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Travel between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Punta del Este

Sacramento...
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Travel between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Punta del Este

Actually, I have lots of questions. We (two couples) are planning to spend a week in BA in March, 2008, and will be renting an apt. there. We had planned to spend a second week in Punta del Este, but are finding the weekly rates much higher than in BA, so thought maybe we should spend the week in Montevideo and then make day trips to P del E and other towns. Now I'm finding it difficult to find weekly rentals in Mont., but did see some interesting ones in Colonial. I don't know if Colonial has enough interest for a week. So now, I'm not sure where to stay for the second week. What does anyone recommend about this? We will not have a car in BA, but I guess we should rent one for the second week regardless of where our base is, so that we can see the environs. Any recommendations on this? Thanks for help.

Punta del Este...
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1. Re: Travel between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Punta del Este

Colonia (no "l") is two hours west of Montevideo, and Punta del Este is almost two hours east of Montevideo (driving time). If you stay in Colonia, you can make a long day trip to Montevideo (4 hours round trip), but not to Punta del Este. If you stay in Montevideo, you can make a long day trip to either Colonia or Punta del Este (more or less four hours round trip to either one). Finally, if you stay in Punta del este, you can make a long day trip to Montevideo, but not to Colonia.

Colonia does not have enough for a week unless you are golfers. There's a Sheraton with a golf course and you could also drive to Carmelo, where there's a Four Seasons with a golf course. Other than golf, Colonia, both the old town and the more modern parts along the river, are worth about a day.

After Buenos Aires, you would find Montevideo a bit of a downer, as it's a much smaller, and on the whole shabbier, version of BA. The one thing Montevideo has that BA doesn't is a spectacular city waterfront. The city sits right on the Rio de la Plata (which is like the ocean, i.e., hundreds of miles wide at that point), and there are miles and miles of beautiful warterfront neighborhoods and beaches. While BA is also on the river, it has no real waterfront becuas the city is cut off by railroads, ports, an airport and such from the river.

I strongly recommend you find a way to stay in Punta del Este. It is more expensive in every respect than either BA or Montevideo, but it offers a lot. For example, 40 miles of varied coastline with beach after beach, great seafood, etc. At that time of year, you should be able to find an apartment for a reasonable price; March is already off-season, and the apartment owners should be willing to bargain. Even though it's off-season, the weather is usually great. We just made our annual relocation from Punta to BA for the winter last Thursday, and it was 80 degrees in Punta. Another option would be to split your time between Montevideo and Punta, staying in hotels instead of apartments. The hotel rates in Punta in March should be very, very low, relative to the in-season rates. Hotels in Montevideo are cheap.

Wherever you stay in Uruguay, you will need a car. In Punta, you can easily drive 50 miles round trip for lunch. As I said, the area is very spread out -- there's a lot to it. Car rentals in March are dirt cheap, maybe $30-40/day at most. (When we left, there were rental cars parked alongside the beachfront o the peninsula of Punta del Este proper, with signs offering them for $40/day.) You are correct not to rent a car in BA -- completely unnecessary and useless, in fact a hindrance.

Sacramento...
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2. Re: Travel between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Punta del Este

Thank you, PuntaLugano, for your valuable information. And will definitely keep our original thought of spending the second week in Punta del Este and take day trips from there. Thanks again!

Seattle, USA
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3. Re: Travel between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Punta del Este

I have a somewhat different perspective about Punta del Este and it might be because I am from the West Coast of the US. We went to Punta in April (OK that is the off season and eerything is really DEAD) but we found the beaches mediocre at best with quite muddy water and not appealing sand. If you are from California you might be a little disappointed. We kept heading East from Punta to Jose Ignacio and further beyond in search of a appealing areas but came up short, eventually opting to go more inland and back West to Carmelo area and Montevideo which we found much nicer. Punta also has a "time share" feel to it with high rises all alonf the beach areas. It might bbe for some folks but we found it a little more like the Jersey shore. Carmelo on the other hand and more rural areas felt like rural California in the 1950's --- slow, pastoral and beautiful -- and we loved it.

4. Re: Travel between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Punta del Este

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