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Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento is the oldest town in Uruguay,” writes longtime friend Hugo Ghara (who hails from Argentina but hangs his hat these days in Waterford, Ireland).

“The town was founded in 1680 by the Portuguese but traded hands several times between the Spanish and the Portuguese. The old town is like a movie set. Colonial structures line the cobbled streets…original farolas (outdoor candle-holders) hang from walls overgrown with purple and orange bougainvillea…foundations of the original Portuguese fort stand at the Plaza Mayor…

“All around this main plaza are seafood and barbeque restaurants, crafts shops, antiques shops… The oldest church in Uruguay is here, too, simple and white-washed…

“Colonia is but 50 minutes from Buenos Aires by boat, and there are three ‘rapido’ sailings every day. A rapido round-trip ticket is about $85. The schedule for sailings is detailed here: www.buquebus.com.

“Stay the night if you can, at La Posada del Virrey, on Calle de Espana, a colonial hotel in the old town. Have the barbeque at least once…it’s the specialty in this part of the world. I’d recommend you avoid the morcilla (black pudding), though. They make it sweet in Uruguay, with sugar!”

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