Colonia del Sacramento Things to Do Tips by barryg23 Top 5 Page for this destination
Colonia del Sacramento Things to Do: 90 reviews and 151 photos
Street sign and lamp in Barrio Historico
Colonia's Barrio Historico (Old District), now a UNESCO World Heritage site, is what attracts the majority of visitors to the town. It encompasses a small section of the town, close to the river, and is made up of narrow, cobbled streets and old, atmospheric colonial buildings.
The entrance to the Barrio Historico is via a reconstructed 18th century gate, and from here a thick stone wall runs down to the river and onto the beautiful and much photographed Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Sighs).
Many of the colonial buildings in the barrio are now museums, and you can visit them all on one ticket costing less than a dollar. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants as you might expect in such a popular place. You could probably see everything in the Barrio Historico in one day but if you have the time it's much better to relax and enjoy it over 2 or 3 days.
Calle de los Suspiros
With its cobblestones and 17th century buildings, Calle de los Suspiros is Colonia´s most picturesque street (and there are plenty of contenders). It contains beautiful, ancient crumbling houses, the nicest of which is now an art gallery. It´s the one place in the Barrio Historico where the tourists all seem to head for so it can be difficult to get a picture of the whole street.
The Azulejo Museum displays, as its name suggests, some nice azulejos (decorated tiles), demonstrating the influence of Portugal on Colonia. The museum is little more than one room in a 17th century stone house near the waterfront and you could almost see everything by peering in the window. Entry is via the ticket which gives entry to most of the sights in the old town and costs only 25 pesos (less than 1 USD).
Exhibit in Museo Espanol
The Museo Espanol was, in my opinion, was the best of Colonia´s many museums. It describes Colonia from its founding as a smuggling port right up to the present day, and does a good job of explaining the town's rather complicated history. Colonia was ruled by Spain and Portugal at different times in its history and evidence of both occupations are still highly visible in the old town.
Most of the exhibits are in Spanish so it's helpful to understand at least a little of the language. Accompanying the displays are portraits of the town´s most important personalities throughout its history. You can visit this museum on one ticket which costs 25 Pesos and gives entry to most of the sights in the old town.
Address: San Jose 164
Directions: Ciudad Vieja
El Faro - the lighthouse
The white lighthouse is one of the most recognisable buildings in the Ciudad Vieja. Most of Colonia´s attractions can be visited with one ticket though you need a separate ticket for the lighthouse. It costs only 15 pesos however, and it´s worth it for the view over the town and out across the river.
The lighthouse dates from the 18th century, and lies at the western end of the Ciudad Vieja. From the top you get a good idea of the layout of the old town. The old town is picturesque at street level though it looks less appealing from on high. Nevertheless, the views out over the Rio de la Plata are fantastic. The top of the lighthouse is also a popular place for sunset so it might be a good plan to time your visit for this.
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