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Colonia del Sacramento

The small town of Colonia del Sacramento on the coast of Uruguay is just an hour's boat ride across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. The town, founded in 1680, is a piece of tranquil heaven and a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its past is riddled with a constant tug-of-war between colonial powers Spain and Portugal, and the marks and monuments of this history still define the town.

There are several historic buildings and fascinating museums, but the pace of the town is quiet and slow, so the enjoyable part is really just wandering the old cobblestone streets of the Barrio Histórico (Old Town), where you can see San Francisco convent ruins dating back to 1683, or the lighthouse (el Faro) which guided sailors since 1857. Colonia is a safe and family-friendly town. There are dozens of places to rent bicycles and mopeds, as well as a few spots along the beach to rent kayaks or paddle boats.

There are three companies that operate ferry boats between Buenos Aires and Colonia: Buquebus, Colonia Express and Seacat. Each offers transportation for passengers and cars, with the shortest trip taking about an hour ($280 round trip) and the longest taking about 3 hours ($200 round trip). Tickets cost more on the weekends, and also tend to sell out quickly, so it is a good idea to purchase your tickets a few days before your departure.


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