When visiting Buenos Aires, Montevideo is a great city to visit and spend a couple of days in. Because it is so close to Buenos Aires, there are several options for making a stop in another South American country. In fact, Montevideo (MVD) is only 126 miles away from Buenos Aires (BA).
Kyle and I spent a week in MVD to kick off their carnival celebration and I’m so happy we didn’t miss the charm of MVD. While Uruguay is often overshadowed by its neighbors, Argentina and Brazil, it has a lot to offer.
So, now that I’ve convinced you to visit, let see how to get there. There are three main ways to get to Montevideo from Buenos Aires. I’ve broken down the fastest, easiest, and cheapest options. If you want to skip ahead, I actually recommend the cheapest option. We went with the cheapest option and it was stressfree and easy although it takes the longest.
1. The fastest way is to fly between the two cities.
Both being capital cities, flights are often and easy to find. The total flight time is 45 minutes. However, this is also the most expensive option. Last-minute flights to MVD can easily cost over $500. When you factor in time before and after at the airport, it’s barely the fastest option. I always recommend being at the airport at least 3 hours before an international flight especially if there is a language barrier. Based on the cost and time needed anyway, flying isn’t really the best option for your time or money.
2. The easiest option is to take a direct ferry from Buenos Aires.
The total travel time is about 2.5 hours. Last-minute tickets one-way cost about $120 USD. The 3 companies that make the journey are Buquebus, Seacat (owned by Buequebus), and Colonia Express. Keep in mind that because this is an international ferry, it is recommended to arrive at least 3 hours before departure. Therefore, expect to spend the same amount of time on the direct ferry as a flight.
3. The cheapest option and the option we chose is to take a ferry to Colonia, Uruguay then a bus to Montevideo.
The total travel time is about 4.5 hours with 1.5 hours on the ferry and 2 hours on the bus. In my opinion for the price is the best option. Last-minute tickets cost about $50 USD one-way. We chose to do our trip with Buquebus because it is the largest of the companies and was easy to find the most information. While the ferry time is pre-scheduled, busses leave every 15 minutes so it is easy to catch the bus from Colonia. We had zero issues and it was very easy to navigate the entire process. Added Bonus: Checking a bag is free on the bus and the ferry but the ferry has plenty of space to store luggage on board.
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