Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Visa run from Buenos Aires to Uruguay

Visa runs are the equivalent of doing taxes for the chronic traveller, that pesky duty that every now and then needs to be done. After ninety days in Buenos Aires we did our first visa run to Colonia de Sarmiento, Uruguay, a town with stagnant charm and deafening peace.  The pictures posted earlier will give you a better idea than anything I can say.

In Argentina you won’t be short of visa run options, neighbouring Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay (click for entry visa requirements) are a bus/boat ride away. Since we did ours from BA, this post is focused on the options available in Uruguay.

Buquebus:  In a fancy terminal in the North end of Puerto Madero you can catch a boat to Colonia or Montevideo. Additional bus links within Uruguay and to Brazil are available. The cheapest round trip would be in the slow ship (about 3 hours) to Colonia de Sarmiento for AR$198. The 1 hour boat costs a little more.

Colonia Express: Services Colonia de Sacramento from BA for AR$38 each way (if you purchase a month in advance). The terminal is in a dodgy area so take a cab on your way there. Their boats are small and can be banned from navigating if winds are strong (the carpet and seats also smell like
wet puppy).

Lineas Delta and Cacciola both leave from Tigre (Super Meh). Cacciola offers transfers from BA. Travel with them at your own risk.

– Bus to Montevideo: $150/$160 each way. Recommended only if you have a passion for self-inflicted pain, or extremely prone to sea-sickness. Takes 9 hours and costs the most. Go figure? Operators covering this route leave from Retiro bus station.

Industrious scabs that we are, we purchased the cheapest fare with Colonia Express more than a month in advance, but the return cheap fares were sold out. We still managed to get 2 return tickets for AR$210. During our first night in Colonia wind speed rose to 70 kph and we had to stay an extra night as our boat was stuck in Buenos Aires. After much arguing and aggravation with the teenagers in charge of the PR of Colonia Express a refund was given, and a full fare in an over sold
Buquebus ensued.

If you manage to get the cheapest option with Colonia Express, do it. Otherwise, Buquebus is worth the extra bucks. But whichever line you choose, get some booze on the duty free.


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