Trip to Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires

The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
47 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
South America
Argentina / Uruguay
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 100
Time of year visited
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
311th/372 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Bottom 20% SUMMARY RATING: Ok if passing through


Only a roughly 2 hour ferry ride from Buenos Aires, the UNESCO world heritage town of Colonia del Sacramento is worth taking the day trip to explore. Its quite touristy in places, but its quite easy to get away from the crowds and wander through the narrow cobbled streets of Barrio Historico whilst also looking out over the Rio de la Plata that surrounds the peninsular.  Check it out if have a free day


#1 Checking out the Uruguayan Chivito!

#2 Walk back from the bull ring along the waterfront to the old town on a sunny day

#3 Wandering around the old colonial streets and imagining what it must have been like back when it was part of a key smuggling route

Travel Tips

  • Ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento – you’ll want to go with one of the two main ferry companies – either Buquebus or Colonia Express Ferries. Pretty similar from what we saw in terms of price, although Buqebus seemed to have more departures. Buquebus departs from Puerto Madero, Colonia Express Ferries from Terminal Internacional de Cruceros on Ave Inmigrantes. Make sure you get to the terminal 30mins before departure as you’ll need to clear customs.  Ferry time is around 1 hour 30mins
  • There are quite a few restaurants in town, but many are quite touristy and offer only fairly basic food. Although on the plus side you can get your fill of the Uruguayan Chivito! (super tasty steak sandwich) We tried a few places, but none that really stood out. One place which we did like was La Pergola by the waterfront on the western tip which was a nice place on a sunny day to watch the crowds go by and hear the waves hitting
  • The Old Bull Ring (Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos) is around a 10min cab ride outside of town. While the bull ring itself is not really much to write home about (and you can’t get in!), the hour long walk back along the beach on a sunny day is quite nice

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone