So you’re looking at great winter holiday destinations, and figure you might as well hit Buenos Aires or Uruguay and enjoy the summer of the Southern hemisphere. Here’s the best kept secret to travel from Buenos Aires to Montevideo that does not show up on travel websites: Buquebus
Buquebus has a fleet of ships that commute between Buenos Aires and Montevideo. If you take the direct one (some stop in Colonia) into Montevideo, your travel time will be the same as if you were taking a flight. The boat ride is 3 hours long, but you have no check in time (you can get there literally 10 minutes before departure) and it takes you directly into Montevideo rather than the airport that is a good 30 minutes away. To this, add the fact that luggage pickup is much faster and you’ll be at your final destination in no time.
As far as comfort goes, I pick Buquebus over any airplane any day. No need to put your luggage in an overhead bin. If it’s really big, they actually have a luggage compartment for your convenience. The chairs on the Buques are huge! They are far more comfortable than your aiplane seat, and the legroom is spectacular. You do have to pay for your own food and beverages, but the flights that go from Baires to Montevideo are mainly operated by Pluna, and the food on those flights isn’t free either.
If we look at your budget, then the choice is obvious. Montevideo flights take off from Aeroparque, so cab fares to the departure points are going to be similar from Buquebus departures that are in Puerto Madero. Pluna’s flights are usually US$125 between Baires and Montevideo vs. Buquebus‘ US$85 average (on the website, the prices are in Argentine Pesos). Pluna also charges US$25 per luggage for the first 20Kg, and in case you’re wondering about fitting everything in your carry-on, their carry-on space is just too small for even a tiny suitcase. Small backpacks and messenger bags only. The Pluna flight will really run you around US$150 if you have luggage. At the port of arrival, Buquebus is in the city, and taxis are very cheap, so a worst case scenario is looking at US$8 to your hotel. By comparison, only official taxis can take you from MVD airport, and they charge/extort US$55 per cab ride into the city.
You’ll save US$100 when using Buquebus for your commute and enjoy far greater comfort. What has your experience been?