I had no reason to go to Montevideo, which is precisely why I decided to cross the Río de la Plata. It was one of these “eh, why not?” moments. Uruguay is right there, in front of Buenos Aires, and I like Montevideo. Why shouldn’t I go?
It took me a while, but I found a hotel. That was the hardest part. Montevideo is fairly small and old, it fills up quickly. Many Argentinians and Brazilians stop by on their way to the beach.
“Okay, if my credit card gets through and if I manage to buy the boat/bus ticket, I’m going,” I told myself. Sometimes, transactions made abroad are declined. This time, it went through.
“I guess I’m going, then,” I said, yawning because it was way past bedtime.
I booked the hotel and that was it. First destination, Montevideo.
Going to Montevideo from Buenos Aires is fairly simple. There are two main companies—Buquebus and Colonia Express, both leaving from opposite ends of Puerto Madero. You get your exit stamp from Argentina and your entry stamp from Uruguay at the boat terminal, then you board one of these giant ferries. It takes about 70 minutes to get to Colonia del Sacramento, the first Uruguayan town across Río de la Plata. Plenty of people stop there for the day—it’s picturesque and a popular day trip.
Once in Colonia, you just pick up your bag, go through customs and board one of the buses waiting to Montevideo. Enjoy the free Wi-Fi as you cruise through the Uruguayan countryside and three hours later, you’re at the Terminal Tres Cruces in Montevideo, the capital.
Oh yeah, Uruguay is a different country… And the fun starts—withdrawing money, figuring out the exchange rate and looking forward for another cultural experience!