I helped Felicita set up a three-week trip to Buenos Aires in November, as she could not fit her schedule around the tango tour in December. Her main focus was improving her Spanish, in addition to dancing as much as possible. She took a day off to visit Colonia, Uruguay, and agreed to write it up for the blog. Thank you, Felicita!
Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay
A day trip to Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay is a perfect day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires. Hop on the boat and you are there in about an hour. I was lucky in that the weather was perfect and all the flowers were blooming.
I arrived about 10 am and left at 7 PM. One day is plenty to visit the historic town with your two feet. However, I wish I had rented a scooter to ride up the coast a bit. I guess I'll have to go back! If you aren't a scooter person there are golf carts and bikes.
I recommend the lighthouse, the oldest church in the country (Iglesia Matriz Church, built in the early 1800s), walking up and down the Calle de los Suspiros window shopping and simply walking around this historic town with a significant Portuguese history. While walking around you will see beautiful architecture and art.
I was really curious about the tile museum. It never became clear to me why none of the museums were open. I hope that I will see it next time!
You can get from BA to Colonia in about an hour via Boque bus (https://www.buquebus.com/english). Buy the tickets online prior to your departure. My "there and back in a day" ticket was $125 US Dollars. It was the Friday of a holiday weekend, so I'm guessing this is a little more expensive than normal. Get to the terminal at least an hour early, as going through customs takes a long time; plan accordingly. Apparently, there is a cheap boat ride to Colonia but is 3 hours long.
I was told by several people that no one in the city would take Argentina pesos, which isn't entirely true because the lighthouse did. You can exchange your money at the boat stop in Uruguay, but be warned that you need at least 100 to exchange back.
Once you step off the boat head outside and veer to your left. There is a tourist office with maps and helpful people.