Colonia - Photos : 1: Pablo Etchevers / 2 y 3: Andrea Bardou
ver the Northern bank of the Río de La Plata lies the City of Colonia del Sacramento, capital of the Department of Colonia. It was Admiral Manuel Lobo, the then governor of Río de Janeiro, who founded Colonia do Sacramento towards 1680, a typical Portuguese city of the XVII century which today charms tourists from all over the world with its well-preserved architectural richness.
This delightful city may be visited at all seasons, as its weather is mainly temperate. In the summer, average temperatures range between 22 and 30ºC; in the winter, temperatures drop to 5ºC.
The pretty layout of Colonia makes a remarkable contrast with the architectural mapping shared by all cities of Spanish origin. It is precisely for its particular architecture that it has been declared World Historical Heritage.
Located 177 kilometers from Montevideo, Colonia is bordered by the Department of San José on the East and by the Department of Soriano on the North. It features a long littoral over the Río de la Plata on the South and a stretch over the Uruguay River on the Northwest.
Due to its proximity to Buenos Aires (in Argentina), many visitors arrive in Colonia from the porteña city through the river to tour around its narrow picturesque streets covered by shiny cobblestones.
Getting lost in its historical streets, going up the lighthouse staircase, visiting its churches, its various museums and ancient houses are some activities enjoyed by tourists during their stay in the city.
Prestigious international hotels await visitors both in the historical shell and in the new part of town to make them feel as if they were distinguished inhabitants in the days on which the Portuguese and the Spanish were disputing the strategically located city.
The Plaza de Toros (bullring), today abandoned by the passing of time, is another must visit attraction at Colonia, though at present bullfighting is only part of our imagination.