Out of all the things to do in Argentina’s capital, taking a Buenos Aires to Uruguay day trip, especially to Colonia del Sacramento is one I could never recommend enough!
Buenos Aires is a great city, but like most big cities it’s hectic and crowded. The hustle and bustle can be overwhelming.
Personally, I needed an escape, and only one hour away is the perfect escape from city life. This is Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.
Want to know more? Here’s everything you should know about the ferry to Colonia del Sacramento.
Buenos Aires to Uruguay Day Trip: Introduction
Colonia del Sacramento is a city in the South West of Uruguay, and the reason for the contrast to Buenos Aires is the old town and cobbled streets. It has a laid back vibe and buildings from the Portuguese era.
You can get there in just under an hour on the ferry, and it’s not too expensive to do so. But remember, you’ll need to pass immigration and security, so arrive with plenty of time before departure.
This is the Best Ferry to Colonia
How to Get to Colonia from Buenos Aires?
The best way to travel from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento is by joining a guided tour, which includes the ferry ticket.
When you take a guided tour, you’re not only with a local guide that knows everything about the ferry crossing and area, but you’ll also get to learn stories about Colonia, which is always a plus.
Is it Worth Taking a Day Trip to Colonia?
Absolutely! A day trip to Colonia del Sacramento is a must-do for anyone visiting Buenos Aires.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a living museum of Spanish and Portuguese colonial history, with its cobbled streets, quaint cafes, and picturesque waterfront.
Is Colonia del Sacramento Safe?
Yes, Colonia del Sacramento is one of the safest places I’ve been in South America.
Its small-town charm and relaxed pace of life contribute to a feeling of security that is palpable from the moment you step onto its historic streets.
How Long to Stay Colonia del Sacramento?
Taking a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento is good enough to capture the essence of this historic town and see the key spots.
You’ll get to see the lighthouse, the Portón de Campo, and the cobbled streets of the Barrio Histórico.
The compact size of the town allows for an immersive experience without the need for extended stays.
Things to Do on a Buenos Aires to Uruguay Day Trip
Once you’re there, you’ll find the Old Town and most of the attractions within walking distance. But the first thing you’ll notice… Peace and calm! It really is a contrast to Buenos Aires.
So, there are a few things to do in Colonia del Sacramento I recommend, and one particular way to get around!
Here are my things to do Colonia de Sacramento.
Rent a golf buggy
Yes! My eyes lit up when I saw this. OK you could hire a bike and get fit, but I didn’t have much time and I loved the idea.
It’s not too expensive if there’s a group of you, but I can’t remember exactly how much and I didn’t really care. It gave me a chance to have some fun and see far more of Colonia than I would have any other way.
The Faro de Colonia del Sacramento is iconic to Colonia, and it overlooks the ruins of the San Francisco Convent. It’s pretty impressive, and was built in 1857.
I didn’t have time to go to the top but I wish I had as the views look pretty spectacular.
Walk Along the Beach
After a week in Buenos Aires, it was great to see beaches! The further you get away from the city centre the more secluded they get, and you can find your own little peaceful spot to relax, enjoy a book or take some photos.
Get Lost in the Old Town – Barrio Historico
The Old Town has a number of places to visit, but I enjoyed simply getting lost in the side streets, walking passed old ruins and Portuguese style buildings.
Round each cobbled street corner you’ll find hidden cafes, local restaurants and souvenir shops.
The local cuisine is very similar to Argentinean food, with many famous dishes being the same. However I was recommended Chivito, a steak and cheese sandwich.
And they know how to cook their steak here, perfect when washed down with a Uruguayan beer!
Watch the Sunset
It’s a beautiful spot without a sunset, but at dusk Plaza Mayor is awesome. If you’re on a day trip, it will be tight to make it back for the ferry, but for me it was worth the gamble, and I made it, just! The sunset here was nothing short of magnificent. The photos speak for themselves.
Plaza de Tores
You’ll need transport to get here, but a short drive (or cycle) up the coast and you’ll find the bullring Plaza de Tores. It’s an impressive structure, but thankfully abandoned, as I don’t agree at all with bullfighting. But whilst you’re up this way you’ll also find two more museums and an ocean lookout point.
Markets, Museums and Galleries
I’ve grouped these together as on a day trip, there simply isn’t enough time to take everything in. There’s a handcraft market a short walk from the port (below), if you like that kind of thing, and many museums and art gallery’s, often free to enter.
Have a Drink at the Port
The port of Muelle de Porto de Yates is just another place to chill. Are you sensing a theme here? It’s why I loved Colonia so much, unwind and prepare to go back to Buenos Aires. It was great to watch locals fishing, and boats returning to the harbour.
I was asked a lot, is it worth an overnight? I would say yes, to most people. But it’s very quiet in the evenings, perhaps go there for a romantic dinner for two or for some alone time! So that’s it, have I sold it to you?
I hope so, because if you’re coming to Buenos Aires then at very minimum, a day trip to Colonia is a must.
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires
Here are some great places to stay in Buenos Aires for a fabulous trip.
Luxury: Hilton Buenos Aires
Nestled in the upscale Puerto Madero district, Hilton Buenos Aires offers luxurious accommodations featuring city and river views.
This elegant hotel is well-equipped with spa facilities, a fitness center, a rooftop pool, and a striking glass atrium lobby.
You can enjoy spacious rooms with classic décor and modern amenities, exclusive Executive Lounge access, and diverse dining options including international cuisine at El Faro Restaurant.
Mid-Range: Up Congreso Hotel
Conveniently located in Buenos Aires, Up Congreso Hotel provides 3-star accommodations close to cultural landmarks like Palacio Barolo and Tortoni Cafe.
This hotel is within easy reach of the city’s center and offers essential services such as a 24-hour front desk, airport transportation, concierge service, and complimentary WiFi.
Rooms are equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and some feature terraces, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests.
Budget: Hotel Regis
Situated in the heart of Downtown Buenos Aires, HOTEL REGIS offers guests a convenient location close to the Colon Theater, Palacio Barolo, and other major attractions.
This 2-star hotel features comfortable air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms, safety deposit boxes, and complimentary WiFi.
Its proximity to the city center and major points of interest, along with essential services like a 24-hour front desk and concierge service, makes it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers.
Getting to Buenos Aires
KLM flies to Buenos Aires, using Amsterdam as a hub, along with many other destinations in South and Central America, meaning you can fly in to one city and out of another, making your own way between them.
I flew to Buenos Aires as part of the KLM Music Guide campaign. My flights to Buenos Aires were complementary, but return flights from the UK start at £589, including taxes.
All of the content, opinions and photography are my own, and I have not been paid for this article. Please take time to visit KLM’s website to support me on more adventures like this one!
Conclusion: Ferry Buenos Aires Colonia
In conclusion, the ferry service between Buenos Aires and Colonia offers a unique and efficient way to travel between Argentina and Uruguay.
The ferry trip not only serves as a bridge between the bustling city life of Buenos Aires and the historic charm of Colonia del Sacramento but also as an opportunity to experience the beauty of the river and the convenience of cross-border travel.
Thank you for reading until the end and I hope this guide was helpful to plan your upcoming itinerary!
Support Intrepid Escape by adding this article on Pinterest to read later and share with your friends. Have you been to Colonia del Sacramento? How did you find it? Am I missing anything amazing on my list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy travels!