Colonia del Sacramento is a peaceful and welcoming destination where time seems to have stood still. You’ll love strolling through its pleasant cobbled streets while enjoying the friendliness of its people in a place where there's no such thing as being in a rush.
With an appealing blend of Spanish, Portuguese and post-colonial architecture, Colonia's old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and has been chosen as a set for several period films due to how well-preserved it is.
What to see in Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia is a wonderful destination where peace and harmony go hand in hand. During your visit, you’ll stroll through the historic streets and visit its most symbolic sights. Here are some of our favourite places to visit:
- Basilica of the Holy Sacrament: Built upon an old ranch during the 16th century, the basilica is one of the oldest churches still standing in Uruguay. Witness and survivor of wars and bombardments, this warm temple retains its serenity from centuries past.
- Calle de los Suspiros: This picturesque street, whose name translates to “Street of Sighs”, is a quiet place with cobbled paths and typical adobe houses that are decorated with splashes of different colours. You can see the inside of some of the 18th-century houses that have been converted into shops or restaurants.
- Plaza Mayor: The historic centre of Colonia is a marvellous complex with a pleasant central square where you can see the remains of buildings such as the Governor's House.
- Lighthouse: Built in 1855 on the remains of an old convent, the lighthouse was welcomed by local residents as it put a stop to the shipwrecks that were tragically occurring here. If you make your way up to the top of the lighthouse, you’ll see incredible views of the whole city.
- Portón de Campo: This gate was built in 1745 and is considered an iconic symbol of the city. It also forms an important historic complex with the city walls and the bridge built over the moat.
- Beaches: As well as its rich history and architecture, Colonia has 3 miles (5 kilometres) of coastline. Along its coastline, you’ll find the following beautiful beaches: Honda, El Álamo, Oreja de Negro, El Balneario and Real de San Carlos.
How to get to Colonia
The only way to get from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento is by boat with the Buquebus company.
You have the option of travelling on a fast boat, which takes 1 hour 15 minutes, or a slower boat that takes 3 hours. Prices vary depending on the dates and type of boat selected, but it usually costs between 500 ARS (US$ 2.70) and 1,500 ARS (US$ 8) each way.
You can check timetables and buy tickets on the Buqeubus website.
If you’d prefer to avoid any hassle, you can book our day trip to Colonia de Sacramento from Buenos Aires in English.