In this post we provide information on how to get from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, how to spend one day in Colonia del Sacramento and where to stay.
Our time in Uruguay was sweet and short as we were rushing to get to the Carnival Festival of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Uruguay is nestled between Argentina and Brazil. We spent 3 days in Uruguay, one day in Colonia del Sacramento and two days in Montevideo.
Our first impression upon arrival in Colonia del Sacramento is how tranquil the city it feels compared to its Argentinian neighbor.
Colonia del Sacramento is a beautiful, cobble-stoned, colonial town, one hour away from Buenos Aires (find out our travel tips for Buenos Aires, Argentina. ) by ferry, making it the perfect destination for a day trip. Its Historic Quarter is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
NOTE: Payments are accepted in Uruguayan pesos and some places accept Argentinean pesos as well. Most places also accept credit cards.
How to get from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay
BY FERRY: There are ferries heading to Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo from Buenos Aires daily. However, going to Colonia is cheaper than going to Montevideo. Most people going to Montevideo book a ferry ticket to Colonia and then a bus ticket to Montevideo.
Three ferry companies offer this journey at 3 different times during the day – from 8-9h, from 12-13h, and from 18-20h. The earlier you book your ticket, the cheaper it is.
SEACAT COLONIA: Seacat tickets can only be purchased online or at their local office (office opens at 9am). The tickets are cheaper than Buquebus though the ferries are the same. Prices range from 400-700 ARS (approx. USD $30-50 depending on the exchange rate) depending on the type of seats.
BUQUEBUS: Tickets can be purchased the day of at the Puerto Madero port Buquebus is the most expensive out of the three companies for the 1h-1.5h journey. The company also offers a cheaper 3-hr journey to Colonia Del Sacramento. Payment can only be made in credit card or US dollars. We did not confirm whether this was for tourists only but be ready just in case you have to pay with either. The three hour journey cost about 400 ARS for a regular seat (roughly USD $30).
The advantage with Seacat and Buquebus is that the ferry departs from Puerto Madero, an easy location to access from central Buenos Aires. The walk from Plaza de Mayo to the Buquebus office takes about 15 minutes.
COLONIA EXPRESS: Their office is located about 10 minutes away from Seacat and Buquebus by car. Ferry departs from Terminal Int’l de Cruceros on Avenida Inmigrantes. Be aware that prices shown online – ranging from 270ARS to 400 ARS (under USD $30) – do not usually include a sales tax, which can add an extra 50% to the ticket price. Colonia Express offers 3 ferries per day: 8am, 12:30pm, and 6:45pm. Travel time is approximately 1h15mins.
If you purchase your ticket online, you will need to print the tickets for your trip. Travel with Pedro shares great information with pictures of the journey!
As a reminder, Seacat Colonia and Buquebus ferries depart from the Buquebus building in Puerto Madero but you can only purchase tickets from Buquebus there.
Where To Stay in Colonia del Sacramento
There are great places to stay in Colonia del Sacramento:
Posada El Viajero: a simple and clean inn, located in front of the Rio del Plata,with beautiful views. The rooms are spacious, with balcony, WiFi and private bath. A double room with private bath costs ~USD $35-40.
If you’re looking for privacy and your own space, Colonia Suite Apartments is a great place to stay. The charming, rustic apartments are located in Barrio Historico. Apartment sizes vary but usually consist of a living room, bedroom, bathroom, balcony and kitchen area. A great option with prices starting at USD $54 if you intend to stay a few days in Colonia.
We walked by this hostel, Hostel Colonial, in the Barrio Historico, a double room costs about 900 UYU (about USD $30), prices are cheaper for a bed in dormitory.
How to Get Around Colonia del Sacramento
The whole town can be visited by foot. Once you get off the ferry in Colonia, you will most likely be able to follow the crowds, heading towards the Barrio Historico. The walk from the ferry to the Old Town takes about 10 minutes.
What To Do in Colonia- Activities in Colonia
The Barrio Historico is quaint and charming. A place that almost seems frozen in time, with beautiful vines climbing on front doors of colonial homes and old vintage cars repurposed as work of arts.
While very easy to find things to do in Colonia, sometimes the very best thing is to do nothing and Colonia del Sacramento offers the appropriate setting for that.
However, if like us, you only have one day in Colonia to enjoy the setting, here are few things you can do:
Walk through the Barrio Historico, the old town part of Colonia del Sacramento
Visit the lighthouse for the view over Colonia – Faro de Colonia.
Visit the Basilica del Sentisimo Sacramento, one of the oldest church in the country, which also exhibits local art:
Visit all 8 of Colonia’s historical museums on a single ticket, UYU $50 ($1.50 USD) available at the Museo Municipal.
Count how many vintage cars you can snap in the Barrio Historico:
Stroll and walk around the town and enjoy the peaceful scenery:
From Colonia to Montevideo
Unless you dispose of your own vehicle, the best way to get from Colonia to Montevideo is by bus.
Montevideo is a two-hour bus ride away from Colonia del Sacramento, you can purchase tickets from different bus carriers heading to Montevideo at the bus station. Buses run from 6am to 10pm and cost roughly
What else did you do in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay? Share your experiences with us! We love to hear from you!
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