Saturday, June 3, 2017

The best places to travel in 2017

The best places to travel in 2017 according to Lonely Planet (Latin Americans may surprise you)

Cartagena de Indias, ColombiaCopyright of theAFPimage
Image caption Accordingto Lonely Planet, Colombia is the second best country in the world to visit in 2017.
If you are already planning your next year's vacation, perhaps you should consider going to Colombia, the Mexican city of Mérida, the Choquequirao area in Peru, or the Chilean region of Aysén.
Or so at least the popular travel guide Lonely Planet, which included these Latin American destinations in its list of "best travel" for 2017.
Colombia is, in fact, the second country of the recently published list, only behind Canada, which in 2017 will celebrate its 150th anniversary as an independent nation.
Merida , meanwhile , ranks fourth in its list of the top 10 cities.
And Choquequirao heads the "top ten" of the best regions in the world, in which Aysén is in the sixth position.
Justin Trudeau in the Canadian ParliamentCopyright of the imageREUTERS
Image caption"Pushed by the wave of optimism unleashed by its energetic leader ... the second largest country in the world will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2012 in very good health," says Lonely Planet of Canada.
Top 10 countries to travel in 2017
countryIn a sentence
1.Canada"A long birthday party"
2.Colombia"A real gem"
3.Finland"Culture and unique landscapes"
4.Dominica"The only Caribbean island that Columbus would recognize"
5.Nepal"Neither can natural disasters with Nepal"
6.Bermuda"A bit of Britain with a tropical flavor"
7.Mongolia"A rapidly modernizing country"
8.Oman"The Ace in the Arabian deck"
9.Bymany"The most secretive country in Southeast Asia"
10. Ethiopia"13 months of sunshine"
Judging by Lonely Planet's reviews, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's popularity helped the American country get the top spot on the list.
But the efforts for peace in Colombia - which already earned President Juan Manuel Santos the Nobel Peace Prize - were also rewarded for the publication.
"Decades of civil war and violent crimes had made Colombian visas ever only for the most daring of travelers," the guide acknowledged.
"But today the lost years seem like nothing but a speck of dust in the rearview mirror of Colombia," reads there.
San Andrés, ColombiaCopyright of theAFPimage
Image captionThanks to the improvements in security, more and more visitors give Colombia a chance.
Two Colombian womenCopyright of theAFPimage
Image captionColombian diversity and hospitality also helped the South American country get second place.
According to Lonely Planet, there are no world-class wonders in Colombia, "but the mix of a vibrant culture with its nature and hospitality creates a rich rug that welcomes you with open arms ."
And among visitors who are going to visit "this South American jewel" in 2017 is the own Pope Francisco, as the publication also highlights.

The best cities

As far as cities are concerned, Lonely Planet's first recommendation is the charming Bordeaux in southwestern France.
Once known as "the Sleeping Beauty," Bordeaux is "well awake and ready for action," promises the guide.
Bordeaux seen from its seafrontCopyright of theAFPimage
Image captionBordeaux, famous for its wines, was selected as the best city to visit in 2017.
And its list is followed, in that order, two well-known metropolis: the American of Los Angeles and the South African city of Cape.
But the fourth place is for a much smaller Latin American city : Merida , the capital of the state of Yucatan.
Top 10 cities to travel in 2017
1. BordeauxFrance
2. Cape TownSouth Africa
3. Los AngelesUSA
4. MéridaMexico
5. OhridMacedonia
6. PistoiaItaly
7. SeoulSouth Korea
8. LisbonPortugal
9. MoscowRussia
10. PortlandUSA
According to the guide, the cultural offer of the city has no comparison in the Yucatecan peninsula, while its culinary scene "is hotter than a habanero chile".
Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico.COPYRIGHTof the imageDEA / C. SAPPA
Image captionMerida, in Mexico, is the safest city in the country.
And the American capital of culture for 2017 is also currently one of the safest cities in Mexico , says the publication.
Mérida was also selected as the American Capital of Culture for 2017.Copyright of theAFPimage
Image captionDancer in Mérida, Yucatán
Moreover, where Latin America is better represented is in the list of the best regions, headed by Choquequirao, in Peru.
"Hidden in the depths of Apurimac Valley, Choquequirao was the last refuge of the Incas at the arrival of the conquerors, " explains Lonely Planet,
And the publication recommends visiting the Inca ruins of the area - believed to be three times larger than Machu Picchu - before the construction of a funicular is completed.
Archaeological site of ChoquequiraoCopyright of theAFPimage
Image captionThe Inca ruins of Choquequirao are much larger than those of Machu Picchu.
According to the guide, once inaugurated - very probably in 2017, if the bureaucracy allows it - the funicular will be able to transport around 3,000 visitors a day "in just 15 minutes".
While, at the moment, it would only find "a couple of visitors, plus the archaeologists who continue to clean the jungle, which still covers two-thirds of this spectacular site ."
The 10 best regions to travel in 2017
1. ChoquequiraoPeru
2. TaranakiNew Zealand
3. Azores IslandsPortugal
4. North WalesBritain
5. South AustraliaAustralia
6. AysénChile
7. TuamotusFrench Polynesia
8. Georgia CoastUSA
9. PerakMalaysia
10. Ring of SkelingIreland
From the Chilean region of Aysén , Lonely Planet also highlights its isolation, as only one road leads to this area of Chilean Patagonia .
"And if you follow its unpaved contours from beginning to end, you can experience a kaleidoscopic journey where mist-covered fjords give way to breathtaking forests, completely dry pampas and pale blue lagoons," promises the publication.
Aysén, ChileCopyright of theAFPimage
Image captionFor Lonley Planet, the region of Aysén is "the last frontier of Chilean Patagonia"
"Aysén is an extreme landscape in constant flow, " explains the guide.
But, according to Lonely Planet, thanks to new routes to the glaciers, and a boom of craft beer, exploring the "last frontier of Patagonia" has never been as enjoyable as it is today.