We visited Uruguay while in Buenos Aires, and bought the boat tickets online. It was a bit confusing as we knew there were two boats – one which takes an hour and one which takes three hours – but the timetable and prices didn’t seem to correspond. Our Spanish was only almost good enough. Managed it eventually. We paid the equivalent of £75 each for day return tickets.

Walked to the boat terminal through a freezing cold city. I wish I’d packed my big coat. We went through passport control and immigration, then sat in a large waiting room for an hour. I now have extra stamps in my passport. At one window the Argentinian official gave the exit stamp, then you shuffle along to the next window, where an Uruguayan official gives you an entry stamp. Kinda cool.


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There was an old church, with white-washed stone walls, icons and echoes. Outside was a square with ruins, noisy birds in the palm trees, sunshine and the ever constant sound of waves lapping. Everywhere smells of wood charcoal.

We ate lunch in a little Bistro facing the water. There were signs up saying you should book ahead, I think it gets very busy here at weekends and in the summer. It was very clean and the food was nice:

Charco, Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. (info@charcohotel.com)

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