Botswana, listed as the top country to visit in 2016

  Mitch M. Arceo  /    Nov 7, 2015

If you are planning to go abroad for vacation next year but have not yet decided where you’re heading, you might want to check out Lonely Planet’s Top 10 countries, regions and cities for travelers in 2016.

Unfortunately, the Philippines was dropped from the list as countries with beaches took a backseat, while places where wildlife is thriving and historical structures can be found took the spotlight.

Topping the Top 10 countries is Botswana in Africa with its beautiful landscape and diverse wildlife. The country boasts of deserts, deltas, grasslands and savannas where animals such as wildebeest, antelopes and more freely run.

Major attractions in Botswana include the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve where tourists will find one of the few remaining large populations of the endangered African wild dog and the world’s largest concentration of African elephants.

Second on the list is Japan where travelers can have a taste of both modernity and tradition. On one side, Japan has modern cities that continue to attract locals and foreigners but on the other, one may also find castles, traditional houses and natural landscapes of historical value. Despite being a modernized country, cultural festivals are still celebrated and even considered as highlights in events.

Coming in third is the United States of America where national parks and mountains prove to be the favorite places of hikers. Yosemite National Park is one of the parks in the US that’s known for its impressive cliffs, waterfalls, streams, giant evergreen trees and various kinds of animals. Ninety five percent of the park is designated wilderness and its half dome is said to be a challenging hike for many hikers.

Other countries in the list are Palau, Latvia, Australia, Poland, Uruguay, Greenland and Fiji.

Meanwhile, the Top 10 regions are Transylvania (Romania), West Iceland, Valle de Viñales (Cuba), Friuli’s wine regions (Italy), Waiheke Island (New Zealand), The Auvergne (France), Hawaii (USA), Bavaria (Germany), Costa Verde (Brazil), and St. Helena (British Territories).

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities are Kotor (Montenegro), Quito (Ecuador), Dublin (Ireland), George Town (Malaysia), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Mumbai (India), Fremantle (Australia), Manchester (UK), Nashville (USA) and Rome (Italy).