Colonia del Sacramento is the only UNESCO world heritage site in all of Uruguay, and we have already heard that this village of cobblestoned streets and remnants of forts is a lovely place to visit. It was originally settled in 1680 by the Portuguese and a small fort provided a strategic place on the River Parana where the Portuguese could watch the goings-on of the Spanish city of Buenos Aires across the river.
We ride through a palm-tree lined road on our way into the modern part of the city to settle into our hotel for the next two nights.
Colonia is a popular place for tourists visiting from all over, but especially from Buenos Aires, it’s once sworn enemy. Ferries deliver hundreds of people to Colonia each day from BA, and at one time we considered taking the ferry back to BA. But budget and a few hundred kilometers of road we haven’t ridden yet win out over that.
Off for a stroll through the old part of the city to see the old fort, the Basilica del Santisima Sacramento and more.
Wandering through the narrow, cobbled lanes, we come across dozens of antique cars (there are hundreds of them in Uruguay) in various states of disrepair.
And when we get to the water’s edge, I can see the tall highrise apartment buildings of Buenos Aires way off in the distance on the other side of the Parana. They are just faintly visible above the horizon.
Cafes and bistros perched at the edge of the old city provide the perfect place to watch the sun set on the river.
The next day we walk up to and around the northern part of the city, past a giant corona beach, to visit the abandoned bullring, a train museum and a horse racing track.