The city of Colonia Uruguay is a delightful destination with a wondrous spectrum of sights, flavors, sounds and adventures to offer. This is the capital city of Uruguay’s Department of Colonia and it is a popular destination for many tourists. Colonia is just a few hours distance from Montevideo and Punta del Este
Many of the South American tourists who visit Colonia arrive by Buquebus. This transportation is a ferry service that travels a route from Buenos Aires to Colonia each day. People can relax as they view the wide, watery landscape of the Rio de La Plata.
The silvery watery, tree lined banks and shimmering, overhead sun are the perfect accompaniments that make this a trip worth taking at least once during your Colonia vacation. While you are on board the ferry you can even purchase some refreshments and the chivito is a Uruguay sandwich that should not be missed.
Chivito sandwiches are made with meats, cheese, tomatoes and eggs and this is a favorite food for the local residents that you can find them being prepared and served at many different restaurants. In Colonia Uruguay the chivito at a restaurant known as El Drugstore is the largest sandwich in the entire city. There are a number of other good food choices at El Drugstore including pasta, fresh baked breads and crisp, fried calamari or rabas.
Colonia Uruguay was first established in the late 17th century by Manuel Lobo who was the acting governor for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city was built in the traditional Portuguese style and this architecture has been very well preserved through the years.
Today the charming, cobblestone streets and colorful, flat roofed buildings provide visitors with a way to travel back in time and view the way people of Uruguay lived more than 300 years ago.
The 17th century was a time when Baroque architecture was thriving and this architectural style was introduced to Colonia, by Portuguese builders, many of whom were then living in Brazil.
The Baroque influence in Colonia was not as ostentatious in design but the use of stucco and stone facades mirrored many of the designs seen in Italy and other European countries.
A trip to the city of Colonia gives tourists the opportunity to observe how shadow, light and new forms were all incorporated into these centuries old buildings.
Colonia is a city where Spanish and Portuguese influences converge in the layout of narrow streets as well as the design of individual buildings. The rich architectural details and well kept features of the city have been the reason that Colonia is considered to be a national treasure by many and it has even been placed on the World Historical Heritage list.
When you travel to Colonia Uruguay you will be treated to a site that is revered for its historic past and celebrated for its expanding future. Visitors can climb the tall lighthouse on the banks of the river, wander through 8 museums, browse the shelves of numerous stores, enjoy live music, have meals served under the stars and even visit the Plaza de Toros where bullfighting was once a regular event.
One narrow strip in the city of Colonia, Uruguay is known as the
Street of Sighs. There are a number of stories and legends surrounding this name. Some people will tell you that this street, once named Ansina, used to be the site of many city brothels.
Another story tells of a young woman who was killed on the street while waiting for her lover and as she died she exhaled one final, sad sigh with her last breath.
Other people of Uruguay insist that this street was the one where condemned prisoners were led to the city’s coastline. Here they would be killed by the rising tide.
No one can be certain if any of these stories are true, but these tales do intensify the emotions of anyone who may wander about this cobblestone street.
The city square in Colonia Uruguay is known as the Nueva Helvecia. This is where you will find the granite sculpture that honors the efforts and lives of the founding immigrants who helped create this wonderful, diverse city.
Many celebrations also take place in Nueva Helvecia including the Swiss festival that occurs each August. This is the perfect time to discover Colonia cheese, fondues and other local cheese delicacies.