If you’re staying in Buenos Aires and looking to get out of the city for a day, there may be no better option than a day trip in Uruguay.
From Buenos Aires, you can take a boat ride across the Río de la Plata and be in the country of Uruguay in just under an hour. There are also longer 3-hour boat rides available, if you’re not in a hurry and want to enjoy being out on the open water.
The Uruguayan port closest to Buenos Aires is the city of Colonia del Sacramento, usually referred to as simply Colonia. It’s a very small, old and beautiful town, with a particularly lovely Barrio Histórico (historic quarter) that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Among some of the notable spots within the Barrio Histórico is the Plaza Real de San Carlos, a bullring that once hosted famous bullfighters and thousands of spectators. The bullring’s fantastic architecture makes it worth a visit.
If you choose Colonia as your destination for a day trip in Uruguay, you’ll be surprised how many museums are located throughout the town’s pleasantly quiet cobblestone streets. The Museum of the Portuguese Historical Period houses artifacts from the late 1600s, when Portugal found Colonia. The Nacarellero House Museum is an old, almost-perfectly preserved Portuguese house that offers an intimate insight into Colonia’s history.
One of the most well-known sites in Colonia is the Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse. Visitors can climb all the way to the top and admire a phenomenal view of Colonia and the small beaches that surround it. Speaking of the beaches, they’re definitely worth a visit if you’re traveling during the spring or summer months (August-March). Colonia’s beaches are very easy to locate, since the city is so small.
If Colonia sounds a little too low-key for you, consider Montevideo for your day trip in Uruguay. As the capital city of the country, Montevideo boasts a variety of activities and a distinctly cosmopolitan vibe. You can take a 3-hour boat ride directly from Buenos Aires, or connect via bus in Colonia to get to Montevideo.
A countless number of promenades and beaches line Montevideo’s coast, making the Río de la Plata an essential part of the city’s atmosphere. Pocitos Beach is an especially gorgeous beach that attracts hundreds of swimmers, sunbathers, windsurfers and kayakers each season.
Just because Montevideo is such a busy and bustling urban center doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its share of history and culture. Check out the Old City (marked by an enormous old wall that divides it from the modern part of the city) to learn about the origin of Montevideo. Besides fascinating old streets and landmarks, you’ll also find the famous outdoor Port Market here, featuring unique antiques and souvenirs, delicious meats and traditional clothes.
Another hot-spot destination for day trips in Uruguay: the gorgeous and snazzy Punta del Este, located about an hour drive away from Montevideo. To get here, you can either take a short 1-hour flight or connect via bus in Montevideo.
Punta del Este is a resort town, famous for its casinos and wide variety of beaches. All of the beaches are beautiful, with clear water and sandy shores; some are on the river and some on the Atlantic Ocean.
As far as which beach to visit, you can really take your pick depending on what kind of beach activities you’re interested in. Brava Beach is popular for its big waves (ideal for surfing) and giant finger structures that “come out” of the sand. Mansa Beach’s calm waters are perfect if you want to swim, sunbathe or fish. Generally speaking, the beaches of Bikini and La Barra tend to be more of party beaches, while the Las Delicias and Pinares beaches are more quiet and relaxing.
If you’ve selected Punta del Este for your day trip in Uruguay, you’ll definitely want to save time to check out the famous Casa-Pueblo, a stunning resort-museum created by Uruguayan artist Paez-Vilaró.
A day trip in Uruguay will leave you feeling personally and culturally enriched, regardless of which city or cities you decide to visit.
For further information about day trips in Uruguay, or other tours in Argentina, contact Argentina travel experts, Say Hueuqe – Tours in Argentina