Enjoy your travel to Buenos Aires and do you have some spare time? Why not going for a day to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. While Buenos Aires is overwhelming but also crowded, a day at Colonia del Sacramento is the ideal change in your travel program. How to get to Colonia departing from Buenos Aires? And the best things to do in Colonia del Sacramento.
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One day is more than enough to visit Colonia del Sacramento. The picturesque town with its roots since 1680 and only 27.000 residents is a perfect place for a day out. Colonia is a town that is protected by the UNESCO World Heritage. You will find influences from Spain and Portugal here. A castle wall, streets in original status and wonderful restaurants. A nice place to stay. Below we give you the best things to do in Colonia del Sacramento.
How going to Colonia del Sacramento?
Passport check? Then you are ready to go. But first, you need to get to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. The best way to go is by ferry. You can depart from Buenos Aires every day and at different times. A ferry will take you in about 1 hour to Uruguay. We advise you to book your ticket in advance. Prices are better and you have a wider range of timeslots.
Planning to go for one day? We prefer to take the first ferry to Colonia. The first ferries depart around 8h in the morning. The last ferry takes you back to Buenos Aires between 20h and 21h.
A return ticket will cost around 70 USD / 63 Euro. These prices are common if you book two months in advance.
Secret! Book a day tour packet. It’s mostly cheaper and includes a guide and a ferry trip. 😉
There are three ferry companies: Colonia Express, Buquebus, and Seacat.
Things to do in Colonia del Sacramento?
Well, photos best describe how Colonia is. It is quiet, authentic, a completely different feeling than in Buenos Aires. Despite the fact that the two cities are separated by a river, Colonia has that special touch.
Once you arrive at the ferry terminal in Colonia a walk of 15 minutes will take you to the historic center of Colonia. Take your time to enjoy a small breakfast. Wander around in the city and see the Spanish and Portuguese influences.
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Best things to do in Colonia del Sacramento
Personally, it is nice to stroll around in the city. You will wander around in a completely different world. However, except the architecture and meat, there is not too much to see. Colonia is small but has a rich history with settlements and more. Some best things to do in Colonia del Sacramento.
- The authentic city center
The old city center of Colonia will take you back in time and we had sometimes a Cuba feeling here.
The lighthouse is one of the most important landmarks of Colonia. The lighthouse is built in the 19th century.
- Museo Municipal
Discover the history of Colonia del Sacramento. A whale skeleton, and a scale model of Colonia in the 17th century.
- Puerto Viejo
The old harbor of Colonia. Ideally for a walk and stroll around.
- Iglesia Matríz
The oldest church from Uruguay. Built around 1680 in the time of the Portuguese settlements.
Secret tips for you
- When it’s hot and sunny weather, it is possible to swim in the river. Be aware, it’s on your own risk.
- Uruguay is the country to eat meat. You will find a lot of restaurants in the authentic center but also outside.
- As a tourist, you can get up to 18% discount on your dinners, and other purchases.
- Credit cards are not everywhere accepted. Ask first if it’s possible to pay.
How do you get 18% off dinners and purchases?
I assume it has something to do with VAT.
Exactly. Normally the restaurant will not charge you the VAT automatically.
I enjoyed reading your information on Buenos Aires. Who would I book a day tour packet to Colonia del Sacramento that includes a guide and a ferry trip?
Thanks for the information. I wanted to visit this December but may wait a year due to the pandemic but in the meantime, I am enjoying reading about Argentina!
Hi Pat, often it is cheaper to book a guided tour + ferry ticket. You can do it directly on the ferry company website. I did the guided tour once. Was a nice experience and learned some new things about Colonia del Sacramento. The guided tour takes around 1h30min. Enjoy!
Do you know if a COVID test is required for entry if I wanted to take a day trip to Colonia? And does Argentina require a COVID test to get back into Buenos Aires? Thanks!
Hi Maureen, theoretically yes. You will need a new PCR test if you are coming back to Argentina, even for a day trip.