Colonia After Dark

By: Smith Schwartz |

Colonia del Sacramento is really a beautiful town. Situated on the southern shores of Uruguay, Colonia is only a 26-mile ferry ride from Buenos Aires. Early in the morning, many day-trippers take the Buquebus ferry from Argentina’s capitol to Colonia, only to return to the city as the sun sets over the Rio de la Plata.

Since we stayed in Colonia for 3 nights, we really got to experience this sleepy town at its finest. With most of the tourists gone, you can almost feel like you’ve got the place to yourself.

One of the most famous (and shortest) streets in Colonia is Calle de los Suspiros, which literally translates to ‘Street of Sighs’. As with just about everything in South America, there are competing histories about the true meaning of its name. One theory is that during colonial times, prisoners were sent to be hanged at the end of the block. Another is that a woman was killed here, and called out with her last breath to her partner with a sigh. The last, (and seemingly the one most told) is that this street was lined with prostitutes who did their best to tempt the colonizing armies. When the Spanish and Portuguese soldiers left Colonia for a long ship ride home, they made a final stop at Calle de los Suspiros, letting out a few final sighs as they left South America.

These days, the only sounds you here in the Calle are camera shutters and a few meows. These little guys seems to run the roost around these parts, keeping all of us tourists in line.