Every year, Lonely Planet releases its list of best countries, regions and cities to visit in the following year. Keeping with the tradition, Lonely Planet has just released its list of ten best countries to visit in 2017. Ready for a ride? We start with:

10. Ethiopia


The landlocked country in Africa has its own calendar, language, cuisine, coffee and church. Take a trek through the Simien Mountains or pay your respects at the church carved into a cliff face in Tigray, Ethiopia is everything you can expect of it and more. 2017 will see a lot more airline connections to the country so if you’re still wondering where to visit in 2017, Ethiopia could well be it.

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9. Myanmar


Myanmar or Burma may not be the easiest country to travel in — its political problems are far from over — but with the first civilian government being elected into power for the first time in 50 years, Myanmar is at least moving in the right direction. With the new government, the country is bound to welcome a lot more visitors than ever before in 2017. Will you be one of them?

8. Oman


Perhaps the least explored of the Middle Eastern countries, Oman is slowly but surely making its presence felt on the tourism map of the world. The Sultanate of Oman has invested considerable money in promoting tourism within the country and the investement seems to be paying off. People are now talking about Oman’s luxury properties and futuristic theme parks that are all set to open in the coming year. Will you be part of the new Oman?

7. Mongolia


The country made famous thanks to the Netflix show, Marco Polo (even though it wasn’t filmed in the country) is now banking on its new capital city airport to attract more tourists to the land of Kublai Khan. Indeed, while Ulaanbaatar has benefitted the most because of the country’s economic boom, Mongolia as a whole remains a fascinating country to visit. It helps that that at the heart of this rapid development is the $500-million Shangri-La complex featuring a 290-room hotel, an HRC and an IMAX cinema.

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6. Bermuda


Often mistaken for a Caribbean island this British territory is just a little over 1,000 km off the coast of North Carolina. What makes Bermuda so popular is its accessibility from most east-coast cities. Add to that a dash of British culture minus the depressing weather and you can understand the allure of Bermuda.

5. Nepal


The 2015 earthquake may have crippled Nepal but that hasn’t killed the spirit of the country. Sure, some of the oldest and most previous buildings of the tiny landlocked country may now be in ruins but there are as many landmarks that remain almost intact. It also helps that large parts of the country remained untouched by the earthquakes and the trekking trails remain intact. Visiting Nepal in 2017 will also help the country back on its feet. Still need reasons?

4. Dominica


One of the few countries in the world that have remained more or less untouched by development, Dominica is known for its deserted beaches and prehistoric ferns. However all of this is soon going to change in 2018 with large resort chains planning to set up shop in the net couple of years. 2017, thus, seems to be a good time to visit the country just before it embraces tourism with full gusto.

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3. Finland


For eight centuries, Sweden and Russia fought over Finland before it won independence in 1917. This year marks 100 years of the country’s independence. So you can expect several concerts, cook-offs and vintage-travel-poster exhibitions. Then there is the new 11,000-hectare national park that is welcoming new tourists. Visit it already!

2. Colombia


For the longest time Colombia was known for its civil war and violent crimes. But today, the country has left its past behind and is eager to embrace the future. Its culture is vibrant and hospitality warm. Even the Pope cannot resist a visit to it in 2017 — making it the first Papal visit to the country in three decades — so why should you?

1. Canada


No other country in the world has seen so much positivity as Canada. Thanks to its progressive outlook, inclusive culture and polite population and its Disney prince of a prime minister, Canada serves as a natural choice for tourists. Add to that the sesquicentennial celebration since its confederation and you can expect a party like never before.

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