We visited via a rushed bus tour from the cruise port in Montevideo - a rather long ride but worth it. Part of UNESCO, this incredible colonial town deserves the highest protection under their banner. Every street in the Barrio Histórico has an extraordinary collection of structures that unite three centuries of Portuguese, Spanish and Uruguayan history.
This is a walking town especially up and down the cobblestone streets in the historical quarter, along the reedy and muddy shoreline of the Río de la Plata, scaling some parts of the old lighthouse & fortifications or just strolling around the central Plaza Mayor - it was the only place where trees provided some shade from the blistering sun and humidity.
Founded by the Portuguese in 1680, the streets have no formal layout but rather built to the lay of the land in the Portuguese fashion. Across the bay is Buenos Aires with impressive buildings however, this town although not as grand has traditional architecture in buildings still used as homes, shops and restaurants. Materials such as long stone walls, wooden trellis and tiled roofs endow the rustic buildings with a unique charm.
Start walking and experience:
*Portón de Campo - the City Gate
*Calle San Pedro, a typical street in the historic quarter
*The waterfront - the Río de la Plata
*Old car parked on Calle Real
*Wall art – quirky and bright
*Lighthouse & convent ruins - Convent of San Francisco
*Basilica of the Holy Sacrament - built of stone
*Viceroy's House – the reconstructed Casa del Virrey
*Local Museums – local history, artefacts and day-to-day items.
*A meal in one of the restaurants – great food and wines
Next time we will stay overnight, it's a place not to be rushed. Not only will you miss seeing some of the sights but also the heat will have you dragging your feet in no time – better to visit in the cooler months!
We loved it all!
Enjoy your experience!
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