Ferries, buses & border crossings

It proved difficult for us to book transport whilst in Buenos Aries being unable to book online with our bank card which turned out the locals weren’t able to do either due to government legislation regarding foreign purchases being relaxed. The sites were undergoing maintenance and also the bus booking office was unable to give us an international ticket. So we planned the route and had to book the bus to Brazil when we arrived at Montevideo. We had already booked our flight to Colombia 2 weeks before to lock in a decent price therefore our time frame was restricted. Luckily it all worked out well! We are writing this post to help out anyone planning a similar trip.

We traveled from Buenos Aires to Rio by 1 hour ferry 41 hours of buses and half an hour in taxis it’s a crazy long journey but we made it.

Ferry & crossing into Uruguay

We booked a ferry and bus in Buenos Aires to Montevideo with SeaCat Colonia, this cost A$550 Pesos each around £28. We arrived at the Buquebus terminal in Buenos Aires and checked in our backpacks then carried on upstairs to go through immigration. This was a very easy process as there was an Argentine immigration officer in the booth who stamped our passports out then we passed them straight to the Uruguayan officer who stamped us straight in to Uruguay. Next we boarded the ferry for out 1 hour trip to Colonia. We caught the bus from Colonia straight to Montevideo from the ferry/bus port which was included in our ticket price.


Booking the next part

When we arrived in Montevideo bus terminal we went straight to book our bus onward to Rio. The only tickets available were a day later than we had planned. We had to get a bus to Porto Alegre or São Paulo and couldn’t purchase the onward ticket to Rio from here. We checked out the bus prices from both places onto Rio and managed to save money by booking to Porto Alegre first. This bus cost U$2450 pesos each around £57. We found a company online called busbud who we could book our ongoing bus from Porto Alegre to rio for US$74 each this saved us around US$100 each compared to taking the bus to São Paulo.

Montevideo to Porto Alegre (crossing the Brasilian border)

We found the transport to be very expensive in South America compared to our other trips in Asia but on the bright side the benifits of these busses being so expensive is that they are actually quite comfortable. We had a fully reclining seat with a pillow and blanket. Dinner, breakfast, water and soft drinks were all included. Unfortunately there was no wifi on our bus but we’re told that there usually is on other busses.

When crossing the border to Brazil we didn’t even have to wake up or leave the bus as the driver had collected our passports when we entered the bus and dealt with immigration for us then returned our passports in the morning. It was definitely the easiest border we have crossed no passport control or security check just catching some sleep!!! this trip was scheduled to take 11 hours to reach Porto Alegre but it took 14 hours. luckily it didn’t bother us much as we would just have just had to sit around the bus station longer if the bus was on time as we had an 8 hour wait for the next bus.

Porto Alegre to Rio De Janerio

So in our now 5 hour wait we attempted to charge our devices and use wifi but we didn’t get very far with either as we had a poor connection and couldn’t find any available sockets. We had a bite to eat and waited until it was time to get on the next bus. Sadly we were spoiled a bit on the first bus as this one wasn’t as comfortable, had no pillow or blanket and didn’t include food. The bus stopped every 3 hours and changed drivers every 6 this did allow us to feel more at ease as we had thought that 1 or 2 drivers would possibly attempt to do the whole trip. This bus was scheduled to take 29 hours so we were a bit worried that it could take even longer. We got to see some beautiful Brazilian countryside on this trip as we had all day to look out the window. The best thing about this bus is that it didn’t take 29 hours in fact we made it in 24 so got an extra afternoon in Rio which was a massive bonus as our time was so limited here.


We finally made it….. check out what we got up to in 4 days of rainy Rio!

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