With time to kill in Buenos Aires at the end of my tour of South America, I though what better way to spend the day than a short trip to Uruguay’s Colonia del Sacramento.

Just 50km across the Rio Plata from Buenos Aires, Colonia is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay, and is renowned for its Barrio Histórico UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are a variety of options for getting to Colonia, but I chose to take the fast Seacat ferry, which is actually run by Buquebus, and departs from the same terminal. Tickets for the 60 minute journey cost around £50 but that included business class for my return.

A 5-minute walk from the ferry terminal terminal brought me to the gates of the famous Barrio Histórico, where I was greeted by a street performer.

street performer in colonia

For centuries Colonia was passed between Spain, and Portugal, and for a brief period even Brazil. My first impressions were that of a small town in Southern France. There’s certainly a relaxed European feel to the town, more so than anywhere else I’ve been in South America.

A corner house in Colonia de sacremento

Despite all the tourists, and restaurants vying town had a sleepy vibe to it, one I’d last felt in Cafayate. The difference being the architecture, and the hundreds of shades of green in trees, bushes, and shrubs that lined the streets, and gardens.

With less time available to me than I would have liked, I set about exploring. First stop was the lighthouse where for the equivalent of 50p you can climb the spiral stair case to the top. This one definitely isn’t for the claustrophobic traveller.

inside colonia's lighthouse

I often like to get up high above the towns and cities I visit and take sweeping panoramas. That doesn’t quite work in Colonia, as the canopy of the trees covers the low-rise colonial buildings.

colonia skyline

Back at ground level I made my way through the narrow cobbled streets, and even took in some live music.


The roads were surprisingly quiet. Previously I’d seen a number of golf buggies lined up ready for rental, but walking is probably the best way to see the town.


Having sold my motorcycle in Rio Gallegos I too was on foot, but mentally I was already looking for a replacement. Perhaps not this one though.

motorcycle in colonia del sacremento

With my ferry departure near it was time halt the exploration and sit down for a spot of lunch.