If there’s one topic guaranteed to spark a passionate debate, it’s where is the best country to visit in the world? We have some strong opinions on the subject, and no doubt you do too, but rather than us getting into an argument, why don’t we keep the peace by deferring to the experts at Lonely Planet.

At the top of their 2017 list of countries you can’t afford to miss is… drum roll… Canada!

And here’s why, according to their staff of guide book authors, editors and self-confessed travel geeks: “Bolstered by the wave of positivity unleashed by its energetic new leader Justin Trudeau, and with dynamic cities that dominate global livability indices and a reputation for inclusiveness and impeccable politeness, the world’s second-largest country will usher in its sesquicentennial in 2017 in rollicking good health. Marking 150 years since confederation, the elongated birthday party promises to be heavy on bonhomie and highly welcoming to international gatecrashers. And, with a weak Canadian dollar pushing down prices, the overseas visitor should have plenty of pocket money to spend on Canada’s exciting fusion food and mysteriously underrated wine.”

with dynamic cities that dominate global livability indices and a reputation for inclusiveness and impeccable politeness, the world’s second-largest country will usher in its sesquicentennial in 2017 in rollicking good health.

Speaking with Trudeau, Lonely Planet asked the 23rd prime minister of Canada about his homeland and what travel means to him more broadly. A snippet of their chat below:

“Any insider tips or local secrets you can share with would-be visitors?
Maps can’t provide any idea of the real scope of Canada, and air travel doesn’t do it justice. So, I encourage visitors to explore our country from the ground level. Hike around glacier-fed, turquoise lakes in Banff National Park, cycle along the craggy cliffs of the Cabot Trail, kayak through the spectacular waterways of Haida Gwaii. These are just a few of the many ways to appreciate Canada’s geography, and to meet the people who cherish its vastness and beauty.

After all the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met, what does travel mean to you?
The freedom to be spontaneous, the challenge of adapting to the world rather than expecting the world to adapt to you, and the opportunity to discover more about yourself by discovering people with totally different lives and experiences while learning to find common ground with them.”

Grab a copy of Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2017 here or the Canada travel guide here.

Image: Take Trudeau’s advice and see Canada from ground level, otherwise risk missing out on spots like Lake Moraine.

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