Ten countries to discover in 2013

Lonely Planet recommends 10 overlooked countries to visit next year, from Sri Lanka to Ecuador. Follow the guide...

Sri Lanka
With the conflict over, Sri Lanka is on the cusp of a tourism boom. The destination is still affordable, but you can expect prices to spike in the next few years. Points of interest include a Dutch fortification from the 17th century in Galle, a city that has earned a spot in UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Nestled between sea and moutain, Montenegro has a great diversity of landscapes to offer. Points of interest include its five national parks, including Durmitor, which boasts ski slopes, as well as Tara canyon, the deepest in Europe (1,900m).

South Korea
A great destination for outdoorsy types, with plenty of opportunities for golf, fishing and trekking. Points of interest include a bike ride that goes through the demilitarized zone and opens two Sundays every month.

Next year, the country will inaugurate its brand new railroad network after the old one was devasted by El Nino in the late 1990s. Rail is a great way to get around in the country, from the capital Quito to the picturesque coastal town of Guayaquil, or towards volcanoes Cotopaxi and Nariz del Diablo. Points of interest include the handycraft market of Otavalo, near Quito.

In 2013, the city of Kosice turns into a Cultural Capital of Europe. A slew of events will take place over the year, from the city's castles to its amphitheater. The surrounding moutains also boast affordable ski resorts with modernized infrastructure. Points of interest in the country include capital city Bratislava and national parks Poloniny and Slovak Paradise.

Solomon Islands
A haven for nature lovers and divers, the islands and their waters offer plenty of opportunities to go trekking, volcano climbing, kayaking and surfing. The archipelago stands out among Pacific nations for its efforts to preserve its flora and fauna. Points of interest include an impressive number of sunk ships for divers to explore.

The increasingly popular tourist destination is famous for its night life, its outdoor activities (the country boasts a number of hot springs, fjords and volcanoes) and the stunning spectacle of Northern Lights. Things to do when include a road trip around the Ring Road to discover the island's various landscapes.

With a slew of new low-cost flights between Europe and the South-East of Tukey, tourists can venture outside of classic tourist spots Istanbul and Antalya. Mardin and Midyad, for instance, offer sightseeing of Ottoman heritage sites. Points of interests include the neolithic site of Göbekli Tepe (12,000 old) and the Abraham path, where visitors can walk in the footsteps of the Prophet from his birth town, Harran.

Dominican Republic
A hotspot at the dawn of the new millennium, the Dominican Republic is trendy again, thanks to the development of luxury hotels in the region, once considered a budget destination. Points of interest include Damajagua's 27 falls, a great location for trekking, climbing and dipping.

The country's wide array of breathtaking landscapes is a great location for tight budgets, but prices could go up after next year's presidential election. The island's biodiversity has always been a hit with nature lovers. Things to do on location include watching lemurs or whales in their natural habitats, and discovering the canyons, cliffs and waterfalls of Isalo national park.

(These destinations are featured in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013, $14.99)


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Celebrity News - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 1:47 AM PHT
    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce’s #Flawless image is embroiled in controversy once again. On Wednesday, a web site called The Beyonce World leaked 224 allegedly raw photos of the musician. The images showed Bey in full makeup for the 2013 L’Oreal ad campaign — but with the kinds of “imperfections” we all have — beauty marks, bumps, creases. In the wake of Cindy Crawford’s unretouched photos, the images have been praised by critics of a beauty industry that sets impossibly high standards, standards that Queen Bey …

  • Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    omg - Sat, Feb 14, 2015 12:14 AM PHT
    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    The 25-year-old released the video for her third cut from platinum selling album 1989. …

  • My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    Write Away - Wed, Jan 28, 2015 2:29 PM PHT
    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    For my mother-in-law Mrs. Elsa Yrastorza Yuzon, flying and soaring in the skies is part of her normal routine. But it reached new heights when Pope Francis boarded Shepherd One. …