10 Amazing Countries You Need to Visit in 2017
Travel is amazing, but it can also be hard to find a place that’s between “too touristy” and “too diamond in the rough.” Plus there’s picking a cool, budget-friendly hotel, the splurges you’re willing to pay for once you get there and whatever else your travel goals might be. Since most of us don’t have the luxury of being a travel blogger (at least not yet), how do you narrow down the choices?
Instead of trying to figure that out, we’ll leave it to the experts at Lonely Planet, who put out an annual Best in Travel list of the top 10 countries, regions, cities and more to visit in the coming year. You can get the full details by buying the book, Best in Travel (from $11), to read up more on these and more destinations.
1. Canada: You might know it as the home of Drake, but Canada is an enormous country with tons of diversity in not only landscape but in people. This year, our neighbors to the north will turn 150 years old — and are offering their national parks up for free admission. You might want to brush up on Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax, to Quebec City to Toronto, just in case you’re still reeling from the election results. (Photo via Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet)
2. Colombia: Cartegena, Bogata and Medellin (yes, that place from Narcos!) have all become total hotspots in a country that formerly was dominated by drug cartels and a civil war. Visit the beautiful and colorful cities that have quite a bit of European influence, and then head to the islands for some sun and fun. Check out the jungle too, and if you’re Catholic, you should look into the Pope’s visit there in 2017. (Photo via DC_Colombia/Getty)
3. Finland: Happy birthday, Finland! This Scandinavian country turns 100 in 2017. Depending on your travel style, you can look into fjord viewing in the summer and the Northern Lights in winter, and totally bask in the stark yet beautiful landscapes that surround you in this way northern country. They’re also the host of the Nordic World Ski Championships and the World Figure Skating Championships next year, so if that’s your thing, plan accordingly. (Photo via canadastock/Shutterstock)
4. Dominica: If you’re looking for a little bit of the Caribbean that’s undiscovered and underdeveloped, then head to Dominica, which Lonely Planet jokes is the only island Christopher Columbus would still recognize if he landed there today. The large-scale resorts aren’t coming until 2018, so go now, while you can still see the island as the pristine nature reserve it is. (Photo via gydyt0jas/Getty)
5. Nepal: Nepal is on the road to recovery after the devastating earthquakes last year, and the best way to support the country’s rebuilding efforts is by going to visit. The hiking trails are still intact, meaning you can play out your extreme adventure dreams on the other side of the world, and many landmarks are still preserved. Go now and help the country get back on its feet. (Photo via Jacek Kadaj/Getty)
6. Bermuda: You might have heard Bermuda is preppy, expensive and exclusive — but it’s so much more than that, and most of the world will figure that out in June of 2017 when America’s Cup (a really amazing yachting race) comes to the island. BTW, the island isn’t in the Caribbean — it’s in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s only about two hours from Atlanta, Washington DC, New York and most places on the East Coast. Plus, since it’s so removed, it’s Zika-free. Book now, before the island fills up! (Photo via Russ Hamilton/Shutterstock)
7. Mongolia: Mongolia has so much of the old Eastern world left in it, but it’s also modernizing. It’ll get a brand-new capital city airport in 2017, and the city is experiencing a huge skyscraper and commerce boom in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, where an enormous (and aptly titled) Shangri-La mixed-use compound will be. If you’re looking for something way off the beaten path — like beyond China off the beaten path — consider Mongolia. (Photo via GML /Getty)
8. Oman: While the rest of the Middle East has been shaky, Oman has been relatively stable. The number of flights coming in and out of the country has increased, and glitzy new luxury hotels are going up left and right to accommodate the wealthy visitors. There’s even a futuristic family theme park called Majarat coming in 2017. (Photo via Ahmed Al-Shukaili/Getty)
9. Myanmar: You might know this country as Burma and only that it’s in Southeast Asia. That’s because the country has been pretty secretive and closed off to the rest of the world for quite some time, but it’s slowly opening itself up. Culturally rich and full of ancient traditions, the country also has incredible Buddhist shrines that will impress even the most worldly of travelers. (Photo via lkunl/Getty)
10. Ethiopia: If you’ve decided that an Africa trip is in your future, look to Ethiopia. While Kenya and South Africa have been popular destinations in the past, Ethiopia is in a class of its own (and not just because they operate on a completely different calendar that has 13 months). There’s coffee, the Simien Mountains, unique cuisine, nature, mystery and more waiting for you. (Photo via Philip Lee Harvey/Lonely Planet)
For more travel inspiration, head to Pinterest!
Reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017, © 2016 Lonely Planet