Colonia del Sacramento Things to Do

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  • Things to Do
    by Cockleshell
  • Things to Do
    by Cockleshell

Most Recent Things to Do in Colonia del Sacramento

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    Unesco Heritage site

    by xaver Written Jul 11, 2013

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    church
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    The historical centre of Colonia is the only Unesco heritage site in Uruguay. It is very nice preserved and the sensation you get around the town is that nobody lives there. There is silence all around and even if it is full of shops, you hardly see people walking around. You can walk, rent an electric car or use a touristic bus.

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    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    Enter the city through a famous drawbridge

    by jumpingnorman Updated Mar 14, 2013

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    A gate (Puerto) in Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay
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    I find it amazing to see this drawbridge from the Portuguese occupation beautifully restored and still intact - and you can be transported in time when you go on it to enter the “city”.

    The Puerta de la Ciudadela, also called Puerta de Campo was built in 1745 by a Portuguese governor to protect the walled city and it was the only entrance at the time.

    Now, it marks the entrance to the historical district of Colonia, a World Heritage Site. Barrio Histórico (historic quarter) still has its irregular, terrain-fitting street plan.

    The City has amazing points of interest and these are the Wikipedia highlights:

    Portón de Campo – the City Gate and wooden drawbridge
    Lighthouse and convent ruins of the 17th century Convent of San Francisco
    Basilica del Sanctísimo Sacramento – the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, built of stone by the Portuguese in 1808
    Portuguese Museum – constructed in the 18th century, it exhibits Portuguese furnishings, jewellry, uniforms and old maps of Portuguese naval expeditions
    Casa de Nacarello – an 18th century Portuguese house
    Municipal Museum – rebuilt by the Spanish in 1835 as the Casa del Almirante Brown, it exhibits artifacts and documents of the city's different periods and cultures
    Viceroy's House – the Casa del Virrey, reconstructed from the original ruins
    Iglesia Matriz – the oldest church in Uruguay, dating from 1695-99
    Plaza de toros Real de San Carlos, a Bullring included in an old tourist complex now abandoned.

    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!

    I made a video of my short trip to Colonia del Sacramento!
    Hope you like this:

    JUMPINGNORMAN IN COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO, URUGUAY!

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    The El Faro Lighthouse

    by jumpingnorman Updated Mar 14, 2013

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    The El Faro, Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay
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    I visited Uruguay in the month of September, and the weather was awesome at Colonia de Sacramento. After riding the ferry from Buenos Aires, I just walked to its famous lighthouse which is also known as the El Faro, located at San Pedro’s Point (Punta de San Pedro).

    The El Faro was built in 1857 from stones actually taken from the ruins of the Convento de San Francisco. I was able to go up to it, but I forgot how much it cost – I’m sure it was not much. But it was nice to go up this wonderful highlight of the Rio de Plata. From above, I did see the artist on the ground making a charcoal painting of the lighthouse.

    When I went down, I asked him to include a small silhouette of me on the lighthouse, and then I bought the artwork for only about $25! It’s now hanging in our home…

    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!

    I made a video of my short trip to Colonia del Sacramento!
    Hope you like this:

    JUMPINGNORMAN IN COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO, URUGUAY!

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    • Historical Travel

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  • rosequartzlover1's Profile Photo

    Walking around in Colonia.

    by rosequartzlover1 Written Mar 9, 2012

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    A beautiful colouful house.
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    Colonia is a world heritage site.It's very pretty small town.I walked around town ,seeing beautiful colourful houses built in Portugese style.The colour of the houses are so colouful ,like the one in the picture.It's pink one with beautiful flower tree.I think this house will be one of the most taken picture in Colonia.But at that moment I didn't see any other people around ,and I like it like this so much .....quiet town.. without tourists...... serene....

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    Open Air Antique Car Museum

    by DSwede Written Jan 28, 2012
    Old Style Class in mint condition
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    While it may not be one of the official museums listed in the brochures or identified on the maps, if you appreciate or enjoy old antique cars, you will not be disappointed.

    Scattered throughout all of the old district, the barrio historico, there are antique cars parked on nearly every street. Some are very well preserved and look to be near mint condition. Others are so dilapidated that they may have trees growing out of them. There are European models dating from the 30's as well as American classics of the same era all the way up to current.

    Price is free, all you have to do is walk the old historical district.

    If you are really a car aficionado, there is an old Ford that has been converted into a dining car. See my restaurant tip for details.

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    • Photography

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    The Wharf

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 5, 2010

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    Perhaps because we live near the ocean ,we always head first to the coast.
    The old wharf has long since disappearedbut the current one offers nice views of the coast.There are lots of inviting restaurants along this area too.

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    • Photography

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    Walking Tour

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 5, 2010

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    Colonia is a joy to explore by foot. We follow cobbled stone streets to what was once a main town areaof 1600's Colonia. The ancient stone houses,shaded by massive palms are a wonder to behold.....couldn't get enough pictures.

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    Colonial Museums

    by TexasDave Updated Nov 6, 2010

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    Plaza Mayor
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    Seven different small museums can be seen for the bargain price of about 1 US dollar. You start at the Museo Portugues on the South side of the Plaza Mayor and pay for a ticket which gets validated as you enter each of the other six museums. None of them take very long to go through, in fact a couple consist of just one small building with one gallery. The different buildings are scattered throughout the Historical Center and are:
    Municipal Museum (which in September 2007 was closed for renovations)
    Indigenous Museum
    Spanish Museum
    Nacarello House
    Tile Museum
    Portuguese Museum
    Regional Museum and Archives

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Barrio Historico

    by jumpingnorman Updated Jul 8, 2009

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    Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay

    Colonia de Sacramento was the only Portuguese settlement along the Rio de la Plata founded in 1680 by Manuel de Lobo, and it operated as a contraband port for years…and now it is a wonderful but relatively underrated tourist destination!

    You will enjoy walking along the cobblestone streets which have been likened to the streets of old Lisbon. You also see colorful houses, and I liked taking pictures by the nice lamps on the side of little buildings, houses.

    The historic quarter, Barrío Historico, on a small peninsula jutting out into the river, was named a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1995.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    Barrio Historico

    by barryg23 Written Feb 14, 2009

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    Street sign and lamp in Barrio Historico
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    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.

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    Calle de los Suspiros

    by barryg23 Updated Feb 8, 2009

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    Calle de los Suspiros
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    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.

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    Puerto Deportivo in Colonia

    by lacruzdeleje Written Feb 2, 2009

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    Do not go to any beach near this Port!
    All the boats there discharge their toilets in the river; the services in the Port are very poor and they closed at night.
    If you visit the Port DO Not reach to the water!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Azulejo Museum

    by barryg23 Updated Feb 1, 2009

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    Azulejos
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    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).

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    Spanish Museum

    by barryg23 Updated Feb 1, 2009

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    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.

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    Lighthouse

    by barryg23 Updated Feb 1, 2009

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    El Faro - the lighthouse
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    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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