Take Buquebus to Uruguay

Buquebus (BOO-kay-boos) is the name of ferries that operate between Buenos Aires and Uruguay. A trip to Uruguay can be a fun day trip or weekend excursion.

Buquebus ferries run daily between Buenos Aires and two Uruguay destinations: Colonia and Montevideo. Colonia is a small historic town with cobblestone streets and restored buildings. Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay. It’s like a mini Buenos Aires with about a million inhabitants.

Another popular destination in Uruguay is Punta del Este, a beach resort on the ocean. Ferries don’t run directly to Punta del Este. Instead you have to take a ferry to either Colonia or Montevideo, then take a bus from there. You can arrange the bus transportation through Buquebus at the same time you buy your ferry ticket.

The trip between Buenos Aires and Colonia takes 3 hours on the regular ferry or just 1 hour on the fast ferry. The trip to Montevideo takes 3 hours on the fast ferry.

The bus ride from Montevideo to Punta del Este is about 2 hours.

Tickets are not expensive. For example, a round-trip ticket in tourist class from Buenos Aires to Colonia on the fast ferry costs about 260 pesos (roughly US$75). The slow ferry is even cheaper. First class tickets are available, though I find there’s plenty of room in tourist class. 

Buquebus often has good package deals to Colonia, Montevideo and Punta del Este that include ferry, hotel and bus transfers if needed. These special offers are posted on their website and in the travel section of the Sunday newspapers. At the time of this writing there is a special weekend offer of 124 pesos (about US$36) for a roundtrip ticket to Colonia on the slow ferry. 

You can buy tickets online at the Buquebus website, at the terminal which is located in Puerto Madero, or at one of the Buquebus offices. Offices are located in Recoleta at Posadas 1452, downtown at Córdoba 879, and at the Retiro bus station.

To take the ferry you will need your passport and the tourist card you received when you originally entered Argentina. When you leave Uruguay you will have to pay a departure tax. If I recall correctly the tax is about US$12.

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  1. Candace from Seattle Says:

    The ferries are quite nice and there is lots of room so I wouldn’t bother buying a first class ticket. I was more than comfortable with a regular ticket.

  2. TheWanderer Says:

    This is a fun excursion. You can rent scooters to buzz around Colonia.

  3. Delio Says:

    OK guys…thanks for the tips. I will follow your directions tomorow leaving Buenos Aires heading to Punta. After all I will post my comments.

  4. Adina Says:

    Quick question – I’m going to be travelling with my dad between Buenos Aires and Montevideo – he was planning on plane travel, but Buquebus sounds way better – can someone confirm for me that it’s a good way to travel, even with suitcases and a senior dad? Thanks for any help.

  5. CJ Says:

    Adina- Buquebus is a good way to travel. I think it’s better than the plane. The seating is good, lots of room, and it’s well organized. Go for it.

  6. samantha Says:

    This adventure sounds wonderful. I am heading to Buenos Aires for a month and am looking for an excursion much like this!!! thanks for the wonderful tips and an amazing website!

  7. ellen dreyer Says:

    I would like directions from the landing site of the Buquebus ferry in Buenos Aires and the Retiro bus station, or are they together?

  8. TCB Says:

    What is the best way to travel from Colonia to Montevideo? Also, are these cities fairly safe? I’ve read your posts about BA. Just curious if they are in the same category.
    Thanks for your blogs!

  9. Michael Says:

    Need help booking the Buquebus ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo and back. I got pretty far in the process. I got locked up at the telephone I added the 1-(702)-000-0000, but it would not accept it. Also, we would like to rent a car at the ferry landing at Montevideo, is that possible? Thanks

  10. Laurie Says:

    Which site gives you the ferries daily schedules?
    Is there a cheaper fare for seniors?
    Is it cheaper to buy a round trip ticket?

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