After a more than eventful 2016, it's time to look to the future and start planning adventures for 2017. Luckily for you, we've compiled a travel calendar of the best destinations of the year and the best month in which to visit them.
January: Discover the ancient temples of Rajasthan, India
Rajasthan is a jewel in India's crown, encompassing every facet of Indian culture from fairy tale palaces and magnificent forts to vibrant festivals and epic wildlife encounters. As the largest state in the country, even modes of transport can be turned into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure here. Forget buses and taxis, instead take a rickety tonga (a horse-drawn carriage), perch between the humps of a camel or even take a hot air balloon ride over the ancient temples. Visit in January when the desert sun is not as intense, and when the Camel Festival comes to town.
February: Learn to samba at Rio's Carnival, Brazil
The most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere is a top destination no matter what time of year it is. Home to Christ the Redeemer, Escadaría Seldaron, and Ipanema Beach, this vibrant city is pulsating with culture that draws in visitors all year round. But visit in February and you will experience the event that all cariocas have been waiting for: Carnival. The ubiquitous sounds of samba, the dazzling costumes and the Brazilian joie de vivre erupt onto the city's streets for an unforgettable few days of fun.
March: Walk the Great Wall of China
"He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man"...or so, at least, thought Mao Zedong. Although following the wall from its origins in Liáoníng province all the way to the faint remains in the Gobi desert may not be everyone's cup of tea, there is no denying that China's greatest engineering triumph remains a staple on any travel bucket list. Visit the most robust examples of the Wall in Beijing during the spring months and see picturesque views of the surrounding lush greenery, blooming apricot trees and sunny, clear skies.
April: Pray at the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Cambodia is warm all year round but April is the perfect time to go to avoid crowds (if you can stand a little humidity!). This is also the month when residents of Angkor celebrate the Khmer New Year, one of the most important festivals in Cambodia. People decorate and clean their houses to welcome the new god or angel that will protect the world for the year ahead, with each home trying to outdo the other, offering fruits, cakes and flowers. The pagodas and temples around Cambodia will be the activity hubs of the event, where Buddhists will come to light candles, burn incense and make offerings to the monks, and sandcastles that symbolise the peaks of Mount Meru will be built.
May: Trek Machu Picchu, Peru
Step into history with a visit to the Incan city of Machu Picchu, the best-known archaeological site on the continent and a staple destination on the bucket list of any traveller. Visit the awe-inspiring ancient city just before the hordes of tourists arrive for the summer, and explore the grandeur of the landscape, whose remains date back to the 15th century.