Colonia del Sacramento

Travel Guide
Colonia del Sacramento showing a sunset and general coastal views

Cobblestone streets, colorful houses, museums and beaches make this one of the most popular towns on Uruguay’s west coast.

Take a step back in time at Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay’s oldest settlement and a town blessed with picturesque colonial architecture lining sleepy cobblestone streets. Visit museums and an aquarium, climb to the top of a lighthouse or enjoy spectacular sunsets from the waterfront.

Founded in 1680, Colonia del Sacramento changed hands between the Portuguese and Spanish, while fighting off British raids, before eventually becoming part of independent Uruguay in 1828.

You’ll find most of what you’ll want to see in the Barrio Histórico (Historic Center), a walled district awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1995. Start at the Portón de Campo, the town gate built by the Portuguese in 1745, which opens onto the tree-shaded Plaza Mayor. From here, cobblestone streets lined with pastel-colored Portuguese and Spanish houses lead in all directions. A prime example is Calle de los Suspiros, an extremely photogenic street that stands largely untouched since the 1700s.

Climb the stairs to the top of the 89-feet (27-meter) tall Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse for uninterrupted views of the town and coastline. On a clear day you can see across the river to Buenos Aires. Follow the old town wall along the waterfront, which passes the ruins of 18th-century fortifications. Continue to the marina, a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy a picnic.

Find displays about Portuguese colonization at the Museo Portugués or visit the Museo Español to see artifacts relating to the Spanish colonial era. One ticket covers admission to all of the town’s museums, and is available from the Museo Municipal. Kids will enjoy the interactive marine life exhibits at the Acuarió.

Colonia del Sacramento is a 2.5-hour drive from Montevideo or a 1-hour boat ride from Buenos Aires. Rent a golf buggy or bike to explore areas outside of the historic center and a car to go farther afield. Just north of town you can relax on river beaches and see the Plaza de Toros bullring.

Where to stay in Colonia del Sacramento

Posada Plaza Mayor
Posada Plaza Mayor
3 out of 5
Del Comercio 111, Colonia del Sacramento
The price is $90 per night from Jan 31 to Feb 1
Located in Barrio Histórico, this hotel is steps from Regional Museum Archive, Casa Nacarello, and Portuguese Museum. Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse and Tile ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (33 reviews)
"Delightful little inn in the heart of the Ciudad Histórica. Exudes character and ambience."

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2021

Posada Plaza Mayor
Radisson Hotel Colonia del Sacramento
Radisson Hotel Colonia del Sacramento
4 out of 5
Washington Barbot 283. Colonia Del Sacra, Colonia del Sacramento, Colonia
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $105 per night from Feb 2 to Feb 3
Situated in Colonia del Sacramento, this beach hotel is steps from City Craft Fair and Theater Bastion del Carmen. Colonia del Sacramento Aquarium and Spanish ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (643 reviews)
"Magnificent hotel. Friendly service. Ideal location. 10/10. I would definitely stay here again."

Reviewed on Jan 22, 2022

Radisson Hotel Colonia del Sacramento
Charco Hotel
Charco Hotel
3.5 out of 5
San Pedro 116, Colonia del Sacramento, Colonia
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $172 per night from Feb 2 to Feb 3
Located in Barrio Histórico, this hotel is steps from Municipal Museum, Casa Nacarello, and Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse. Portuguese Museum and Plaza Mayor ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (130 reviews)
"Muy lindo hotel. Excelente ubicación y vistar al rio. Desayuno y restaurante de muy buen nivel"

Reviewed on Apr 26, 2021

Charco Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
La Aldea, hermoso apartamento a una cuadra de la playa
La Aldea, hermoso apartamento a una cuadra de la playa
Colonia del Sacramento, Colonia
The price is $60 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30
Located in Real de San Carlos, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Shipwrecks and Treasures and Paleontological Museum. San Benito ...
La Aldea, hermoso apartamento a una cuadra de la playa
Casa Francis
Casa Francis
3 out of 5
46 Del Colegio, Colonia del Sacramento, Departamento de Colonia
The price is $90 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30
Located in Barrio Histórico, this apartment building is steps from Indian Museum, Rambla Colonia Del Sacramento, and Regional Museum Archive. Matriz Church and ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
"Excelente ubicación, preciosa vista al rio, y todas las comodidades necesarias para una estadía perfecta. También excelentes la atención y comunicación del propietario. Totalmente recomendable!"

Reviewed on Dec 14, 2021

Casa Francis
House in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Cologne
House in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Cologne
Colonia del Sacramento, Colonia
The price is $110 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30
Located in Barrio Histórico, this historic vacation home is steps from Matriz Church, Colonia del Sacramento Plaza de Armas, and Colonia del Sacramento Plaza ...
House in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Cologne
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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