Colonia del Sacramento tourism

Introduction

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia sign with white letters. This sign is close to Bull ring in Real de San Carlos. The letters were installed in 2017 and have a height of 2 meters for the capital letter and 1,64 for the rest.

Colonia del Sacramento is one of the oldest city of Uruguay. To travel to this city you can take one hour trip from Buenos Aires using Buquebus, Seacat or Colonia express, you can find cheaper tickets but the ferry is slow and it will take at least 3 hours to arrive.

The historic zone of the city could be visited in one day and you can do it all on foot. If you want you can take a bus to Real San Carlos, but we recommend to visit first the historic streets.

If you like to ride a bicycle, we recommend doing it since the city does not have too many transport options.

How to take the ferry to Colonia from Buenos Aires

If you are planning to visit Colonia in summer or on a weekend we recommend to buy the tickets in advance, since at season the ferry is fully sold. Seacat and Colonia express usually have cheaper tickets and you will use a buquebus ship and they also have day tours also. We don't recommend the tourist bus since Colonia is small and you can take a cheap bus (23 Uruguay Pesos) to Real San Carlos.

Inside Buquebus terminal at puerto madero.

Buquebus is located at Av. Antartida Argentina 821, Puerto Madero. Usually you are asked to arrive one hour before. You can buy coffee and sandwiches inside the ship and also you can buy things in the free shop.

Walking around Colonia Streets

Solis Street

Colonia has streets that will make you sigh. The historic zone is very beautiful and has a lot of options to eat and drink inside old houses. Colonia also has some museums.

When you arrive at Colonia port you will find a big difference against Buenos Aires, everything is quiet and peaceful. Colonia is a very safe city and you will not see people trying to rob or steal you, also people from Colonia are very nice. You can visit the historic streets in one day, but we recommend to sleep one night, the historical district at night is very beautiful.

We recommend to book a hotel close to the historic streets, a nice hotel is Italiano or Beltran which are 3 or 4 blocks away from restaurants. If you can afford try to book on Radisson which is an amazing hotel and probably the best in Colonia.

Colonia del Sacramento at Night

Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento, Colonia del Sacramento. The parish was established on 2 February 1680, is one of the oldest in the country, The present church dates back to 1810. Lanterns have a yellow colour to simulate candles used in the past.

Next, to the Basi­lica you will find the ruins of the Convent of San Francisco Javier that date between 1683 - 1704.

Houses and streets are very nice and make you feel that you are in a special place, walking in Colonia is like travelling in time.

Typical house.

At historical district, all houses share a colonial-era. You will find a pleasure to sit in a bench and watch people walk in the streets.

The whole city is full of sycamores which offer protection from the summer heat and rain, you will find these trees also in Buenos Aires. Another famous street in Colonia is Suspiros. The antiques of the buildings with their particular style and the houses next to the river make you want to live there.

We don't recommend to visit museums, you will be probably disappointed. The only place you must visit is the lighthouse which will allow you to have a great view of the city.

Lighthouse view

The 19th-century lighthouse was built adjacent to the ruins of the 17th-century Convento de San Francisco.

Basilica

Basi­lica del Santisimo Sacramento seen from the lighthouse. You can see a 360-degree view of the city from the lighthouse.

Door of the Citadel in Colonia del Sacramento

Finished by 1745 period in which the Portuguese Vasconcellos was the gobernator.

Door of the Citadel

The door, the bridge, the moat, the fortress itself and the stone pillars, etc all together constitute a great historic tourist attraction.

The Bullring plaza in Real San Carlos

The tourist bus can be used to get to Real San Carlos and it uses the Rambla which has a nice view, but it's very expensive (25USD) for so short trip. As an alternative you can take a bus with will cost you 23 Uruguay Pesos (less than a dollar) but the bus will use internal streets.

Bullring

The bullring is located in Real San Carlos. You can get to there taking a bus on General Flores Avenue. The bus frequency is 30min on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends.

When you get to the Bull, you can walk to the river and between three or four blocks in the direction to the historic district you will find the letters sign. To get back to the city you can take the normal bus just in front of the bull. Don't expect to get inside the bull, since it's very dangerous and there is a fence with barbed wire surrounding. It was opened on the 9 of January 1910.

Eating at Colonia de Sacremento

Prepare your self to be very hungry, since if you visit Uruguay you can leave without eating a chivito. Chivito could be served as a sandwich or at a dish. We recommend paying everything with a credit card since Uruguay has a discount for tourism when you use credit cards. Prices are usually high, but with the discount, you can have similar prices to Buenos Aires.

Big chivito

A dual chivito for two people. Chivito contains meat with fries, fried eggs, pickles, lettuce, tomato, Russian salad (potato, vetch, carrot with mayonnaise) and sometimes with palm hearts.

Plaza 25 de Agosto

This place is great for having a mate and a peaceful moment. Every time we travel to Colonia we sit at this place we drink mate and meditate.

Plaza 25 de Agosto

A quiet square to think about new travels and meditate.