Between Argentina and Uruguay, where two rivers join, Uruguay and Paraná, the delta of Río de la Plata is formed. Considered the widest river of the world with 219km, Río de la Plata divides both countries. On the map Río de la Plata looks like a wide mouth that opens to the sea, and on its coasts you will find Buenos Aires, Colonia and Montevideo.
Once in Buenos Aires lot of tourists decide to do a day trip to Colonia or Montevideo in Uruguay, and the fastest way to do it is to cross the river by ferry. Colonia is located right in front of Buenos Aires crossing the river, while Montevideo is further. If you are one of these tourists we will give you all the information you need to visit Uruguay.
How to get to Colonia or Montevideo (Uruguay) from Buenos Aires
There are a few companies that cross the river and some of them offer packages to enjoy an entire day in our brother country. We will then say some details of these companies and their services.
Buquebus is the most popular one and sets sail from Puerto Madero, near Plaza San Martín. You can buy tickets online from this website. Buquebus offers packages to enjoy a day in Colonia and Montevideo, including the passage, tours and food.
There are two options that you can get from Buquebus; boats that go directly to Colonia and Montevideo, or a ferry to Colonia and then a bus to Montevideo. If you want to visit Montevideo just for the day it is recommendable to take the direct service by ferry, because it’s faster.
An alternative to Buquebus is Seacat, sub-brand of Buquebus. Usually they use the same boat but Seacat’s tickets are cheaper. You can buy their tickets online or in the port of Buquebus.
The disadvantage of Seacat is that they don’t work with direct service to Montevideo. All ships go to Colonia and if you decide to go to Montevideo with Seacat you will have to take the bus. It is a good alternative to go to Colonia by half price than Buquebus, but not useful to go to Montevideo just for the day.
The third option is Colonia Express, a company that starts the service in La Boca. This is the cheapest company, but it doesn’t have a direct ship to Montevideo either. Also offers complete packages and you can buy tickets online or in their offices in Buenos Aires. To go to the port of Colonia Express to catch the ferry going by taxi is recommended as it is a bit far and in a deserted area.
Duration of the trip
The trip from Buenos Aires to Colonia lasts 1 hour in all companies. Buquebus, in its direct service Buenos Aires-Montevideo, takes 2:15hs. In the case you decide to take a ferry to Colonia and then the bus to Montevideo, this trip takes about 4 hours and won’t be very practical for a daytrip.
Companies have services every day with many frequencies.
Since you have to enter a different country you should take into account the necessary documentation to visit Uruguay. Depending on the nationality you will have to submit relevant documents and in some cases, pay a visa. At the following website you can see the countries that are exempt from visa.
Information to consider
It is necessary to check-in and for this you will need to attend to the port 1 hour before the trip. It is possible to ship luggage. Two parts up to 30kg in total are allowed.