03 hours 20 minutes
historical museums, vintage antiques, beaches
USD $ 20
Maximum comfort or class
6 departures daily
Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.
Bus from Montevideo to Colonia
If you’ve just arrived in Montevideo by plane or even more fun on a ferry from Buenos Aires, you may be wondering what next and in which direction. There are lots of choices going north or east, but if the romance of cobblestone streets and lazy walks on the beach in a tranquil setting catches your imagination, then by all means head west to Colonia del Sacramento, or what everyone just calls Colonia for short.
Colonia sits just across the broad river La Plata (so wide it seems like a sea) from Buenos Aires and carries within it all the oldest traditions of Uruguay. It is so charming that UNESCO has awarded it the status of a world heritage site. In fact, there are two colonial footprints that each left their own architectural traditions, the Portuguese sector which is the oldest, and then the Spanish sector.
Getting to Colonia by bus from Montevideo is both fast and cheap, so we’ll start by filling you in on the details of the bus trip, and then give you a list of top attractions to make your visit full of good memories.
How are the buses on the trip from Montevideo to Colonia?
One thing you’ll notice unique about Uruguay is that they afford a good standard of living but do not like to show it off. This can be easily observed in their buses, which are sturdy and sound, but modest compared to their lavish counterparts in Argentina and Brazil. It makes sense, actually, because Uruguay is a small country, which means there aren’t any long distances that require buses to be built like cruise ships. So, expect good service but don’t expect royal coaches.
Aboard the bus, you will get clean cloth-covered, and amply padded seats that are semi-recline, large picture windows that are tinted, ample storage shelves above your seat as well as a cargo bin below deck for large suitcases. Air-conditioning and wi-fi are usually available, as well as an on-board toilet. Truthfully, the journey is short enough that you won’t have much time to notice the bus, but going back and forth you’ll appreciate the consistency, which is very important in travel.
How long is the bus ride from Montevideo to Colonia?
The no-nonsense ride from Montevideo to Colonia follows an entirely flat and paved highway through the plains and farmland in the rich Rio La Plata delta. Most bus trips, therefore, take 3 hours and 20 minutes and only may take longer if there’s some road construction or they have to tail a farm tractor using the highway to go from one field to the other. In fact, if traffic is especially light, you could be in Colonia in less than 3 hours.
What are the bus schedules from Montevideo to Colonia?
There are a steady six departures daily from Montevideo to Colonia, at least those you can reserve in advance. During some seasons there are even more, but never less than six. They range from early morning at 6:50 a.m. to 21:30 (9:30 p.m.), with departures evenly spaced throughout the day to give travelers coming and going at any time a convenient departure. We do not recommend traveling past 18:30 as you will be arriving in Colonia when it has pretty much gone to sleep, and you might have a difficult time transferring to your lodging. To see what the current schedules are, simply click the Reserve Now button above and choose the departure that best fits your plans.
Remember what we said about consistency? Returning to Montevideo from Colonia is just as easy and offers the same range of departure times for the same price.
What is the cost of traveling by bus from Montevideo to Colonia?
The bus fare is $20 flat if you order online. Since both Montevideo and Colonia are harbor cities, there is also a ferry that goes in between them along the river, but it is more expensive in the $80 range and we think the ferry is the better option to go to Buenos Aires. The bus is not only cheaper but lets you relax for a few hours and appreciate the Uruguayan landscape and the rural traditions and customs.