15 Delightful Things To Do In Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento is a beautiful city in Uruguay, with cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and stunning views of the Rio de la Plata River. Over the years, it has become a popular destination for tourists looking for adventures and a relaxing time.

There are plenty of things you can do in Colonia, including enjoying a day at the beach, going horseback riding, visiting museums, and so much more. 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway day trip to Colonia from Buenos Aires or relaxing beachside, there are plenty of things to do in Colonia del Sacramento.

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History of Colonia del Sacramento

One of the things to do in Colonia del Sacramento is strolling the streets. Restaurant in things to do in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.
Restaurant in Colonia del Sacramento

Before we dive into the things to do in Colonia del Sacramento it’s important to learn about its rich history. Colonia del Sacramento, ‘Colonia’ for locals, has a rich history that dates back to 1680 when the Portuguese founded the town as a strategic military settlement. Over the years, the Portuguese and the Spanish fought for Colonia, leaving traces of both cultures in their architecture and traditions. Although it is a small city, Colonia del Sacramento served as a key center for trade and commerce.

Today, the city is a popular tourist destination filled with colorful buildings, historical landmarks, and classic cobbled streets.

Things To Do In Colonia del Sacramento

So, what can you do in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay? Here are some ideas for things to do in Colonia del Sacramento ideas to get you started!

Walk Down Street Of Sighs

Calle de los Suspiros, or Street of Sights, is one of the most iconic attractions in Colonia del Sacramento. It is a narrow cobblestone alleyway that takes you to stunning buildings as old as the colonial era. Take your time to appreciate the street and snap a few pictures for your gallery.

The Old Town Gate

The Old Town Gate is a historic landmark that dates back to the 17th century when Colonia was a bustling port city under the Portuguese. It features iconic cobblestone streets, colonial buildings, and stunning riverfront views.

While you’re here, you can take a stroll along Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Sights), and finish your tour in one of the many shops and cafes to enjoy a great cup of coffee and some pastries.

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Go To Plaza de Armas

Streets of Colonial del Sacramento, Uruguay.
Street near Plaza de Armas in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Plaza de Armas is situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by elegant colonial buildings. The square dates back to the 18th century, and nowadays it is filled with coffee shops with outdoor seating.

On weekends, a little ‘market’ gets assembled, with many craft stalls that feature handmade souvenirs, as well as live dances of Candombe and Zamba at night.

If you like museums, Plaza de Armas is home to interesting ones including Museo Municipal de Historia Natural (Municipal Museum of Natural History), which features excellent exhibits of the country’s natural history.

Hang At The Beach

Various beaches in Colonia promise you a great time, including Playa Real, Boca del Rio and El Saladero, each with its unique charms.

After a day of basking under the sun and having the time of your life swimming in the ocean, we recommend you try some of the local seafood dishes available. Our favorites are the grilled fish and fried calamari!

Visit The Museums

Continuing with our tour, I highly recommend you stop by the Portuguese Museum to admire unique artifacts from the early days of colonization. For those interested in art and architecture, the Tile Museum is a great option to find a collection of one-of-a-kind decorated tiles that showcase Colonia’s past.

You can’t leave without visiting Colonia’s Indigenous Museum, which displays objects from local tribes as well as contemporary works by modern artists. And finally, don’t forget to visit the Historic Spanish Museum to see ancient coins and documents from the time Spain ruled over Uruguay.

Intereseted in a day trip to Colonia from Buenos Aires? Book your ferry tickets here.

Try Mate

Mate is a traditional drink deeply ingrained in the Uruguayan lifestyle and consists of a hot beverage made from dried green leaves and stems of the yerba mate plant, drunk through a straw from a special gourd. It is shared with friends and family and can be drunk at any hour.

There are plenty of cafes and shops in Colonia where you can sample mate and learn about its origins and customs from friendly locals. This is something you must do when visiting Colonia.

Stroll The Cobblestone Streets

One of the alleyways in Colonial del Sacramento. This is one of the best things to do in Colonia del Sacramento.
Colorful buildings in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

When visiting Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, take a stroll through each cobblestone street. These are pedestrian-friendly pathways are lined with colorful colonial buildings and historic structures that have been carefully restored over the years. 

As you wander around be on the lookout for one of the many tasty cafes and boutique shops for souvenirs!

See The San Francisco Convent

The San Francisco Covent was built in the mid-16th century by Brother Jodoco Ricke for the Franciscan Monks. It is a stunning structure characterized by whitewashed walls, terracotta roof tiles, and baroque-style architecture.

Inside you can find unique artifacts from the Portuguese colonial era, as well as a peaceful inner courtyard where you can take a break from sightseeing.

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Relax At The Marina

One of the things to do in Colonia del Sacramento is visit the marina.
One of the things to do in Colonia del Sacramento is visit the marina

The Marina de Colonia del Sacramento (Colonia’s Marina) offers a peceful escape from the busy city life. It features a nice harbor you can stroll around, as well as various boat rentals to explore Uruguay’s coastal waters. As if this wasn’t enough, plenty of restaurants to enjoy freshly caught fish with stunning views of Rio de la Plata.

