Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Day Trip To Colonia, Uruguay

Photos and Story By Roy Heale
Many visitors to Buenos Aires, Argentina take the time to enjoy a day trip to the Uruguay city of Colonia del Sacramento. Founded by Admiral Manuel Lobo as a typical Portuguese city of the XVII century, Colonia was declared a Unesco World Historical Heritage Site in 1995 and today charms tourists from all over the world with its well-preserved architectural richness.

From Buenos Aires the one hour fast Buquebus ferry allows travellers to leave early in the morning and return later that night for approximately eighty dollars round-trip. The customs and immigration process in both directions is unusually speedy and there is plenty of time during the day to enjoy the cobbled streets, historic architecture, shops, and restaurants. But be prepared for the afternoon siesta when most businesses---except restaurants and cafes---close for a couple of hours.

This charming old-world city may be visited during all seasons becuase its weather is mainly temperate. In the summer, average temperatures range between 22 and 30ºC; in the winter, dress warmly as the temperatures can drop to 5ºC. Most businesses and dining establishments remain open year-round.

Wandering its historical streets, or a high-energy trip up the lighthouse staircase for a spectacular view of the town and its surroundings, visiting its churches, its various museums and ancient houses are some activities which can be enjoyed by visitors during their stay in the 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 its past history.

There are many small and large hotels in the old town and the main city offering a wide range of styles and prices to suit all holiday budgets. One can choose a historic architectural experience or a full service modern hotel chain.

Take a step back in time and enjoy the Portuguese history of this early settlement which has been well preserved for everyone to enjoy as they re-visit its history.

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