About an hour from Buenos Aires by futuristic Buquebus fast ferry lies Uruguay. It is quite a contrast, leaving the buzz of Buenos Aires avenues for the cobble stoned alleys of Colonia del Sacramento.
Colonia as it is conveniently called by most people was established in 1680 by the Portuguese. Today it is a Unesco World Heritage site and most off all: beautiful.
After the quick, but due to the extreme exchange rate of the Argentinean Peso now very expensive Buquebus trip, you arrive in Uruguay. When you take the first ferry from Buenos Aires (leaving 8:45 from Puerto Madero), you have the streets of Colonia almost to yourself. Something you definitely start to appreciate even more when during the day the ancient cobblestones are ‘violated’ by modern tourists on golf carts and Mad(ness)-Max like buggies..
But before these exponents of our time arrive, you share Colonia del Sacramento with it’s inhabitants, the national drink mate and old-timers.
Colonia’s citizens are not easily distracted from what they consider the quality of life. As long as they have mate and some company at hand, life and conversations are good. All over Colonia you see people sipping their national drink from cups with straws. Those who are not sipping carry around a thermos flask with promises of good times to come.
Besides residents and their mate, the streets are dominated by another interesting phenomenon: old-timers. Everywhere you go, each corner you turn, you’ll be looking at the history of mobility. Some cars look like they are waiting for a driver to take them for a spin. Others are nothing more (or less) than a pot from and through which plants and trees grow. It is a fascinating and intriguing sight. Each car representing a story of the past.
The past is what you see and feel when you discover Colonia. Clocks have stopped running and time seems a different dimension here. Until it’s 13:00 and our time takes over the streets on motorized madness.
To get to Colonia del Sacramento:
Buquebus fast ferry
Avenida Antártida Argentina
Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
T: +54 11 4316-6500
(and don’t forget your passport)