Colonia del Sacramento is a popular destination for tourists. It is known not only for its rich history and mild climate, but also because of its accessibility from Buenos Aires in Argentina, just a one hour ferry away. With a variety of hostels to choose from, selecting a good place to sleep is easy and makes it a great place to stop on your Uruguayan adventure.
Founded in 1680, Colonia has survived the rule of the Portuguese, Spanish, and English influence, all of whom strived to control this important port city. Wandering through Barrio Historico, or the old city neighbourhood, visitors can step back in time, walking the cobblestone streets to view colonial style architecture or take a break in one of the many cafes and restaurants the area offers. For a bird’s-eye view, climb the lighthouse (with a small fee), or, to immerse yourself in the country’s history, purchase a museum pass to access the eight different museums in the district.
If history is not your thing, enjoy a day at the beach, visit a nearby estancia for horse riding, or sample a Tannat wine the region is famous for. Another interesting place to visit is the Tourist Information Centre. They offer interactive, touchscreen computers, detailing the history, culture, and modern times of both Colonia and Uruguay. For a small fee, you can also watch a visual presentation that allows you to experience the whole of Uruguay in approximately eleven minutes.
Most hostels are within close proximity to both the bus and ferry terminals, and it is advisable to book in advance on weekends. When choosing a hostel, it is also a good idea to pick one with a kitchen, as eating out can be fairly expensive.
Three ferries offer daily services direct to Buenos Aires, so it is also possible to just visit for a day if you are short on time.
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