Download GPX file for this article
-34.288-57.233Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Plaza de los Fundadores

Nueva Helvecia, also known as Colonia Suiza, is a city in Uruguay.

Situated around 60km southeast of Colonia del Sacramento, this little town looks a bit like Switzerland transplanted to South America, complete with Central European crests adorning the houses.

The town was founded on April 25, 1862, by European settlers, mainly Swiss, who started to grow crops. It soon became one of the most important agricultural areas in Uruguay. It was here where in 1868 the first mechanical threshing machine of Uruguay was installed, followed in 1876 by the first steam-powered mill.

The town's official name, Nueva Helvecia, means "New Helvetia", from an old word for Switzerland. The alternative name Colonia Suiza means "Swiss Colony".

Get in[edit]

Map of Nueva Helvecia

Buses are available from Montevideo and Colonia.

Get around[edit]


Primera Capilla Evangélica
  • 1 Plaza de los Fundadores, 18 de Julio and 25 de Agosto. Designed by architect Luis Mazzini, with its monument and the flower clock.
  • 2 Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Schoenstatt, Frau Vogel and Guillermo Tell. Built in 1943, in the Parque del Colegio de Hermanas.
  • 3 Escuela de Lecheria (dairy college).
  • 4 Molino Quemado (steam mill). Built in 1876 (Q16608489) on Wikidata
  • Tanque de OSE.
  • Capilla Católica (Catholic chapel).
  • Cooperativa de Viticultores Ozark (Winegrowers cooperative).
  • Tiro Suizo.
  • Parque Municipal Jose Pedro Varela. With a campsite and public swimming pool.
  • 5 Primera Capilla Evangélica and Templo Evangélico (next to the Plaza de los Fundadores). Two old churches next to each other. The First Evangelical Chapel (Primera Capilla Evangélica) was built in 1863 by the collaboration of the town's evangelical and Catholic religious communities. The much larger Evangelical Temple (Templo Evangélico) was built two decades later and had its inaugural sermon in 1887.


  • The traditional market on Wednesday mornings.



A distinctive Swiss-influenced Uruguayan cheese, Queso Colonia, originated in Colonia Suiza. It's also worth trying papas a la suiza, a local specialty consisting of shredded potatoes cooked in a sort of loose pancake.

  • 1 Restaurant Bungalow Suizo, Federico Fischer 355 (next to the Hotel Suizo). 12:00–15:00, 20:00–22:30. An elegant restaurant in a large room evocative of Switzerland—a connection strengthened by all the Swiss pastoral decorations: crests, cowbells, photos, tools, etc. Typical Uruguayan cuisine as well as more distinctive Nueva Helvecia specialties.




Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Nueva Helvecia is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.