Colonia del Sacramento Sights

Begin your tour at the reconstructed Portón de Campo or city gate, where remnants of the old bastion walls lead to the river. A block farther is Calle de los Suspiros, the aptly named Street of Sighs, a cobblestone stretch of one-story colonials that can rival any street in Latin America for sheer romantic effect. It runs between a lookout point on the river, called the Bastión de San Miguel,

and the Plaza Mayor, a lovely square filled with Spanish moss, palms, and spiky, flowering palo borracho trees. The many cafés around the square are ideal places to take it all in. Clusters of bougainvillea flow over the walls here and in the other quiet streets of the Barrio Histórico, many of which are lined with art galleries and antiques shops.

Another great place to watch daily life is the Plaza de Armas Manoel Lobo, where you can find the Iglesia Matriz, the oldest church in Uruguay. The square itself is crisscrossed with wooden catwalks over the ruins of a house dating to the founding of the town. The tables from the square's small eateries spill from the sidewalk right onto the cobblestones: they're all rather touristy, but give you an excellent view of the drum-toting candombe (a style of music from Uruguay) squads that beat their way around the Old Town each afternoon.

You can visit all of Colonia's museums with the same ticket, which you buy from the Museo Portugués or the Museo Municipal for about $2.50. Most take only a few minutes to visit, but you can use the ticket on two consecutive days.

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Colonia del Sacramento Sights

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Towering above the Plaza Mayor is the lighthouse, which was built in 1857 on top of a tower that was part of the ruined San Xavier convent.

Museo Municipal

  • Museum/Gallery

A sundry collection of objects related to the city's history is housed here. ...

Museo Portugués

  • Museum/Gallery

The museum that's most worth a visit is this one, which documents the city's ties to Portugal. It's most notable for its collection of...

Museo del Azulejo

  • Museum/Gallery

A small collection of the beautiful handmade French majolica tiles that adorn fountains all over Colonia are on display at the tile museum,...

Nacarello Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

A colonial Portuguese residence has been lovingly re-created inside this 17th-century structure. The simple bedroom and kitchen furnishings...

Narbona Wine Lodge

  • Winery/Brewery/Distillery

For an upscale, indulgent Uruguayan wine experience, Narbona Wine Lodge is your place. The peaceful property includes a vineyard, a restaurant...


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