Uruguay, though a small country, has a lot to offer. The city of Punta del Este is a popular stopping point for luxury cruise lines and has a tendency to fill up in the summer months. The city accommodates foreigners from all over and provides shopping experiences at very reasonable prices. What was once just sand dunes has turned into a highlight in a variety of ways.
The beaches in Uruguay are also worth taking advantage of, especially in the right season. Winters can get pretty cold. To balance things out, Uruguay is also a producer of fine wines and has some of the best meats one can find, all at very reasonable prices. While there, you should also try the traditional drink called Yerba Mate, which is similar to a strong tea, drunk from a gourd. In addition, the water is said to be safe to drink in all of the major cities.
Montevideo is the country's capital and also the location of several historical sites, which include the Uruguayan parliament building, the Plaza de Independencia and the old town (Ciudad Vieja), just to name a few.
Uruguay is a relatively safe country and interestingly enough, hitchhiking is still a common and viable way to get around. Roads are kept in excellent conditions as well. Bridges and ferries will take you across the rivers to the neighboring countries of Brazil and Argentina, which may be worth a visit if you are in the area. Buenos Aires is just a little over an hour ferry ride from Colonia, which is a colonial town registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.