Today we were truly tourists today. We loaded on a bus like cattle to head out to Colonia del Sacremento. (we are not good tourists) It was about a 2-3 hour ride North West from the center of Montevideo. The ride there was a mass horizon of farm land and manily free range cows.
Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay's province/department of Colonia, is rich in hisotry. It was the only Portuguese settlement along the Rio de la Plata. Founded as Nova Colonia do Sacramento in 1680 by Manuel de Lobo,and as such was the focus of struggle between the Spanish, who founded the settlement at Montevideo in response, and the Portuguese over control of the area. For years it operated as a contraband port, evading the strictures imposed on trade by the Spanish crown. Today it is a resort city, a port, and the trade center for a rich agricultural region. From Colonia del Sacramento you can take a ferry to Buenos Aires in 1 hour. Many Argentines are now living in Colonia del Sacramento for the beauty and tax purposes.
Built in Portuguese style of houses and cobblestoned streets, the historic portion of Colonia is reminiscent of old Lisbon. Winding streets and colorful houses are laid out in a pattern different from Spanish colonial cities. Wear practical shoes :)
Colonia del Sacramento is across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, and is the main water thoroughfare for visitors from Argentina to access any part of Uruguay. There are many shops and restaurants in the center. It is a beautiful spot to sit out by the river and relax.
What were were not able to get a picture of was the CLOSED Plaza del Toros (Bull fighting ring). It was built by the Argentines but only allowed for 8 fights before it was closed.