If you’re staying in Buenos Aires, you may want to schedule in a little time to visit Uruguay, Argentina’s neighboring country across the river.
Uruguay provides a great escape for the busy hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires and can be the perfect pit stop of any South American vacation. We wrote about three of our top destinations in Uruguay if you were interested in adding another country to travel to in South America.
- Colonia del Sacramento
From Buenos Aires, you can take a boat ride across the Río de la Plata and be in Uruguay in 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.
This Uruguayan port closest to Buenos Aires, 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 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While you’re there be sure to check out the Plaza Real de San Carlos, which was a former bullfighting ring as well as the Museum of the Portuguese Historical Period and the Nacarellero House museum. All of these destinations will give you an interesting insight into the history of this colonial town. If you’re looking to take in the sites, be sure to hit the Colonial del Sacramento Lighthouse too. It offers up an incredible view of Colonia and the small beaches that surround it.
Another great city to visit in Uruguay is the capital, Montevideo. Montevideo can also be a day trip from Buenos Aires, but if you have a little more time to spend you can discover more of Montevideo or even combine this city with a visit to another spot in Uruguay.
Getting to the capital of Uruguay from Buenos Aires is relatively easy. You can fly, but most people take the ferry. The rapid route is less than three hours crossing the river between the two capitales, otherwise, you can ride to Colonia and then take a bus to get to Montevideo.
In Montevideo, you can walk the ramble and get a sample of the beautiful coastline that makes Uruguay popular in the South American summer. One of our favorite places is Pocitos Beach, popular among swimmers, sunbathers, windsurfers and kayakers during the high season.
Also, in Montevideo, the Old City is home to not only historical buildings, but also the famous outdoor Port Market. The market is a must-do in Montevideo, especially for those craving incredible meat, traditionals clothes and other sorts of unique antiques and souvineres.
3. Punta del Este
Another top destination in Uruguay is Punta del Este. This upscale beach down is loved among locals and foreigners alike, but it will take more than a day to get to this atlantic beach town, unless you decide to fly from Buenos Aires.
Punta del Este is roughly a three hour bus ride outside of Montevideo, so if you’re doing the math that can add up to a rather long day. Punta del Este makes for a great side trip destination.
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.
Don’t forget to stop by Casa Pueblo, an architectural wonder designed and created by a local uruguayan artist that inspires many people that make their way to Punta del Este.
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