Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Barrio Histórico Colonia del Sacramento Reviews
Good day trip from Buenos Aires to walk around the Barrio Histórico May 12, 2012
The ferry from BA to Colonia takes just over a hour and the waves from the sea will either put you to sleep or churn your stomach. Once you arrive at the Port, exit the building (there is no information available there or you might want to exchange some money-but they take AR$ pesos), exit the parking lot/grounds of the port, make a left and there will be a beautiful tourist building on your left hand side about a block away.
I went here in March 2012 and we were able to get a map and several pamphlets of things going on in the area. We got a quick history of Uruguay's oldest city and why it's an UNESCO World Heritage site. You can use the bathroom and then you are on your way. Out the building and to the left, make a right turn eventually, walk one block and then another left to arrive at the Barrio Histórico (historic neighborhood).
If you get there in the morning, nothing is really open except for the lighthouse so you can walk around in the peach and quiet and take picture, stare out into the sea 9which is quite brown) and meander through the streets. If you decide to go into the lighthouse, it's just a few pesos. There is a narrown winding staircase, you if you are claustrophobic or have cardio issues, don't bother. Once you get to the top, you can stand about and take in the view. You can even go a little higher. There is a man below and a man above who try to balance how many are coming and going--two people can't fit on the staircase at the same time. It's a great view when the weather is nice.
From there, things start to open around 11am or so...the restaurants, the few stores they have, etc. For me, a sandwich is a sandwich is a sandwich, but we ate at a place that had just opened up and I had a really good sandwich. My friend and I wandered the cobble stone streets and took great photographs (to be uploaded soon). It was just a nifty little town to wander and we had a great time. From there, we wandered into the Yacht area and saw a few boats and then down Avenida Gral Flores with modern shops, touristy stores (where you could buy your magnet or shot glass that said you were in Colonia) and a collection of restaurants. We wandered and strolled and ended up at a small handcraft fair, but didn't buy anything.
It is recommended at a nice day trip if you are in BA. Bring god walking shoes.
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