Calle de Portugal – the town’s most memorable street – is where you’ll find most of the vintage cars, as well as the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, one of the oldest churches in Uruguay. Here everything is still: a grainy snapshot of another world, with only nature’s advances suggesting any time has passed at all. The town is compact, but whether you’re wandering lovestruck or whizzing around on one of those golf buggies, you’ll realise it doesn’t need to be any more than this: good restaurants, tiny shops selling handcrafts, and modest charms around every corner.
Make sure to check out the Portón de Campo (city gate) and Portón de Campo before heading back to the waterfront to admire the milky waters of Rio de la Plata spreading into the horizon. Heading back onto the ferry, stomach and camera roll full, fresh stamp on passport, you’ll appreciate Colonia del Sacramento for what it is: the perfect day trip.