Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay was the last destination of our Latam 2016 trip. To be completely honest, we chose it for three reasons: 1) we were nearby, 50 km across the Narrow Sea; 2) we had never been to Uruguay (and did not exactly see ourselves coming back to Latin America just to visit it) and 3) visiting three countries on a new continent did sound exciting. Plus, Colonia del Sacramento is listed as UNESCO heritage, travelers’ photos were gorgeous, so it all got us fired up to go.
Was it a good idea?..
It probably would be, had we decided to come for 2 hours instead of 5 and with no passport control on departure and on arrival (so, 4 passport controls and everything that goes with it in 6 hours). Ok, the historic part of the city is charming. Bounced between Spain, Portugal, Portugal, Spain and then some, it fitted perfectly to the spirit of our trip, with the chaotic, coast shaped architecture of its center and strict, squared areas of the main city. And it is still sort of exciting to add a new country to the travel list. But two hours is more than enough to do it all, every single cute house. And we had five! Colonia visit was the only day of our trip, when we exhausted all our options and sat to watch a movie on a laptop in a random Radisson hotel (discovered to our surprise, because the overall infrastructure there, well, has some serious development opportunities). And then we still had to spend one hour on a ferry. And the passport controls. If you think about it without a romantic spin of adding a new country to your list, there are better ways to spend a day in Buenos Aires, even if you have already done all the key sights.
Bottom line: do visit it but plan your ferries better. Two hours there and you see it all. Make sure you get the front seats on the boats: you can add some bonus coast viewing to your plan.
As I said (twice, by now), Colonia was the last destination of our trip. I have been writing about it for about a year, ever since I started this blog in April, and now I am a bit sad to be closing this story – and the book of amazing memories, pictures and adventures that comes with it. So what were the highlights of this trip…
…the most impressive place of all turned out to be, to a little surprise of those of you who have been following me for this year, Iguazu Falls. My favorite side is Brazil.
…the place with the most magical energy is, predictably again, Rio. This city is always bursting with extreme emotions: passion, drama and contrast are in its every breath.
…the biggest challenge for me was the local food (and I could not drink alcohol because of the drug cocktail I had to take daily after the accident in the Moroccan desert). I just don’t eat 95% of what Latin diets are made of. God bless açai, fruit and Peruvian restaurants of Buenos Aires.
…my main learning from this trip is that some of life’s best things happen at 6 a.m. Like the magical sunrise of Iguazu or a shy one of Rio. I would never think I would be excited to wake up at this hour on vacations, but I was actually looking forward to those moments. Even if for Rio I had to make several attempts.
I am happy I could end my Latam story before the beginning of our new adventure: Cuba and Mexico – which starts just in 4 days (as the countdown on my home page reminds me daiy) and I am so excited about it! We had so many other amazing trips this year: to Seville, Santorini, St Petersburg and Moscow, Croatia and Bretagne… And some others, not counting our back and forths to Zurich and Geneva, of course. I could seriously take a sabbatical and blog for a year just about that- but I won’t 🙂
So you have to help me: what would you like to read about next?..