Uruguay was a spontaneous trip that we decided to do last-minute. Being so close to Buenos Aires, we couldn’t resist a visit for at least the weekend. There are different ways to get to Montevideo over land: from the most expensive direct ferry, to the longest and cheapest bus routes. We opted to meet in the middle. Our journey started on Saturday taking the 9:30 am ferry from Buenos Aires. After 3 hours of a comfortable ride on the La Plata river we arrived at Colonia, Uruguay.
Colonia del Sacramento is a small cute town near the Plata river. Its narrow cobble stoned streets are full of trees and old colonial houses. One thing we noticed immediately was the easy pace of living compared to Buenos Aires. We walked through the Barrio Historico (historical quarter) and stopped for lunch at one of the many restaurants at the bay. After a couple of hours we jumped on a bus to Montevideo.
3 hours later we found ourselves in the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. We got there just in time for a beautiful sunset and dinner. The next couple of days we explored different areas of Montevideo, especially “Las Ramblas“, the beach board walk. We rented bikes and cruised the streets trying to get to know a bit of the town.
A unique characteristic that most Uruguayans share is drinking mate everywhere (in the park, on the beach, walking in the street, at the hostel, in the stores, literally everywhere). Mate is a sort of tea made with dried herbs steeped in hot water. Everyone walks around carrying their mate cup, which looks like a gourd with a straw, and a thermos of hot water tucked under their armpit to refill.
My usual perception of street and bus performers are people with strong needs for money. In Montevideo I was very surprised to see lots of street singers and performers that, from their appearance, seemed to be average people doing it just for fun. And they were really good!
We took an overnight bus on Monday to our next destination: Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. Pictures of the amazing Iguazu Falls to come!