A short hop from two major Latin cities lies the wee port town of Colonia del Sacramento. Just 2 hours from Montevideo (by car) and 1 hour from Buenos Aires (by ferry across the Rio de la Plata), it is easily accessible from these two compelling capitals. Colonia is a UNESCO World Heritage site and great place to slow down, and take some time to meander around a historic wonder.
Founded by the Portuguese in 1680, the town was of strategic importance in resisting the Spanish. But after a century of dispute and turmoil the Portuguese eventually lost control, and the town is now a well-preserved fusion of Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial architecture. Its cobblestone streets circle a large, leafy plaza and skirt the riverbank. There are gorgeous low buildings of enviable colours under the gaze of the white lighthouse which stands tall in the centre of town. The lighthouse is well worth a climb (only 118 steps) and you will be rewarded with a great view of the town and river.
We’d recommend a 2 night stay, which gives you time to slow down and soak up the unique vibe, there is a great wee lodge called the Charco, which is based in the old town, by the river’s edge. Handily, it also has one of the best restaurants in town, and with just 8 rooms, it has intimate feel and relaxed ambience.
Anton Lynch’s passport has been stamped more times than the shiny cobblestones of Colonia del Sacramento. He provides us with unequaled depth of planning experience; we allow him to indulge his penchant for the word ‘wee’ – perfect symbiosis.