Charmed by Colonia

Dear Colonial del Sacramento, you certainly are a charmer.

I had been warned of your Casanova ways, but I was in no way prepared for what a heartbreaker you truly are. When I first strolled through the city’s old town it didn’t take long before the cobblestone streets, old Chevy trucks and bougainvillea-covered brick walls had my heart a flutter. And after a cool beer and handful of salty nuts alongside the boardwalk, I found myself slightly weak in the knees.

Colonia is just a quick ferry ride across the river from Buenos Aires

Sycamore trees line Colonia's cobblestone streets

With just a little more than 48 hours in lovely Colonia, I was determined to make the most of the experience and see as much of the city as we could. My school-girl crush quickly turned into a full-fledged love affair with one of Uruguay’s sweetest spots.

Even Chase was quickly charmed by the Bougainvillea

Just a hop, skip and a jump across the “river” from Buenos Aires, Colonia (as it’s fondly referred to by the locals) is more than a port city. During the high season, January and February, Colonia is a bustling beach resort with all the charm of small town Europe. In the low seasons, it’s a quiet, relaxing break from the fast-paced Buenos Aires and infused with great food, drink and music.

Our day began with deciding on the perfect vehicle for exploring Colonia. After Chase refused to ride on the back of a scooter while I drove, we chose the Mule – a golf-cart in steroids.

Gill's behind the wheel with Chase navigating - chaos ensues

Our trusted chariot took us on a rip-roaring journey through Sweet Ole’ Colonia, beginning with a few wrong turns down one way streets. But with Gillian behind the wheel and Chase proving to be a reliable navigator, we found our way cruising down “Los Ramblas,” a road curving along the beach. Not even 20 minutes out of the city we stumbled upon quite the historic find – an abandoned bull-fighting ring. Sure, the sign said “DO NOT ENTER” and the mammoth coliseum looked as if it was one bad windstorm away from completely collapsing, we were curious.

"Do Not Enter" - we'll take our chances

Gillian, making the most of the "breaking and entering" experience

The bull-fighting ring proved to be an excellent example of Colonia’s charm – at first glance, it might seem slightly worse for wear but like the city, it is still vibrant and full of life.

After a full day of touring, we took a moment just to soak it all in