The Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2017
With 2017 now in full swing, it's make or break time for your New Year's resolutions. While the standard 'eat better, workout more' is probably somewhere on the list, 'travel more' is a strong contender. So where to go? Well, the wanderlust-ing team at Lonely Planet have released their top 10 list of prime places to see this year.
With a reputation for friendly locals and incredible scenery, it isn't a huge surprise that Canada is sitting at the top of the list. They have a new, likable leader, highly livable cities, great noshing and dining, not to mention their prolonged celebration marking 150 years since confederation. Things are looking pretty darn good for locals and visitors in 2017.
Image credit: Pedro Szekely
The violent past of Colombia has waned in favor of a vibrant, hospitable destination that welcomes visitors with open arms. It's even on the Pope's list of destinations to visit in 2017. The truly remarkable architecture, nature and culture will have your itinerary packed to the brim. Wander the streets, explore the mountains or experience the wild landscapes on the coast.
Finland is one of Europe's most intriguing countries and yet, for some reason, not many flock there when it comes time for a European adventure. With the country celebrating 100 years of independence this year, you'll be treated to a host of Finnish traditions and experience the nation's culture in the most authentic way possible. While learning about the impressive and outstanding history of Finland you can also be there for the opening of their 40th national park Hossa, where seeing a brown bear is often on the agenda. Of course, no trip to this nation is complete without a visit to their natural hot sauna – Helsinki's Loyly.
Image credit: Tushar Gupte
You will never forget the natural splendor of Dominica. Covered with prehistoric ferns and surrounded by the crystal waters of the Carribean Sea, this is the perfect destination for those who need some time out. This year will be the last time to experience Dominica before its first large scale chain resorts will be built. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in this beautiful corner of the Earth before a new era of tourism arrives.
Pashupatinath, Kathmandu, Nepal
Unfortunately, a lot of travellers wiped Nepal off their bucket list (for now) after the 2015 earthquakes. However, trekking this incredible land leads to a discovery of prevalence and determination from the nation's people. While some things have changed, the one thing that hasn't is the unwavering spirit of the locals. If you enjoy trekking, you'll be pleased to know that many trails remain undamaged giving you plenty to explore.
Image credit: Kansasphoto
At number 6, we have a string of islands located in the turquoise waters off the coast of North Carolina. As a British territory, Bermuda is reminiscent of rural England with a diverse mix of North American, African, Portuguese and West Indian influences. This June, Bermuda will be home of America's Cup, where the best sailors will battle for the oldest international sports trophy.
Image Credit: Martin Vmoriss
Exciting times are coming for Mongolia. This year it will unveil a new capital-city airport. Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is also sitting pretty with massive developments such as the US$500-million Shangri-La complex. Beyond this impressively modernised city lies a beautiful countryside. While you're there, it's worth basking in the glory of Lake Khövsgöl, known as the Blue Pearl of Asia.
Image credit: Dan
With a rich heritage, this ancient country boasts traditional charm, luxury accommodation and natural beauty that ranges from lush mountains to wind-blown deserts and a pristine coastline. Amidst the burst of construction, a US$120-million futuristic theme park, called the Majarat Oman, will debut in 2017.
Old Bagan, Myanmar
This secretive country is set to see an influx of travellers over the coming year. With the election of the first civilian government in half a century comes the dawn of a more democratic era. Myanmar offers a window into a vanishing Asia, where ancient traditions and values are alive and well. Travelling to Myanmar still has its challenges, so make sure you research before you go to avoid unexpected issues.
Image credit: Rod Waddington
Say hello to the land of 13 months of sunshine (yes, they have their own calendar). This exotic country has an array of adventures ready and waiting for you. From trekking through the Simien Mountains, to climbing a church in a remote cliff face in Tigray, or visiting the bubbling volcanoes of the Danakil Depression (for the serious adventurers), this is a trip you'll never forget.
What exciting adventures will 2017 hold for you? Whether you choose a destination from the top ten list or find your own way, get out there and explore the incredible world we live in.