Today we’ll be explaining the best way to travel from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, Uruguay –which I believe is a much neglected and unrated destination and people need to be more aware of it! We’ll be explaining three different ways to get to Montevideo from Buenos Aires, which include by bus, plane and ferry.
Buenos Aires To Montevideo Via Bus
You can take a bus from Buenos Aires to Montevideo –though it is really not recommended. The reason for this is the long travel hours you have to clock in when you go through a bus, not to mention the fact that the bus is overnight, and it ends up being only slightly cheaper than the ferry. However, for those staying in northern Argentina, taking the bus to Montevideo makes sense. You can book the tickets through the bus company’s official website.
Air Travel To Montevideo From Buenos Aires
If you have to take a flight –although I do not recommend it –there are still ways for you to get to it in a cheaper way, even though the flights that give mile deals are limited to Montevideo from Buenos Aires. Aerolineas Argentinas provides daily non-stop flight services which cost approximately $150 for a one-sided trip, which is pretty okay. You can also travel through LAN Airlines or Air France, however, they often have multiple stopovers which kind of belies the point of mileage redemptions –because you end up wasting so much time.
Keep in mind though that you will have to spend 10,000-25,000 miles –either American, or United –for you to be able to get a one-sided economy flight. This is why it does not make sense to travel through this option, considering you have the $17 ferry boat and bus option to compare with!
Air port proximity is another point to take into consideration –you want it to be close to where you are staying. If you are staying in Montevideo, I would recommend Punta Carretas which is a neighborhood near Playa Pocitos. However you should keep in mind that a taxi ride from the air port would cost you at least $30, compared to the taxi ride of $5-10 from your hotel to the ferry station. $30 actually ends up being a big amount got US citizens because a dollar goes a long way there. And this doe not include the one-way fare of $40 for going to the Buenos Aires airport. If you add this up, the $150 air fare actually shoots up to $220 or more.
Buenos Aires To Montevideo Via Ferry
One of the best ways to travel to Montevideo from Buenos Aires is by ferry, and this is what I would recommend for you. The travel through ferry is not only easy, but also cheaper than air travel, and if you clock in the total time it takes to travel, the route through ferry is actually quicker. Also, ferry travels just have an ease to them, compared to air travels. For instance, the ferry ports in Buenos Aires are so close to the main city, you can easily take a cheap taxi or even walk to where you are staying at! If you decide to go through the ferry, there are three companies which provide this service; Buquebus, Seacat and the Colonia Express.
1: Buquebus ($40+ for a one way travel)
The first and perhaps the best option is the Buquebus –it is located in a very convenient spot in the port of Puerto Madera and the company has pretty large boats which obviously means there is more luxury and comfort involved, compared to other ferry companies. If you take a direct boar to Montevideo, from Buenos Aires, it can take you a little bit over two hours on a fast ferry, and will cost approximately $ 80 for a one-sided trip.
However, I should probably add a disclaimer: the slower ferries can take up to 3 hours in total! Which can be torturous, especially when you take in account the fact that Buquebus also charges twice the amount as other ferry companies. If you are on a tight budget, you should instead take a cheaper alternate route which takes you from Buenos Aires to Colonia in an hour, and then transports you through a bus to Montevideo –this takes another 2 hours, in total your travel time will add up to three and a half hours. If you go through this route, the total cost of your trip is only $ 40, which is half of the price charged by a fast ferry.
Buquebus, however, has an on-board WiFi, for which they charge $5. If you’re interested in traveling through them, you can find out more about their services by visiting their website.
2: Seacat ($30+ for a one way travel)
The second option is to travel through Seacat , which is probably not a very well-known option. I think the reason for that is the fact that their prices are midway between Buequebus and Colonia Express. However, I think it’s a great way to travel because you get convenient ferry services out of the well-centered Puerto Madero port, at a cheaper rate than Buequebus.
And that’s not all there is to it! What most people don’t know is that they also use Buequebus ferries –which means you can get the nicer boats at a cheaper price through Seacat! But the glitch in this is that you cannot know for sure if the boat being used will be a Buquebus boat –so it’s a gamble, because if you don’t get Buquebus boat, Seacat’s own boats are smaller.
Another important thing to know is that Seacat does not take you directly to Montevideo, instead you go to Colonia, and then have to take a bus from there to Montevideo (and just like the Buquebus journey, this totals up to 3.5 hours).
- Colonia Express ($17+ for a one way travel)
Colonia Express has very low ticket prices, and this is what we used the last time we went. Though you must remember the minimum $17 fares are hard to get, and you should probably not be expecting such a low rate, but Colonia Express is still much cheaper than the other two companies.
However, there is a downside to this. For example, the ferry station for Colonia Express is situated in La Boca, which is approximately 15 minutes from the south of Puerto Madero, and inevitably a lot farther than your hotel. But I would add the ferry station is very nice, it has recently been upgraded and renovated, however it is very small and has only one check-in counter, which means you need to get there before time to be able to check-in in time.
In addition to this, just like Seacat, they only take you till Colonia, and not any further. This means you have to take a bus to Montevideo, and the journey again totals to 3.5 hours. In my opinion the biggest downside to Colonia Express is the small boat size. We had a good of experience though, even in a windy weather, but there are multiple horror stories out there of the boats during extreme wind conditions. So if you have seasickness, I would suggest you check the weather conditions in advance, before your booking.
As you would’ve noticed, my personal recommendation is to take the ferries. The best options are the Buquebus or Seacat, followed by Colonia Express (considering the risk of seasickness). The ferry schedules are quicker and cheaper.
If you go through the cheaper route which takes you through Colonia, you also get the added benefit of a nice bus ride through the beautiful Uruguayan countryside. This 2-hour bus ride is so comfortable, it has seats which can recline way past an airline’s economy seat, and the bus also has on-board, free WiFi –which is a great package if you consider the price!
However, whatever choice you make, this will be a great trip because the beaches and the terrain of Montevideo, Uruguay are just breathless- and quite underrated.