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Buenos Aires: Cross the River Plate to Colonia, Uruguay

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Cross the River Plate to Colonia, Uruguay

Travel across the coffee-coloured River Plate from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay, by speedy, comfortable public boat.

Upon reaching the low-key Uruguayan side, you’ll immediately notice a dramatic slowdown in pace. Pretty Colonia del Sacramento is one of Uruguay’s oldest towns and certainly its most atmospheric. The ochre-washed and exposed-stone architecture of the historic quarter reflects its long history, during which Colonia changed hands between the Spanish and Portuguese no less than eight times.

These days the town has a much quieter feel, and its tree-studded cobbled lanes, overlooked by low terracotta-roofed houses, are a great place to wander along. Adding to the back-in-the-day atmosphere there are many classic cars, still very much in use, parked alongside the high wooden doors of the sometimes crumbly colonial buildings.

On your guided walking tour along Colonia’s winding streets, you’ll survey the 17th century convent, the old theatre, the whitewashed lighthouse and the evocatively named Street of Sighs, stopping off for lunch on the way.

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