Facing Buenos Aires on the opposite side of the River Plate and two hours to the west of Montevideo, Colonia del Sacramento was founded by Portuguese settlers from Brazil in 1680 as a rival to the Spanish occupied Buenos Aires. Its strategic location made it a source of longtime struggle between the Portuguese and Spanish, who both conquered the city several times to control the trade of Peruvian silver and Brazilian produce between 1680 and 1828.
- Wander the cobbled historic streets of this UNESCO treasure
- Marvel at the city’s huge fortress walls and landmark lighthouse
- Watch the world go by along the Rio Plata
- Nip across on the ferry from Buenos Aires and soak up the chilled vibes
- Tuck into some tantalising treats in the many side-street eateries
Nowadays the oldest town in Uruguay is famous for its historic district, where the jumbled, sprawling streets and mix of well-preserved colonial architecture represent two centuries’ worth of Spanish, Portuguese and Uruguayan history. Take a step back in time and discover this charming UNESCO World Heritage town which is full of delightful cobbled streets, old fortress walls, pretty churches, colourful houses, welcoming cafes and it is rightfully proud of its endearingly slow pace of life.
Easily reached by a 75 minute ferry ride from Buenos Aires, Colonia can be enjoyed as a day trip from the Argentinian capital or as a charming destination in its own right.