Most people will find that Colonia falls well short of expectations (Read Why You Shouldn’t Go to Colonia). But is it utterly impossible to like? No, not at all. With a suitable readjustment of expectations it’s perfectly possible to pass an enjoyable day trip or overnight stay in this little town on the river AND refresh your tourist visa at the same time.
Without further ado here are three things to like about going to Colonia:
The boat ride is great.
Maybe Colonia itself doesn’t have so many attractions, but oddly enough getting there is half the fun. The trick here is to take the slower Buquebus ferry rather than the faster catamaran. On board you’ll find that you can easily fill a very pleasant three hours as the ferry slowly crosses the river. How is this possible? It’s possible because the ferry is incredible well-equipped, offering live music from a pair of tango singers in a large open space amidships, arcade games, table soccer, reasonable food at reasonable prices, and a large outdoor top deck with a bar. If you’re sleepy from a late night there are lots of comfy seats you can snooze in for an hour or so, and best of all there’s an excellent duty free shop with lots of tempting things to buy (the range of food is particularly good).
It’s pretty and peaceful.
Maybe it’s not so necessary for Colonia to wow you with its exciting attractions. After all, Buenos Aires offers all the excitement you could want; maybe you’ve had all the stimulation you could want lately and you actually just want to get away from it all. Perfect! Go to Colonia on a nice day, take a book and a blanket, find yourself a good spot (maybe in the Plaza Mayor or somewhere by the water), and while away a few hours doing absolutely nothing. There’s no traffic to speak of, and nothing else to disturb you other than the odd stray dog coming to say hello.
When you get hungry the restaurants of the old quarter are only a few steps away no matter where you find yourself. If you don’t know which to choose, Don Pedro is an uncomplicated little spot with nice outdoor seating on the Plaza Mayor. After dinner you can stroll to a one of several ice-cream parlors in the area for a little helado dessert. What’s not to like about that plan?
There are nice places to watch the sunset.
Buenos Aires is so flat and built-up that it’s pretty hard to get a wide view of anything. Not so in Colonia, where the tallest structure is the frankly unimpressive lighthouse, and where there are plenty of places to drink a beer and watch the sun go down over the river. The pub/restaurant La Luna is one of the best places to do this from, or head to El Torreón (the tower) for the elevated view. An added bonus is that at this time of day the low angle of the sun makes the ordinarily dull brown River Plate sparkle silver. All together now: ahhhhh.
What are your thoughts? Is Colonia worth going to? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know!