Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay

Population: 26,231

Located on south-western Uruguay, Colonia de Sacramento is one of the oldest towns in the country. It is located on the north bank of the River Plata 177km from the countries capital Montevideo.


Until its independence in the 19th century, Uruguay was often a battle field for major power houses fighting for power and wealth, firstly Spain and Portugal, then later Argentina and Brazil. In 1680, the Portuguese stateman and Governor of the Rio de Janeiro, Manuel Lobo at the head of a fleet of 5 ships containing soldiers, craftsmen, stonecutters and carpenters, took possession of the Island of San Gabriel from the Spain and began the construction of a trading post in Colonia de Sacramento.


Historic Quarter (Barrio Histórico)

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, the quarter still contains the cobblestone streets built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Many of the towns more notable sights are located around the tree-lined Plaza Mayor.

City Gates (Portón de Campo)

This 1745 stone gate & wooden drawbridge on the grounds of a former fort leads into the historic quarter.


Lighthouse dating back to the 1850s, with a staircase to the top for some wonderful views & series historical displays.

Basilica of the Holy Sacrament (Basilica de l Santísimo Sacramento)

The building of the town in 1680 saw the creation of the parish also. As a result, it remains today the oldest parish in Uruguay. The first church was a humble mud structure with the present structure dating back to 1810. The building has been restored numerous times, most notably in 1836 after being hit lightning and lastly in 1976. Today the building is UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the district it is located in.

Viceroy’s House (Casa del Virrey)

Reconstructed ruins of a historical Portuguese house featuring stone walls, floors & doorways.