Buying ferry tickets Buenos Aires to Colonia

Cobbled streets of Colonia By Josiah Mackenzie
The cobbled streets of Colonia Photo: Josiah Mackenzie

Colonia is a great entry point into Uruguay. It is just a one-hour boat ride across the River Plate from Buenos Aires and is small enough that you explore, have lunch and explore some more before catching a bus on to Montevideo. Or plan to stay a few days in this stunning little UNESCO heritage town.

Lighthouse in Colonia by María Cecilia Castaño Rodríguez
Lighthouse and colonial era walls in Colonia. Photo: María Cecilia Castaño Rodríguez

Alternatively Colonia is a great exit point if you have been exploring Montevideo and your next destination is Buenos Aires. You can catch a bus from Montevideo and be in Colonia in just two hours. The buses are comfortable and have free wifi.

Leave your luggage in the bus station, buy your ferry tickets to Buenos Aires (or bus tickets to Montevideo) for the end of the day and head off into soak up the colonial atmosphere of Colonia’s Old Town.

The big three

Getting from Buenos Aires to Colonia, there are three ferry companies to choose from: Buquebus, Seacat and Colonia Express.

Ferry times

All three companies run three fast ferry trips per day. They take one hour. You should check the company websites but to give you a ballpark idea, boat times are:

  • Leaving for Colonia at: 8am, noon and 6pm
  • Returning to Buenos Aires at: 10am, 4pm and 9pm

Keep a cool head when trying to book online – it’s NOT YOU

Trying to book a ferry ticket online with at least two of these three companies would try a zen master. Check out our tips for booking your ferry tickets without losing your mind.

Ferry ticket prices

Company

Cost of cheapest one-way ticket*

Most expensive standard one-way ticket*

Buquebus

42

55

Seacat

24

41

Colonia Express

14

21

Note: I used a one-way rate because buying a return (two-way) ticket does not give you a discount. You will simply pay the equivalent of two one-ways.* The prices were in Uruguayan pesos on August 8 2015. I converted them into US dollars and rounded them up using an exchange rate of 28 pesos to the dollar.

[UPDATE: This information is currently out of date. For instance it is now cheaper to buy a day trip ticket than two one ways. This page will be updated very soon.  — August 9 2016. ]

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Please visit the travel company websites for the exact prices of tickets. Guru’Guay offers this information as a guide and accepts no responsibility for prices or changes.

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