Our stay in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, was rather short, less than twenty-four hours. However, the charming old barrio is compact, so tourists can take in the highlights in a few hours. Some even visit as a day trip from Montevideo by bus or from Buenos Aires by ferry.
The weather during our brief visit was almost entirely overcast, as the photographs show.
In the main square of Colonia del Sacramento, we found the Basilica of the Most Holy Sacrament, not to be confused with the church we visited in Buenos Aires with the same name.
Although there was a beautiful monstrance on display above the altar, there was no host in it. There was also no holy water in the fonts, which we noticed in Montevideo too.
A few steps away, we saw the lighthouse, which was built into the ruins of religious convent. The light is still operational; we saw it from our hotel room after dark. For a nominal fee, you can climb to the top, which we did.
From the top of the lighthouse, you can see the basilica and the main square. Lots of trees, water, and colonial charm.
Walking around the old barrio, you find a lot of these painted stone and stucco structures. Mostly they house craft shops and restaurants. The stone streets give your calves a workout.
Some well preserved defensive walls are still visible in parts of Colonia del Sacramento. The settlement was apparently important militarily back when the Spanish and Portuguese empires were trying to figure out what belonged to whom.
After a long afternoon of walking, we took a taxi ride back to our hotel. There I caught the sun setting over the Plata River. The clouds actually helped me out here.
One last photo of the river, after sunset, looking back at Colonia del Sacramento. This is the only photo that shows a break in the clouds. We finished off a couple glasses of beer on the balcony and headed downstairs for dinner.