Ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia
Trip Start Jul 02, 2006
16Trip End Sep 18, 2006
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Hopped on the subte and after multiple connections I was at the end of the B line downtown. Easy enough walking distance to the Buquebus terminal but I wouldn't suggest it for anyone carrying a heavy load (take a taxi from the subte). Buquebus isn't too hard to find if you know where the Opera Bay disco is, since it's within sight when standing outside the terminal. Look for Dásena Norte on any map of Buenos Aires and that's where the Ferry terminal is
I didn't reserve a ticket in advance but it wasn't a problem buying one at the terminal. I'm just glad the place wasn't too busy because it involved standing in one line to buy the ticket and then another to pay for it. Then I had to check-in at the counter before proceeding to immigration. If I take the trip again, I'll buy my ticket online and check-in 15 mins before the Ferry leaves (like everyone else does).
All immigration was handled on the Argentina side. They gave me an exit stamp in my passport to leave Argentina and then at the same desk stamped my entry to Uruguay along with a tourist visa that I'll have to hang onto until I leave Uruguay. The visa also has your boarding pass attached to it and I almost threw it away after boarding the Ferry but thankfully didn't. There's an immigration stamp on it and that was sort of a clue it was important.
The buquebus Ferries are pretty cool looking and have several decks. Nice comfortable seats, a duty free shop and Casino. On the Ferry I was on, it's a 3 hour trip over to Colonia Del Sacramento but they also have faster 1 hr Ferries to Colonia or directly to Montevideo. My one-way trip costs 61 pesos ($20 USD) and went smoothly other than dense fog that closed in as we left Buenos Aires
Arrival in Colonia involved a quick inspection of our bags as we excited the Ferry and then I was off to wander the streets looking for a place to stay. It's a small city, so it wasn't a long walk before I made it to the Hotel Colonial where a shared dorm bed cost 150 Uruguay ($6.32 USD). Met a Scottish guy (Neil) who also was on the Ferry and arrived at the Hostel just after I did and became my roommate. Always nice to make a new friend and we hung out a bit while I was in Colonia.
Colonia itself is a nice little town with most of the sights concentrated in the oldest part of the city. Some pics from another site that you can check out to get an idea of what I was seeing there. Plenty of tourists walking around like myself following walking tour maps that hotels and the tourism offices hand out. A good way to spend an afternoon without spending any money.
Neil and I went out for dinner at the "Drugstore" restaurant in the evening. Kind of famous for having an old 1920's car parked outside that has seating and a table inside so you could have dinner out there (if it was warmer)
Arriving back at the Hostel, we met some other travelers sitting around doing what travelers do best; drinking beer and wine! Met an English girl who was also heading off to Montevideo in the morning so we decided to travel together in the morning. After a litre of Uruguay beer, I was off to bed to get some much needed rest.
Overall, I enjoyed Colonia but was happy to just spend a day walking around to see the "Barrio Histórico" and then leave the next morning. During the winter, the weather isn't that warm (or dry) so that has a big effect. Lots of restaurants and gift shops for tourists to enjoy. Kind of too bad that they planted trees along each sidewalk years ago and the tree roots are now tearing the tile sidewalks up. Next time I visit the city I'll get away from the tourist section and explore the bigger city that I saw from a distance.