Colonia Real Estate Promises to be Another Tourist Hot Spot1
Uruguay is campaigning rigorously for tourist money, and Colonia real estate prices are far below Punta Del Este. The town of only 21,714 people (as of 2004) is the only Portuguese settlement along the Rio de la Plata. It is across the river from Buenos Aires and was contested between the Spanish and Portuguese.
Founded in 1680 as Nova Colonia del Sacramento, the town avoided strict laws from the Spanish-held Montevideo and managed to do a lucrative business in contraband through its port. The Portuguese built the city to resemble Lisbon with winding streets and colored stucco houses. The Barrio Historico is the historic quarter on a small peninsula on the river.
Colonia's Port is Active
Today, the port is the way to access Uruguay from Argentina. Along the waterfront are restaurants, arts and craft shops, museums, and yacht moorage. The colorful port is active with fishing boats and ferries. Along the wharf is the Bastion del Carmen, which used to be a factory and is now a theater and cultural center. A lighthouse constructed in 1857 is an attraction is a hot attraction as well.
Colonia has a Rich Portuguese and Spanish Heritage
A must-see for tourists is the Puerta de la Ciuadela, or Puerta de Campo. It is a wooden drawbridge built in 1745 as protection for the walled city against the Spanish.
The thick stucco and tile walls are the entrance to the Barrio. The Museo Espanol and Museo Municipal house artifacts and replicas depicting colonial life in Colonia. There was even a contingent of people from Switzerland who provided the dairy and wheat for the early colonists.
Tucked away on quiet streets are little inns or Bed and Breakfasts, often behind iron grilled gated courtyards if you wish a get-close-to-the-locals experience. The hospitality is unmatched, as the Uruguayans are extremely polite and accommodating. If you wish for a more resort experience, there are seaside resorts with a golf course nearby. Here you will find more luxury accommodations, but still with the graciousness of the local people woven throughout their services.
Real Estate Availability in Colonia
After the naming of Colonia as an historic site by UNESCO, the city has restored many of its historical attractions and museums. The ease of access to the city has encouraged foreign investors to buy entire buildings for $360,000 to $400,000, and then divide the structures into apartments and condos. Some of the buildings become offices and shops. The prices are relatively higher because of the demand, and there are not as many offerings as there are buyers.
Smaller units or those outside in the farming areas are much less, but are hard to find. Any new development in the Colonia area would fetch a high price because of short supply and high demand.
Colonia has Great Potential as a Tourist Favorite
The quaint charm of Colonia and its interesting history that is preserved for our generation to enjoy is what brings visitors to come and return to this lovely city. As Colonia grows in popularity, we hope that those charming aspects of the city will not be overshadowed by 21st Century developments.