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lessthanzero Apr 10th, 2007 09:52 AM

Montevideo vs Colonia ?

I'm headed to Buenos Aires at the end of May, and wanted to do a sidetrip to uruguay. Given that I will only devote one day, do you think it is better to take the boat to Montevideo and back, or to Colonia and back?

thnaks for all input.

mikemo Apr 10th, 2007 11:26 AM

We thought the fast ferry to Colonia quite expensive and the pueblo is disappointing from our perspective.
Comida with an UR Trebbiano (white Italian grape) at Meson de la Plaza was wonderful.
Otherwise, we should have spent the day in BsAs.
M (SMdA, Gto.)

lessthanzero Apr 10th, 2007 12:09 PM


Thanks for your reply. The ferry may be expensive, but convenient. I am concerned with the longer ride to Montevideo and not sure what is there.


"Safe Medical Devices Act" and "Great Teacher Onizuka"?

Graziella5b Apr 10th, 2007 12:49 PM

Hi lessthanzero, with all due respect to Mikemo I have noticed as he puts it that he did not liked at all Colonia, nevertheless other persons have had a good time.
If I am not wrong he lives in Mexico,probably the most important Spanish Virreinato during Colonial times, there is NO comparison between most MExican Colonial cities and tiny Colonia. Upon visiting Colonia, he couldn't have find it anything but very dissapointing.. that does not mean it might not be an acceptable escapade from Buenos Aires.
Montevideo in my opinion is a little far to go by ferry+ bus for the day. It would merit at least one night stopover. Some people do it, but I find it a little boring because it takes one hour boat+2 1/2 hours bus each way. If that is ok with you, fine.
Montevideo is a much smaller city than Buenos Aires and of course much bigger than Colonia.
Built by the River Plata, which looks like a sea, has some old quaint quaters, etc. some Colonial museums like the old Cabildo, and can offer on the whole a pleasant day visit.
Possible good crafts shopping. Good food too.
If my history is correct, initially there were two Spanish Virreinatos, one whose Capital was Mexico City the other whose Capital was Lima, Peru.
Later, the one that had Lima as its Capital split in two, and thus the Virreinato of the River Plate was created, Buenos AIres became its capital, Montevideo was a secondary city and Colonia was to become later only a frontier town. Why? Because there was a struggle between Spain and Portugal and what is today Uruguay was covet by Portugal.
I do not wish to bore you with history but it might help to know what to expect.

lessthanzero Apr 11th, 2007 06:50 AM


Thanks for responding. If going to MV I would take the direct (3hr) boat, but still it is a lot of travel, I agree.

Some people have said that MV is not a must see and that could easily be bypassed, and if this is true then a daytrip to the much closer Colonia may be preferred.

I, of course, have not been to either, and hence am looking for input.


thit_cho Apr 11th, 2007 07:59 AM

I took Buquebus (or something like that) from BA to Colonia, and its an interesting trip. Colonia is certainly pleasant enough for a day trip, and much easier than spending six hours on a boat to reach Montevideo. In fact, I think I only spent half a day on my day trip to Colonia.

Graziella5b Apr 11th, 2007 08:11 AM

Hi lassthanzero, I guess thit cho summarized correctly your options. Only thing to add, for the same money you can fly , it is a 20 minutes flight. What I find disgusting is that Uruguay and Argentina charge both airport taxes which seem a lot for such a short trip. Specially Uruguay in my opinion they charge too much.
It is a pitty because this is a small country that should welcome tourists, and otherwise they do, being kind and nice, etc. but I hate the airport tax. Instead by Buquebus there is also a tax but it is a small one.

lessthanzero Apr 11th, 2007 08:56 AM

I hate the tax too, but
+ it is a way for them to raise income
+ It's not like the US doesn't do it as well. Ever tried renting a car at the airport?

Ultimately, I think Buquebus is my best option, as I'd like to be on a boat...

Graziella5b Apr 11th, 2007 09:18 AM

Ok Less.t.z. , have fun, one more thing there is no need to buy any of the so called upper classes in the boat, just by the tourist class, they all are practically the same. Buen viaje.

lessthanzero Apr 11th, 2007 09:29 AM

appreciate it!
It's not till late may though, but i like trip planning...

This weekend it's off to Reykjavik...

saltshaker Apr 14th, 2007 03:07 PM

Keep in mind that the "3 hour" buquebus to Montevideo is just the time in the water from the time it leaves the dock until it arrives at the other port. You're really looking at more like 4 or more hours, especially when you take into account check-in (airport style, you have to be there early, stand in lines, etc.), passing through immigration and customs (which, thankfully, don't take too long), and even just the time for docking procedures at the arriving end. If you only have one day and go to Montevideo, you'll simply spend most of the day traveling.

I'm also one of those who happens to love visiting Colonia. I go there regularly - it's relaxing, pretty, there's good food available, and if you have the night to spend, there are some wonderful little posadas to stay in. The fare is only about US$30 each way, so it's not a huge amount.

mikemo Apr 14th, 2007 03:25 PM

The fast ferry is over $70. US, and yes, I live in San Miguel de Allende, Gto., MX - no remote comparison, but good to great food, lol.
Buen viaje!

eurotraveller Apr 14th, 2007 05:05 PM

This ferry service from BA to Colonia looks to be very inexpensive and fast, too! I think it is a new option?

annetti Apr 14th, 2007 07:24 PM


Graziella5b Apr 14th, 2007 08:52 PM

No it is not new, there are two different options in Buquebus, between Buenos AIres and Colonia one takes 55 minutes the other one like two hours or 2 and a half. One is of course is cheaper than the other. For rates they have a web site.
One thing that is absolutely pointless is to buy the first class ticket, tourist class is basicaly the same. But many tourist confronted with the question would you like to pay 10 or 15 usa more for first class find it an offer they cannot refuse......
Buy the tourist and with the difference buy your self a few drinks on board or something in the free shop.

lessthanzero Apr 17th, 2007 05:51 AM


Good points on tourist vs first. I'll go tourist. ANd it seems like 55 mins to Colonia is the ticket. (how much is that ticket btw?)

eurotraveller Apr 24th, 2007 03:34 AM

Graziella, are you certain about that? I checked on another forum and they said it was a NEW service and FAST, not the slow boat.


eurotraveller Apr 24th, 2007 12:02 PM

Here is the copied and pasted post from the "other" forum posted in Feb of this year:

"If you want to go to Colonia, look into the new ferry service, just started, called Colonia Express. It's competing with Buquebus, and will probably be cheaper. As far as I know, Colonia requires no visa, but it's still "iffy" on whether it's worth your time and money (for the ferry). If you've seen other well-preserved Latin American colonial towns, you can skip it."

saltshaker Apr 26th, 2007 11:41 AM

Mikemo, the fast ferry is, for a roundtrip currently 191 pesos, or U$S61, i.e., roughly $30 each way as I stated above, plus, there are often special discount days which you can find if you check the buquebus website regulary - sometimes as much as 25% off that price. Even if you go first class, which as noted above is a waste of time, the maximum fare is 265 pesos, or U$S85 for the roundtrip.

mikemo Apr 27th, 2007 05:24 PM

It was $210. ARPesos late last Fall + $10.ARP pp "visa" fee returning with a US PP.
The taxi to the pier was an additional $17. AP + tip each way.
Way too much dinero for the very mediocre "colonial" experience.
M (SMdA, Gto., MX)

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