Colonia del Sacramento is a place we wanted to visit for a long time. Many people just stay the day (either arriving from Buenos Aires or Montevideo), but we spent a night there and it was well worth it!
We arrived from Carmelo, a little past noon. As soon as we dropped our bags at the hotel we went to Old Town, hungry and with a list of places to eat. Unfortunately it was Wednesday and none of the restaurants we had listed were open for lunch.
After walking around a bit we ended up at Choperia Mastra. We ordered chivitos and pizza. Delicious food in a very nice place. Chivito is a classic Uruguayan sandwich, similar to the Southern Brazilian Pressed Burguer: a huge sandwich with lots of items. We ordered one with chicken and one with beef, and both had tomatoes, lettuce and a fried egg, besides coming with a huge side of fries. The pizza was loaded with toppings – ham, cheese and olives – and it was tipically Uruguayan: rectangular and delicious!
We then kept on exploring Old Town. It is small with coblestone streets and colonial Portuguese style houses. We walked to the lighthouse and went all the way up, where we could even see the tallest buildings in Buenos Aires across the river! Minimum age to go up is 8.
Back on the ground we went for coffee and dessert at Charco Hotel. In fact, coffee, dessert and hot chocolate for Isabella.
We kept on strolling to Calle de los Suspiros and the old city gate, where we could see part of the original city wall, after all, Colonia was founded by the Portuguese in a Spanish territory.
Next we went to Plaza de Toros. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we can only see the Plaza from outside. It is not a plaza, but a building built for bullfights, but they were banned from Uruguay so the building lost its purpose, and was left behind. It is quite far from the old town. If you’re by car it’s easy to drive there, but we would not recommend taking a cab just to go there, since it was disappointing.
In Carmelo we did not have a chance to watch the sunset because of the weather, so we decided to give it anothet try in Colonia. We went to the lighthouse, then down the rocks, sat and bravely resisted the wind and watched the sun go down.
We walked around a little bit more – most of the time only us – and we really enjoyed the peace and quiet of the (intentionally) poorly lighted streets.
For dinner we chose Don Joaquín pizzeria. Thin crust pizza baked in a wood-fire oven. Nice pizza, friendly service and no wait. A good way to end the day!
Colonia del Sacramento is a great town to walk and admire century old windows and doors. It’s also a great place to get to know a little about South American history, as it was founded by the Portuguese in a Spanish territory, exchanged for land and later on it was back under Portuguese influence, to be taken over by the Spanish, again.
It is heaven for those that enjoy taking pictures of doors!!
We stayed at Real Colônia Hotel & Suites. We chose this hotel mainly because of its great indoor pool. We were afraid it would rain and a swimming pools are always a good alternative when you have kids!
The hotel looks like a flat, as the rooms have a full kitchen. Breakfast is included on the rate and it’s just ok.
I hope you find this post useful when planning your trip to Colonia del Sacramento!
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