio de la Plata. Mostly the temperatures won't go below 10°C so visiting anytime of the year is good. However summer's (December to February) can be hot reaching above 33°C and being very crowded with tourists.
The best time is the Spring (September to November) or Autumn (March to June) with approximately 20°C on average.
Getting there is easy by bus from Montevideo with frequent departures from Tres Cruces terminal. However most visitors travel to Colonia by ferry from Buenos Aires, taking just over one hour for the crossing.
Within the city there is very limited transport, since it's not that big. So taking tours is the best alternative to know and see most of the city.
✔️Tip: Buquebus provides tours to Colonia from Montevideo (or from Buenos Aires). Buying in advance and getting the best deals is always advised as they fill up quick, specially at the busy months during December to January.
Dating back many centuries Colonia is a paradise for its rich history and its remains will truly impress you. Founded by the Portuguese in 1680, the city was of strategic importance in resisting the Spanish. After being disputed for a century, it was finally lost by its founders. The well-preserved urban landscape illustrates the successful fusion of the Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial styles.
Key highlights to see include:
Old Town Walls with the the Old Town Gate, also called Puerta de Campo or Puerta de la Ciudadela built in 1745. It marks the limit between the new part of the city and the historic part, also called the Barrio Histórico. Church Matriz, considered the oldest church in Uruguay. Also found here is the Plaza de Armas, It is nearly in the same condition as at the moment it was built.
El Faro, it's the lighthouse, built in 1857 and is worth seeing because of its special shape and design. One thing not to be missed is to climb up and enjoy the beautiful view over the city and the Río de la Plata.
Casa Nacarello, one of the prettiest colonial homes open to the public, with period furniture, thick whitewashed walls, wavy glass and original lintels.
✔️Tip: If staying in Colonia and wish to visit the museums there is a single cost of UR$50 that gives you access to all 8 museums.They include the next historical museums: Spanish Museum, Portuguese Museum, Museo Paleontológico, Museo del Ferrocarril, Museo del Azulejo and Museo Municipal.
Along the small streets in Colonia you will find pretty souvenir and handcrafted shops which sell mainly handmade or items designed for the tourism market. Prices are reasonable and you can pay in both Uruguayan and Argentine Pesos.
Prices are reasonable and economical staying in Colonia for a short time, with many new Hotels and private accomodation now available via Booking.com or Airbnb to make your trip more personal. Stay central of Colonia for better access to the transport options, tours and restaurants.
Since Colonia is a small city, you can take a day tour there from another city. Staying one night if visiting museums with more detail would be enough.
Colonia Photo Slide 📷