Tucked between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is renowned for its luscious and dense interior with a rugged beach-lined coast. This pint-sized nation is replete with colonial homes and art deco buildings. Uruguay offers subtle and subdued natural as well as historical wonders that are well worth the visit.
Kick-start the trip by visiting its dynamic capital - Montevideo. Head over to La Rambla - ideal locality to bask in the sunshine; beach-a-holics can lounge around in the pristine white-sand beaches; stroll around in the striking promenade that runs about 20km (12.5 miles) of the city's coastline. Some of the attractions worth visiting are: Plaza Independencia - Montevideo's main square, Casa Darnaud - home of the Russian Embassy and Port Market - local crafts, food stalls and several restaurants. Do attend the exuberant, vivacious, vibrant and coloruful Afro-Uruguyan Carnival, if visiting the city during February.
Take a trip to northwest of Uruguay for it is home to one of the globe's most significant underground aquifers, generating warm medicinal springs. Near the town of Salto are some incredible spas where one can indulge themselves. Renowned to be one of South America's most exclusive resorts, laze around on the sun-drenched sandy beaches at Punta del Este. One can easily spend the day partaking in parasailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, sport fishing and so on. When the sun has disappear and nightfall has set in, don on your party hat and rub shoulders with the rich and famous at Punta's trendy nightclubs.
Uruguay is known for some delicious swiss cheese. How so, you may ask? Well, the 19th-century Swiss settlement of Nueva Helvecia, west of the capital is known to produce fine diary products. The town is also home to Swiss-style hotels and restuarants. One can pay a visit to one of the most famous works of Carlos Paez Vilaro, one of the country's leading abstract artists, by stopping over at the opulent, whimsical and eccentric art studio, Casapueblo. This nine-story whitewashed 'livable sculpture' is perched on the cliffs of Punta Ballena, near Punta del Este.
Colonia del Sacramento is another historic treasure that ought to be visited. Housed on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, opposite Buenos Aires, this beautiful city is brimming with cobbled streets, leafy plazas and 18th-century Portuguese architecture. Do cap off the day by watching the sunset over the Rio de la Plata.
When it comes to shopping, Montevideo, Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramenta are the best locations to get your dose of retail therapy. Be on the lookout for items such as leather goods, suede jackets, woollens and amethyst jewellery. As for cuisine, do indulge in local fare such as Bife de chorizo (A sirloin steak) and Asado de tira (Short ribs, and other barbecued meats, predominantly beef and lamb, including offal).
The stay options in Uruguay are abundant with the best luxury hotels, rental apartments and cheap accommodations available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
Uruguay experiences fine temperate climate. The best time to visit would be the months of December and March for the temperatures are pleasant and comfortable during these two months.