Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Latitude 34.47174°S Longitude 57.85268°W

Thursday, March 27, 2003

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Our final destination in our quick tour of Uruguay was the quaint town of Colonia del Sacramento, a few hours' drive west of Montevideo. Dating back to 1680, when it was a center for smuggling goods into Argentina, the town still preserves many of its original buildings and cobblestone streets. The weather here was decidedly hotter than Montevideo and Punta del Este, and we quickly slipped into the relaxing tempo of the place - strolling down alleyways adorned with the scent and colour of crimson bougainvilleas in the hot sun, with only the sound of the occasional fly buzzing lazily nearby. We climbed a lonely lighthouse where we surveyed the entire township and could even see the distant shore of the Río de la Plata and the sprawling metropolis of Buenos Aires.

On our first evening we found a tiny restaurant and bar perched right on the fishing pier where we rested our tired legs and gazed out over the placid bay until a brilliant sunset stole our attention and brought the day to a flaming climax. As the darkness crept into town, candle lights winked here and there at the doorways of scores of rustic restaurants, luring us inside with the fragrant scents of coal-grilled fish and seafoods.

There was not a lot to do in romantic little Colonia, but that was the beauty of the place. It surely appealed to us much more than the high-rise impersonal glamour of Punta del Este. We left happy at having found such a charming place and sad we could not stay longer.

Photos: (click on images to see full size)

A vintage car in a rustic townA typical streetside Colonia caféAt the Bastión de San MiguelColonia streets at sunsetColonia streets at sunsetColonia streets at sunset
The lighthouse by the ruins of the San Francisco convent

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