Colonia & Carmelo – A walk into the colonial past
An hour away by boat from Buenos Aires, you can step back in time at the UNESCO heritage site of Colonia del Sacramento. More than 400 years of history are revealed in the perfectly preserved cobbled streets and colonial architecture on the shores of the river. Renowned for its historic quarter, Colonia is a hodgepodge of Portuguese and Spanish colonial buildings, cobblestone roads, and assorted history-rich sites. The food scene in Colonia is burgeoning with several gourmet Uruguayan restaurants and food shops hocking tasty fare like the chivito, a sandwich comprised of beef, mozzarella cheese, bacon, ham, and a fried egg, served with French fries.
A short distance away is the small town of Carmelo, a perfect, relaxing mixture of provincial life and boutique hotels. The moment you set foot in Carmelo, it’s easy to see why tourists are so taken by this quaint town. Its rustic authenticity presents a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The main streets are lined with small houses, parillas (steakhouses), and friendly locals riding around on bikes instead of in cars. The city’s main attractions, though, are its many outdoor pursuits. Visitors can go horseback riding through the woodlands and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the countryside, head out on a fishing excursion from one of the fishing ports along the Río de la Plata, paddle away the day on a canoe trip, or even have a hand at polo lessons.