Our intention was to go to Punta del Este, but being high season we realized that it would be super crowded plus the prices were very high. Instead we decided to get closer to Argentina and stay for 2 nights in Colonia de Sacramento.
"Founded by the Portuguese in 1680 on the Rio de la Plata, the city was of strategic importance in resisting the Spanish. After being disputed for a century, it was finally lost by its founders. The well-preserved urban landscape illustrates the successful fusion of the Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial styles." (Source)
I am not sure if I could really make a list of things to visit (I will try though) you'll see it's more about the charm of the city in general than of a specific landmark .
I guess the 2 most popular ways to get to Colonia are either from Buenos Aires via Ferry or from Montevideo via bus. We chose the second option. It's quite easy, just go to the Terminal Tres Cruces and book your bus. There are several companies going to Colonia so choose one that has the best time schedule for you.
I am not a very big fan of fancy hotels as I usually don't focus on what is in the hotel but what is outside :). So I choose something that was clean and had a good-quality price ratio. This brought me to Hotel Rivera. The place is perfect for 1-2 nights stay and offers great breakfast (for a 2 star hotel).
What's there to see around
Rambla de las Americas
Walking on the promenade is super relaxing and nice. We went all the way to the letters "Colonia". You can find them on google under Letrero Colonia
I will of course also list some of the Streetart I spotted ;)
Built in 1857, the top can be reached after climbing the 118 stairs. The cool part of the view is that you can sport Buenos Aires in the distance, other than that I was not that impressed. Second picture check the horizon line, that's Argentina :)
Ruinas del Convento de San Francisco
Right in front of the lighthouse, you can spot the ruins of the monastery. This is one of the oldest constructions in the area. It was built in 1691 but was destroyed during a fire in 1704. It creates an interesting view with the the lighthouse in the background.
Santisimo Sacramento Church
The present church dates back to 1810, when it was built according to plans by Tomas Toribio; soon afterward a lightning storm destroyed the building, which was restored between 1836 and 1841. Finally, in 1976 a conceptual refurbishment took place. In 1995, the Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - with it, the Basilica. (Source)
Porton del Campo
"Porton de Campo is an 18th-century city gate and drawbridge built by the Portuguese settlers of Colonia del Sacramento. It was an integral part of the walls that protected the city from intrusion" (Source)
Calle de los suspiros
This is probably one of the most photographed placed in Colonia (or at least you can find it on all the souvenir magnets)
"There are different theories about how it got its name. One is that criminals used to get hung at the end of the street (no records to back this up so it can be dismissed). Another is that prostitutes used to line the street to tempt the sailors (where the sighs come in there are best left to your imagination), and a final one about a lover that was killed on this street and with her last breath (sigh) calling her partner (which I suspect was invented to try and romanticize the street)." (Source)
Casa del Virrey
It's an open air museum in the reconstructed ruins of a historical Portuguese house featuring stone walls, floors & doorways. (Source: Google Maps)
Museo Municipal & House Nacarello
Museo Municipal: White building with the canon in front:
18th-century structure housing exhibits documenting the community from prehistoric to modern times. (Source: Google Maps)
Nacarello House- red'ish house in the background
Built in the 18th century, this rustic house-turned-museum features historic furniture & objects. (Source: Google Maps)
Cute Streets & Street Decorations
There a loads of cute elements everywhere around the center. Just walk the streets and you will find them.
Watch the Sunset
We managed to convince the guys from the restaurant we were eating at to borrow the glasses and finish the wine watching the sunset. It is a very relaxing & enjoyable moment.