Montevideo is a wonderful city, but the rest of the country of Uruguay is also worth seeing - and so I found myself in the early hours of the morning boarding a bus that would take me to Colonia del Sacramento for a day. And what a wonderful day it was!
The entire centre of this small town is a UNESCO World Heritage site - with its cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings this place is quite an attraction. In fact, there seems to be more tourists here than in the capital - it's only an hour away from Buenos Aires by ferry and is a popular gateway into the country for many people travelling through Argentina. And yet, it's still not very crowded, managing to keep its bright provincial charm and a relaxed atmosphere.
Bathed in sunlight, the streets are full of incredible colours and textures, nearly every surface your eyes land on is interesting in some way, adding to the overall feel of colonial antiquity. Entering the historical centre through a literal drawbridge, you find yourself surrounded by tiny old houses drowning in tropical greenery and remnants of old walls that were first built in 17th century. This is the oldest town in Uruguay and its unique appearance is a fusion of Spanish, Portuguese and post-colonial styles.
The town has several museums to choose from, all for the price of a single ticket (50 pesos - about $2). There's also a lighthouse that you can climb, a basilica, a wonderful green coastal area with benches and tables strewn about among the trees, as well as a small marina and a waterfront walkway. The town is also full of cool little cafes, nice restaurants, bars and ice-cream shops - all in all, a great way to spend a day enjoying yourself and taking pictures. If you're ever in Uruguay or Argentina and have a day to spare, I highly recommend it!