The marina is also home to a variety of boutique shops and galleries where you can find unique gifts and souvenirs.

Go On A Winery Tour

The region around Colonia del Sacramento is home to many vineyards and wineries, making it the perfect place for a wine-tasting tour. It is the perfect way to learn about the history and traditions surrounding Uruguayan wine while sampling some exquisite local varieties. Many wineries offer delicious food pairings to accompany their wines, so it is a must-do activity!

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Walk To The Train Station

Sign that says Colonia at the train station in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.
Sign at the Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay train station

The Colonia del Sacramento train station is one of the oldest in South America and was originally built by the Portuguese in 1680. It is a charming building that has been restored to its original condition, as well as a popular attraction for visitors.

Inside the station, you’ll find unique artifacts from the country’s colonial period and interactive exhibitions about the railway system.

Have A Meal In Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia is home to many delicious restaurants that feature traditional and international dishes. The best part of this is that most of them have stunning views of Rio de la Plata, which will surely make your dining experience memorable.

We recommend you try some excellent stunning dishes like chivito, an open-faced sandwich filled with steak, eggs, and cheese. As well as the abundant seafood options.

Drink Tannat

Tannat is Uruguay’s signature grape variety and can be found in many of the wines produced in the region. It has a deep flavor profile with notes of blackcurrant, tobacco, and spices.

In most local wineries you can sample Tannat while you learn more about its history, sowing, and harvest periods. Don’t forget to take a bottle or two back to enjoy at home!

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Head To The El Faro Lighthouse

El Faro Lighthouse one of the things to do in Colonia del Sacramento.
El Faro Lighthouse in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

El Faro Lighthouse is another famous landmark and has been guiding ships since its construction in 1879. The lighthouse offers stunning views of the Rio de la Plata as well as a beautiful sunset view over the historic old quarter.

You can take a guided tour to learn more about its history and architecture, which we highly recommend! A visit to El Faro Lighthouse is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip to Colonia del Sacramento!

Credit cards are not accepted here, so be sure to have cash to visit.

Enjoy The Sunset

Colonia del Sacramento is one of the most beautiful places in Uruguay, and there’s nothing quite like watching the sun set over the Rio de la Plata. Head to one of the nearby beaches or parks for a perfect view of the sky turning vibrant shades of pink and orange. And make sure to get your camera or phone ready to snap some incredible pictures.

How Much Time Do You Need In Colonia del Sacramento?

To fully explore Colonia, I recommend staying over the weekend. Although it is a small town, there’s still plenty to do and see, including beaches, wineries, restaurants, and museums. 

For those looking to do some country-hopping, you can easily get to Brazil, and  Argentina by bus, car, or boat.

When To Visit Colonia del Sacramento?

Colonia del Sacramento is a great destination at any time of year. Its mild climate makes it pleasant for outdoor activities during the summer, and its proximity to the Rio de la Plata means it’s cooler than other cities in Uruguay during winter.

Springtime brings many blooming flowers, while autumn provides an ideal opportunity to sample some local wines. No matter when you come, Colonia del Sacramento is sure to offer plenty of activities for all types of travelers.

How To Get Around Colonia del Sacramento?

The small, walkable streets of Colonia del Sacramento make it ideal for exploring on foot. Make sure to take in the unique architecture of the city’s colonial buildings and cobblestone lanes as you stroll around town. If you need to cover a greater distance or prefer to travel by car, plenty of taxi services and bike hire outlets exist. 

For a more adventurous way to get around, take a boat tour along the Rio de la Plata and enjoy the beautiful views of the city from the water. No matter how you choose to explore, getting around Colonia del Sacramento is easy and convenient.

How To Get To Colonia del Sacramento From Buenos Aires?

Colonia del Sacramento is a short ferry ride away from Buenos Aires. Ferries depart daily from the port of Colonia and have a journey time of around two hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Montevideo and then transfer to another bus to reach Colonia del Sacramento. Whichever option you choose, it’s easy to get from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento.

I used Colonia Express and suggest booking your tickets a few days in advance before visiting. You can book your tickets here

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How To Get To Colonia del Sacramento From Other Cities In Uruguay?

If you are already in Uruguay, Colonia del Sacramento is easily accessible by bus. Most cities in the country have direct buses to Colonia, with journey times ranging from two to four hours.

There is also an extensive network of trains and ferries connecting all major cities in Uruguay – so getting to Colonia del Sacramento will be straightforward, whatever your starting point.

Enjoy tours? Take a day trip to Colonia del Scaramento from Montevideo with a guide here.

Things To Do In Colonia del Sacramento Final Thoughts

Colonia del Sacramento is a unique, charming city with a lot to offer travelers. From its beautiful beaches and colonial architecture to its delicious food and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this small Uruguayan destination.

Whether you’re looking for an overnight or a longer holiday, there are plenty of things to do in Colonia del Sacramento to keep you entertained So plan your trip and start exploring this amazing city today! 

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