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One of the destinations I had learned of from watching TV (the Bachelorette, thank you) was Uruguay.
When the season of JoJo was on, she took the bachelors to the South American country of Uruguay. Beautiful coastline, a wonderful culture, and now crowds – it instantly got added to my list of places to see.
Luckily, Uruguay is not overcrowded by tourists (yet) and I had a trip to Argentina booked already which would allow me to ferry over easily. If you are not flying right into Uruguay, then taking a ferry from Buenos Aires, Argentina is the most popular way to visit parts of the country.
From Buenos Aires, you can ferry over to three different ports in Uruguay.
I chose to go to Colonia del Sacramento, which was the closest and the most history. Montevideo is popular, however, it is a 2-hour ferry ride, therefore, one would need more time to make the trip. Punta del Este is also up and coming as a secret beach destination. It is the farthest with about a 3-hour ferry ride.
There are two major ferry companies – Colonia Express (which I used and was easy), and Buquebus (more expensive but has speedboats for quicker trips).
My roundtrip ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento cost only $66 roundtrip.
The prices change with dates, times, seasons, and type of boat. You can see all the prices here at Direct Ferries, which I used to book.
Remember to bring cash for Uruguay as credit cards are not accepted everywhere. You will also need your passport and to go through Passport Control upon leaving Buenos Aires.
Colonia del Sacramento
I loved Colonia del Sacramento!
When I first began doing my research on where I should ferry to, I thought I was set on Montevideo. However, so many articles kept popping up about Colonia del Sacramento and its history there, that I decided to change my plans. It is the oldest city in the country after all.
First off, the ferry terminal is cute and lies right outside of town.
Step out, make a left and follow the beautiful house lined streets west to the center of the city.
You will pass small shops, cute cafes, and the Historic District which holds the famous El Faro Lighthouse and Porton de Campo – the old town gate and wall remnants from when it was first settled by the Portuguese.
Wear comfortable shoes as you walk along the cobblestone streets. There are many ruins along the historic district and stones left over from along the streets.
Visit Puerto Viejo, which is the old harbor and has activities for everyone such as sailing, walks along the waterfront, and restaurants. As you enter the downtown area, you will find street art and more bustling blocks with people dining at all hours and music playing.
Colonia del Sacramento has several beaches, but remember, they lie along the river that separates it from Argentina. While the water is much better than that in Buenos Aires, and there are many sandy spots, it gets a bit murky. Do not expect Caribbean visibility.
You can walk for about 1.5 hours north out of town passing multiple beaches.
Follow Rambla de las Americas and you will see them all. It is a bit of a cliff walk going up and downhill offering fantastic views of the river below. There are many joggers and bicyclists along the way and parks for families. There are beach bars and restaurants open in their summer season, which is December through February.
Colonia del Sacramento is so picturesque, quiet, and relaxing to visit. Having done the walk to and from all the beaches, it’s a great way to see a lot, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air while you’re out exploring!
Have you visited?