“Take a day trip to Colonia!” offered all the tourist stands in Buenos Aires. “Do a day trip to Colonia,” said both friends and family who had themselves done one. “The best day trip from Buenos Aires,” recommended TripAdvisor.
If you only had time for a day trip to Colonia it would be worth doing it, to discover the beautifully cobblestoned historic quarter of this colonial city. But I didn’t do a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento, I spent a night there.
I enjoyed watching the city empty out as the last ferry back to Buenos Aires got ready to depart.
I enjoyed taking pictures of the colourful houses without having to wait until nobody was in my photo.
I enjoyed climbing the lighthouse to watch the sun setting over the Río de la Plata.
I enjoyed watching the city come back to life in the evening, as locals came out to the leafy boulevards for an apéritif and as the plazas filled with the few Brazilian and Argentinian tourists who stayed the night and were making the most of the balmy spring weather.
I was fortunate that Colonia was only my first stop in Uruguay, so I didn’t have to do a day trip there!
Whether you do take a day trip or spend a night in Colonia, make sure you book your ferry tickets in advance or you might just spend some time waiting on the lista de espera, with your fingers crossed you’ll even get on-board. This may or may not be based on personal experience (it is).