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Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

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Maple Valley...
posts: 75
reviews: 34
Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

I will be in B.A. early in December and would like to take a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento. Buquebus has been mentionned previously as a ferry operator. I cannot get a web page to come up -- keep getting error msg. -- have they gone out of business? Are there other operators?

I will be staying at the Amerian Park Hotel (Reconquista 699) -- is it far from there to the ferry terminal? i.o.w. expensive to take a taxi?

Is it too risky to do this side trip a day before returning flight to US?

Is there a reciprocity fee to be paid (as for example Argentina and Chile @ $160)? Is a Visa required?

Please, any information will be most appreciated--thank you

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,756
reviews: 17
1. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

Seacat ( low cost company from buquebus)

www.seacatcolonia.com

Colonia Express

www.coloniaexpress.com

See if this works for you

Baton Rouge...
posts: 362
reviews: 59
2. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

I booked my ticket via Seacat Colonia about a month before our Oct. 10 daytrip - price was appr. $42 USD. It was the Buquebus ferry at the Puerto Madero terminal.

You must carry your passport and go through customs/immigrations, but no visa, no entry fees on either side for Americans. The Argentine and Urugayan customs officers are side-by-side so you are processed for both countries before you even board the ferry.

Do note whether there is still a one hour time difference between the two countries. I don't know if both or either just had the time change, but Uruguay was an hour ahead in mid-Oct.

You should get to the Puerto Madero terminal 1 - 1 1/2 hours ahead of time, depending whether you are going on a weekday or weekend. I would have no problem going there on the day before my flight home.

Maple Valley...
posts: 75
reviews: 34
3. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

Thank you both for the information. I have now been able to bring up Buquebus and have checked out both, the seacat and the buquebus--surprisingly, the seacat is about 40% less than the buquebus for the same trip. On the other hand, buquebus offers a day excursion incl. lunch and a trip along the coat up to the bullring (where ever that is).

Questions:

1.) would it be a problem if I waited until the day before to purchase ticket -- I would be doing this on Sunday, December 9, 2012 -- lv. 8:45 and rt. around 5 pm. I would like to make sure that the weather is fine--would not want to do this in rough water.

2.) I am sure the hotel can order me a cab to get to the terminal. What about coming back? are there cabs waiting at the terminal? how can I make sure I do not get a "scammer"?

Thank you again for all info.

Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,611
reviews: 62
4. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

Hi,

A word of caution about the Buquebus excursion: they usually take you in the slow ferry for that one (3 hours each way). What can I say, 6 hours on board of a ferry in the same day, is not my idea of a day trip ... plus, for lunch they take you to Renata restaurant (owned by Buquebus), which isn't the best in Colonia either.

You could check the weather forecast a few days in advance (Accuweather is usually quite reliable), buy your tickets at least 2 days prior to departure (either Seacat or Buquebus, but a FAST ferry - 1 hour), and visit Colonia at your own pace.

It's an easy walk from the ferry terminal to the "casco histórico", and there are golf carts and mopeds for rent if you want to go farther away.

When get back to Buenos Aires, just walk away from the terminal to your right until the first avenue, and grab a taxi passing by. (Always best to choose one that has the "radio taxi" sign on the roof).

Enjoy Colonia, it's a wonderful change after hectic Buenos Aires!

Maple Valley...
posts: 75
reviews: 34
5. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

Thank you for very valuable info. I am a little old woman and a bit more cautious when I make travel plans than I used to be, thus all the questions :)

Buquebus also has a day excursion on a fast boat, but your recommendation to do it on my own, is more attractive. Elsewhere, I have red about some restaurant by the name Of "Drugstore" -- do you know about it?

I looked up both companies and they seem to be at the same addess--Buquebus a lot more expensive than Seacat -- is Seacat as safe and reliable?

Other question: would it be very far to walk back into the city (although in my seventies, I do walk well)? I assume, that this time of year, the days are long in B.A. (at what time is dusk?

Radio Cab sounds like a good option if it is not walkable. I am staying at the Amerian B.A. Park Hotel @ Reconquista 699

Baton Rouge...
posts: 362
reviews: 59
6. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

Although I purchased my ticket through Seacat, the ferry was actually the fast ferry run by Buquebus. I'm not sure that is always the case, but it was that morning.

I don't know if I'd want to walk back into the city from the ferry terminal, but I'm not familiar with your hotel. It was extremely busy when we got back in the evening.

Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,611
reviews: 62
7. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

Yes, Seacat is as safe and reliable than Buquebus, in my opinion.

I do know "El Drugstore". It's my favorite restaurant in Colonia. I highly recommend it. It's somewhat unusual (some call it "quirky"), but I feel it's part of its charm:

tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g298066-…

According to Google maps, it's less than a mile from the ferry terminal to your hotel.

The sun sets at about 8 pm in december, so you should still have some daylight until about 9, I presume? (Sorry - not too sure about that).

Maple Valley...
posts: 75
reviews: 34
8. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

thank you, i checked the reviews of El Drugstore -- i will go there for sure. do they take ARP or do i need to change money before getting there?

Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,611
reviews: 62
9. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

They take Uruguayan Pesos, ARP and US dollars, as most places in Colonia.

Maple Valley...
posts: 75
reviews: 34
10. Re: Colonia del Sacramento Day Trip

thank you, i think i am ready now to take the plunge. so greatful for all your input.