Last time we were in Argentina, we didn’t take the ferry across the Rio de la Palta to visit Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. A small city, only 40kms from Buenos Aires, as the crow flies (or, in this case, as the ferry goes).
This time, we were in Uruguay anyway shooting Morgan and Agustin’s wedding in Punta del Este, so we decided to spend a few days in Colonia on the way back. And am I ever glad we did. Colonia is a city of approximately 22,000 people (or so says wikipedia) and the highlight for most people is the Historic Quarter, which has been a world heritage site since 1995.
We arrived in Colonia at about 6pm, but this was totally fine. Because of the time zone (an hour later than Argentina) and the time of year (January), the sun didn’t set until 9 pm. Accordingly, we got three full hours of visiting the Historic Quarter on our first day. We found a beautiful, tiny, serene beach, climbed the lighthouse to get oriented, strolled through cobblestone streets past stone-or-colourful-vine-covered houses, and watched the sun set in the distance. All the while we were falling in love with this sleepy little vine-covered city.
On our second day, it was hot. So hot that we didn’t do much except nap and eat (my stomach was also a little funky that day). In the evening however, we took our kindles and read on the little beach pictured above. All felt well in our world.
We ate dinner at the super kitchy, super touristy “El Drugstore“, but it was worth every penny. We sat at the table right next to the (amazing) guitar duo, ate cheese fondue (too salty) and drank clerico (white wine sangria). While it was a lovely evening, we weren’t prepared for the cubierto, or “cover-charge”, designed to cover table setting and bread. We also got charged for the show. (Since then, we’ve seen cubiertos at several restaurants, so either we didn’t remember, or we didn’t go to the right kind of places that time!
On our last day the heat was breaking a little, so we rented a golf cart and tour the city outside of the historic quarter. The golf carts (and gas “golf carts”) range from about 35 dollars to 50 dollars for a day and are a super fun way to see the city on your own timeline!
We drove north up the “coast” (really, the river’s edge) all the way to the Sheraton, which was very swanky, and whose lobby had AC, a welcome break from the heat! We saw beautiful and less beautiful beaches (including the one pictured, above), and fell more and more in love with this sleepy little city.
We then drove back into the historic quarter and took a few more pictures, since we had been somewhat remiss in our photography (probably because of the 3000 images we shot at Morgan and Agustin’s wedding!)
We rushed to catch the 7pm fast ferry to Buenos Aires, anticipation arising for the big move into our new apartment!
I’m going to leave you now with a travel hint: when you go to Colonia for a day-(or two)-trip from Buenos Aires (and you have to go), I highly recommend taking Seacat Colonia, it is half the price of Buquebus, and is code-shared with Buquebus on certain routes, like the 7pm fast ferry back to Buenos Aires). The website is only in Spanish, but it is fairly easy to navigate, even with limited Spanish!