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.
Walking around Colonia Streets
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.
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.
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.
Door of the Citadel in Colonia del Sacramento
Finished by 1745 period in which the Portuguese Vasconcellos was the gobernator.
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.
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.
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.