No, really…why? I mean I mostly know. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I have a habit of tracking those down if they are near where I happen to be. I like tracking places I’ve visited and they’re usually a good list to check off items on. Still, when everyone told me that it was small and without much to do I figured there had to be a secret something there, a vibe or a feeling or a site or some attraction which would make it worthwhile. I think my friends were all correct.
The sights of Colonia are, well, limited. There is a circuit of ~9 things to see, mostly centered at the tip of the peninsula, and they really are there, but there isn’t actually all that much to see. The old city gate and wall is still on show, for example.
And then there’s the view from atop the lighthouse. It is the best view in town, but that’s not really saying all that much.
We were there on a weekend so there were other tourists visiting, too. Most of them seemed to be from the area rather than foreign tourists; I suppose that makes sense given that it was very much off season when we were there.
Still, I don’t think that visiting during the season would have changed much, other than the level of crowds in the area. On the plus side, there was a kick-ass sunset that night which I watched from the local yacht club.
And I won’t say that the visit was completely a waste.
The hotel was both cheap and quite nice, though it wasn’t exactly pool weather in mid-winter there.
We ended up having a phenomenal dinner at a small restaurant down in the old city area:
The meal alone was almost worth the visit.
And, to be fair, it wasn’t like Montevideo was a happening town with a ton to see and do, though it did offer more than Colonia. Damning with faint praise, I know.
If you’re in the area and have time to kill I suppose Colonia is a reasonable day trip. But that’s assuming you really have nothing else going on.
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