Home » Travel » Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay – How to Do the Best Day Trip From Buenos Aires

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay – How to Do the Best Day Trip From Buenos Aires

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

For anyone planning a trip to Buenos Aires, I can’t recommend a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento enough! It’s very easy to get to (only an hour ferry ride away). And the Barrio Histórico (historic quarter) section of Colonia del Sacramento is a designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is SO beautiful and relaxing. You can even rent golf carts and sand buggies to scoot around the city with. It’s a really laid back place to visit.

For this post, I’ll break down how exactly to get to Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires, a few points of interest and what I would do differently if I could go back. Enjoy!

Getting Your Ferry Tickets

Colonia del Sacremento

Taking a ferry from Buenos Aires is the best way to get to Colonia. However, getting ferry tickets is a really frustrating experience if you’re trying to book in advance online. We visited Colonia del Sacramento on an Argentine holiday and tickets were selling out fast. So, I made sure to book my tickets before we left for our trip. Generally, though, it would not be necessary to book in advance online. You could buy tickets at any of the ferry offices in Buenos Aires.

The 3 Ferry Companies

1.) Seacat Colonia
2.) Colonia Express
3.) Buquebus

All of those websites are absolutely terrible. You’re seriously going to want to smash your computer by the time you’re done trying to buy these ferry tickets! Buguebus was probably the least terrible website, but they were sold out of tickets for the times I wanted. So, the winner ended up being Seacat Colonia for me. (I could not get Colonia Express to work to save my life.) Seacat Colonia’s website is entirely in Spanish, though – FYI. And it also took me 3 tries of entering in all of my information before the website accepted it. Patience is key when getting your ferry tickets!

For 2 roundtrip ferry tickets, I paid $2,420 pesos (October 2017). This came out to roughly $135 USD at the time.

*Another option, if buying your tickets through some frustrating websites does not sound appealing, is to book a private tour. They’ll pick you up from your hotel, take care of your ferry tickets for you and give you a private tour of the city. Click here for more info on the tour. (As of July 2020, this option is actually more affordable too!)

What Do in Colonia del Sacramento

The historical section of the city was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century and is within walking distance of the ferry terminal. It has cobblestone streets and Portuguese-style houses that are super cute. (We didn’t leave the historical section for the entire day we were here.)

*Portón de Campo – the City Gate and wooden drawbridge

Portón de Campo – the City Gate and wooden drawbridge

*Lighthouse and convent ruins of the 17th-century Convent of San Francisco

Lighthouse and convent ruins of the 17th century Convent of San Francisco

*Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento – the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, built of stone by the Portuguese in 1808

*Portuguese Museum

*Museo Municipal Dr. Bautista Rebuffo (Outside pictured, below)

*Check out the Old Cars – you’ll see them throughout the city. Some are still in use, and some are parked with fun little displays inside. One car had a fish driving it (outside the aquarium), and my favorite had plants growing out of it.

Colonia del Sacramento old car with flowers growing out of it
My favorite car – was really difficult to get a pic of without anyone in the photo!

Colonia del Sacremento old car with flowers growing out of it

Fish driving a car in Colonia del Sacremento
See the fish? Haha.

*The Main Square – Plaza Mayor

The Main Square

The Restaurants, Bars & Cafes

The best part of Colonia del Sacramento, though, is the incredible amount of quaint restaurants, bars and cafes it has. And nearly all of them have beautiful outdoor dining too. I was seriously in heaven and tried to eat and drink at as many of them as I could, haha. My biggest recommendation would be to just try as many restaurants, bars and cafes as you can…stop at whichever one has the most appealing atmosphere to you and you won’t be disappointed.

Colonia del Sacremento restaurant

Colonia del Sacremento restaurant

What I Would Do Differently If We Went Back

1.) I would spend the night – or heck the whole weekend. Colonia del Sacramento is so relaxing and beautiful, and it also has some spectacular sunsets…which we, unfortunately, had to watch from the ferry terminal. (And this hotel even has a nice relaxing swimming area.)

2.) My husband has made it very clear that he would rent a golf cart. Haha. I wanted to walk, but the thing to do is to rent an interesting mode of transportation to get around the city. So, if we go back, that’s high on the priority list.

3.) Eat at more restaurants, cafes and bars! Haha. I feel as though I could’ve maximized my restaurants, cafe and bar time even better.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to at least set aside one day to enjoy Colonia del Sacramento if you’re in Buenos Aires! And if not, please enjoy the photos below (feel free to click on them to make them full-sized and to read any captions).

Had you heard of Colonia del Sacramento before this post? And would you be interested in visiting it? Let me know in the comments!

*If you like this post, it is now available as a self-guided walking tour via GPSmyCITY. Click here to download it.

Travel Insurance

It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen! Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this service (check with yours), or you can get a quote from companies such as Squaremouth to find the best plan for you and your adventure. (This is the company I, personally, use. They are even recommended by Forbes!) To get a free quote, click here.

Want to Learn Spanish Before Your Trip?

Knowing some basics in Spanish can be helpful for your time in Argentina. Try a free 3 day trial of Rosetta Stone (the best way to learn a foreign language) by clicking here.

Colonia del Sacramento

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Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay – The Perfect Day Trip From Buenos Aires
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay – The Perfect Day Trip From Buenos Aires

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay - How to Do the Best Day Trip From Buenos Aires

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  1. AmberLynn says:

    Beautiful scenery, rich history/museums, frustrating ticketing experience… sounds like a fun adventure to me (LOL).

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Haha! For sure!

  2. Sounds like a great trip! I loved all of your photos, looks like a very colorful and beautiful place to visit.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw, thank you, Olivia!

  3. Such a beautiful places and cool trip! South America is my dream and these pictures are stunning:)


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you! I hope you make it here one day soon. 🙂

  4. Life Of A Med School Wife says:

    What a charming little place! I want to visit here now.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That’s awesome! I hope you make it here one day. 🙂

  5. Very nice place. Is it cold right now?

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Nope! It’s very hot. We’re heading into summer down here. 🙂

  6. I love the vintage cars here! This looks like such a pretty place! Thank you for sharing xoxo

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That was my favorite too! They were so cool to see. And thank you for stopping by!

  7. Sincerely, Alice says:

    These photos seem so vintage! Beautiful destination

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It’s so beautiful! And the whole area has such a wonderful vintage vibe to it. I loved it. 🙂

  8. Ally Fortis says:

    Useful information and great pictured. Glad you enjoyed your trip 🙂

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:


  9. It’s absolutely fantastic, dear Lindsey, and I can’t beat me enough 🙂 because I didn’t meet you there. But another time, I am sure! It’s really marvellous. One of my pictures on the Trips page was taken there 🙂 You’ll recognize it 🙂 Anyway, I am very glad that you saw this amazing place and relaxed – the pictures are amazing! By the way, I just saw your post on the 15th, and happy belated birthday! I hope you have a great astrological year and a beautiful Christmas by the end of the week 🙂 Many hugs!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw, thank you, Denise! And yes, we will certainly meet up one of these days. 🙂 And thank you for the birthday wishes – I had a really lovely day!

  10. What a quaint place to visit, Lindsey. Although after reading your ferry ticket stories, I think I’d opt for the tour!! LOL!!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Haha! It is quite the experience! But, if you’re not going on a holiday weekend, you can just buy your tickets in person at one of the stores…much easier lol.

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