Colonia del Sacramento located on the northern banks of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay is the ideal getaway town, with a UNESCO World Heritage historic quarter filled with old colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. It is directly opposite Buenos Aires in Argentina on the other side of the river. This puts Colonia Del Sacramento less than an hour away from Buenos Aires by ferry. You can also drop in directly at Laguna de los Patos International Airport, or take a bus from Montevideo. Either way, you will need to get a car for hire in Colonia Del Sacramento.
There are four providers offering travelers a car rental in Colonia Del Sacramento. The best way to get a good deal is to compare these four agencies online, select the deal you like, and book your vehicle right now. Visitors coming by ferry or hydrofoil from Buenos Aires can then pick up their vehicle at the ferry terminal in Colonia. If you are flying in at Laguna de los Patos International Airport (CYR), you can arrange for a pick-up at the airport because it is about 10 miles outside the city. If you are coming from Montevideo by road, then it might be more convenient to book a car in Montevideo.
You can get all the information you need at the tourist office located at the ferry terminal. The main attractions in the historic center are all close to Plaza Mayor. Visit the Museo Municipal on Plaza Mayor and get a ticket that allows you entry into seven different museums in the vicinity. You can climb up to the old lighthouse built in 1857. It was built using stones from the ruins of the Convent of San Francisco. A must-visit attraction is the Basilica del Sanctísimo Sacramento, from 1808, and so is the Portón de Campo drawbridge, from 1745. Colonial homes worth checking out include the Casa de Nacarello and the Casa del Virrey, which is the Viceroy's restored residence.
The 17th century Iglesia Matriz is worth a visit, considering that it is the oldest Church in the oldest city in Uruguay. If you happen to be on Calle de los Suspiros at sundown, you will be pleasantly surprised by the spectacular sunset. The Plaza de Toros in Real de San Carlos is still a major tourist attraction, even though the bull ring is not in use. There is a beach in Real de San Carlos. Other beaches in Colonia include Balneario Municipal, El Alamo, Oreja de Negro and Playa de Ferrando. You must get a taste of the famous Swiss cheese in Colonia, a tradition that continues from the early days of the Swiss immigrants.
While Colonia itself is a big day-trip destination from Buenos Aires, visitors will find it just as enjoyable to stay here and explore nearby destinations. It is easier if you get a car for rent in Colonia Del Sacramento so that you are able to stop at destinations along the way and learn more about the region. For instance, you could reach Maldonado and Punta Del Este in less than 5 hours on Route 1. But you could enjoy the drive along the Rio de la Plata and take stops at Saint Lucia, La Paz and Montevideo.
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