Travelers to Buenos Aires Argentina, or Uruguay, specifically the cities of Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento (and a few other of the major towns) can experience a relatively affordable and quick transit in either direction across the mouth of the Rio de la Plata to the opposite country. These are the major ferry options to consider when looking to make the crossing.
Ferries between Buenos Aires Argentina and Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay
There are 1 hour ferry rides and 3 hour rides for a cheaper rate. We recommend the one hour ride as it gives you more time in the destination for not that much more cost.
There are two major ferry companies for this route:
Busquebus whose rates average around $36 one way, but check website for most accurate pricing. It is not necessary to pre-book online, but it may save a few dollars and at peak holiday times it is a good idea. While the schedule can change depending on the time of year, this is usually what it looks like.
Colonia Express whose are rates around $27 one way, their website is here for most direct pricing and scheduling.
When you take either of these ferries you must arrive around one hour in advance to clear customs, but the good news is you clear Argentinian and Uruguayan customs at the same time.
Ferries between Buenos Aires and Montevideo Uruguay
Busquebus has the monopoly on direct ferries between Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Tickets average around $100 one way. Departure times from Buenos Aires are 7:30am and 3:45pm, arriving three hours later. Ferries from Montevideo to Buenos Aires leave at 11am and 7:30pm.
Colonia Express has a ferry to Colonia and a bus combo ticket all the way to Montevideo which averages around $60 one way. One can also take a regular ferry to Colonia and take a regularly scheduled bus to Montevideo to save the most money.
I am a medical student and a world traveler native to Costa Rica, but I have lived in seven different countries and travelled to more than 100. I am vegetarian and a lover of wines. My favourite destinations always include the mountains, wild nature and places were I can bike.
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