Private Colonia del Sacramento luxury travel

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colonia del Sacramento was founded by the Portuguese in the 1600s, and subsequently, traded hands between Portuguese and Spanish rule. 

The Barrio Histórico, the historic quarter, brims with charm thanks to old-world wedge stone streets, vine-covered shops, flowering trees, and palm tree-lined boardwalks. It’s the type of place that invites you simply “be.” Wander unhurried and aimless, awed by the town’s humble beauty and energy; catch a sunset over the Rio de la Plata, strolling along its gentle riverbanks; or sit streetside at a cafe or restaurant with a glass of wine in hand, people-watching from behind sunglasses. 

Within Barrio Histórico is Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Sighs), where history is written on the walls of picturesque houses dating back to the first colonial period. Bookended by the scenic riverfront and the Plaza Major, a pass down this pedestrian way is deeply enriched by a guide who can share its lore and legends. Nearby, the ruins of the Convent of San Francisco (destroyed in a fire in the 1700s) and the lighthouse that overlooks them are a popular stop.

The Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, one of the oldest churches in all of Uruguay, is only a few minutes walk away. If you pass Calle de Portugal on the way, you may feel as if you’ve been momentarily transported to Havana thanks to the vintage Volkswagens, Fords, and Hillmans parked along the historic quarter’s cobblestone streets.

Just a 75-minute ferry ride from Buenos Aires, Colonia is popular with day trippers and a weekend destination for Argentinians. Tour buses and ferry passengers typically arrive around 10:30 a.m. Your Extraordinary Journeys South America specialist and private guides keep factors like this in mind during the planning process to help create the best possible experience. Pro tip: Venture out early to snap uncrowded Colonia photo opps in the gentle morning light.  

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