19 hours to Colonia

Trip Start Aug 16, 2007
Trip End Jan 15, 2008

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, January 3, 2008

So Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay is one of the prettiest, most dreamy towns I have ever seen. But getting there was a nightmare...

I should start by saying that Colonia is well worth the visit from Buenos Aires as a day trip or as part of a longer visit to Uruguay. But my caveat would be that this visit should not be undertaken on the day after New Years without a reservation. We can speak from experience that this is just plain insane. Probably anytime in high season it is a good idea to reserve ahead. The Buquebus from Buenos Aires to Colonia is supposed to be great. It takes an hour by fast boat or three hours by slower boat. Sadly this was totally booked for the day we wanted to travel so we headed to Tigre at 6:00 a.m. on January 2 by train. When we go to the port, we were told all the boats were full until 3:45 p.m. So we made the best of our day in Tigre by sitting in the park and eating McDonald´s ice cream.

The actual boat ride on the Cacciola boat was great - smooth water and great scenery. I can see why Lonely Planet raves about this river crossing. But we were so exhausted that we slept through a lot of it! Once in Carmelo we had to find a bus to Colonia. We met an English guy that was heading there too so we walked into town from the port to find a bus company. at about 7:00 p.m. Turns out the only bus was at 10:45 p.m. We found a nice place to eat and have a beer to wait for our bus. Everything seemed like it was going to work out until I realized that the guy at the bus station had oversold the seats so we had to stand for the 1 hour journey to Colonia. But in the end we made it to our hotel and fell into bed at 1:00 a.m. - about 19 hours after we started our journey...

The next day, we put the ordeal behind us and enjoyed Colonia. The streets are so beautiful, especially the old part of the city. There are markets and restaurants that line the cobblestone streets and the view from the lighthouse is amazing. This is one of those cities you can saunter around for hours and then enjoy the sunset at a quaint little cafe. It was literally picture perfect.

So that´s our ordeal of getting to Colonia and our wonderful day spent in Colonia. So I´d say the effort was worth it although I hope no one else has to go to so much trouble to see this lovely city!! Off to Montevideo next then back to BA.
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