My wife is from MVD and I have spent a fair amount of time there myself. Unfortunately, you'll be there during a kind of a crappy time of year. Most of the touristy stuff (primarily beach towns) will be really quiet (too quiet; a lot of stuff won't be open). You will have missed Carnaval, which is too bad. Anyway, along the Rio de la Plata, you can make the trip to Colonia...this will be really cheap during the off-season ($35-50 for a decent hotel room). Along the Atlantic coast, you might check out some of the sites (Punta Negra, Punta Ballena... Punta del Este will be really quiet, but cheap in the off-season). Jose Ignacio is really beautiful, and I've heard the same about Cabo Polonio, although you might not be able to get to the latter very easily in the off season. If it's your thing, you could probably arrange to go to one of many Estancia-type resorts (think B&B on a ranch setting). In Montevideo, I would definitely hit up Mercado del Puerto with some friends...have some medio y medio with a traditional asado. The Museo de Torres-Garcia is small, but worth checking out. You see Torres-Garcia inspired art/design EVERYWHERE in Uruguay....they're super proud of him. I would also hit up Manos del Uruguay...it's a store (multiple locations) that sells a lot of good-quality Uruguayan artisan stuff (leather goods like wallets, belts; hand spun, hand knit wool scarves, sweaters). Just remember that a lot of buildings don't have central heat. The winter is cool and somewhat rainy, but temps don't often go below freezing. You will want to bring (or buy there) a couple of thick wool sweaters. 45 degrees F might not sound that cold, but you feel it more when you come inside your home, and it's essentially the same temperature as outside.