Places to Go in 2017

Canada

A northern neighbor is a world to explore.

Canada is huge — the second-largest country by area. It’s also a world unto itself, with cosmopolitan cities, barely explored natural wonders and everything in between. And this is the year to visit: In honor of the 150th anniversary of its confederation, when the original colonies came together as one country, Canada is rolling out the welcome mat. All of the country’s more than 200 national parks and historic sites are offering free admission through the year, from the turquoise lakes and mountain peaks of Banff in Alberta to the rolling dunes and red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island along the Atlantic Coast to the newest reserve, the glacial-rounded Mealy Mountains in Labrador. Meanwhile, in the capital, Ottawa, a full year of celebration is planned; more events will be on offer in Montreal, which turns 375. And did we mention the exchange rate? A weak Canadian dollar means American travelers get more for their money. So 2017 offers an ideal time to go north. 

Atacama DesertChile

New ways to explore the world’s highest desert.

The Atacama draws adventure seekers and stargazers to its vast, otherworldly landscape of wind-carved dunes and kaleidoscopic salt lakes. Sunrise balloon rides, which started in August, reveal its staggering beauty from above. The luxurious, recently renovated Explora Atacama hotel reopened in December; overnight rates include guided desert excursions and nighttime access to the hotel’s on-site observatory, equipped with one of Chile’s largest privately-owned telescopes. 

AgraIndia

Beyond the Taj Mahal, new attractions beckon.

Navigating the stunning, sprawling Taj Mahal will get easier when an orientation center opens this year, but 2017 also promises new reasons to venture beyond: Nearby streets have been repaved; the Agra Pavilion, a glass-walled dining complex, will host more than a dozen vendors and restaurants; and the Mughal Museum, a collaboration with the architect David Chipperfield and Studio Archohm, has broken ground. In addition, India’s fastest train and longest expressway now cut travel time from Delhi and Lucknow.