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Travel trendsetters, listen up. In what Lonely Planet has called Sri Lanka’s “moment in the equatorial sun,” the island nation off the southern tip of India has been officially named the No. 1 country to visit in 2019.

Now on its fourteenth year of publishing, Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel” guide says Sri Lanka nabbed the top spot because it is “notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict.”

This is a hallmark moment for Sri Lanka’s recovery from its decades-long civil war and 2004 tsunami. However, the country, which is still in the process of rebuilding, seems to have hit the traveler’s sweet-spot according to Lonely Planet. “There’s now more than ever for families, adrenaline junkies, eco-tourists, wellness seekers and foodies of all budgets,” says LP in a press release. “Even the north and east, including areas previously off limits, difficult to reach or lacking in services, deliver new discoveries.”

One of the highlights LP covers in its Sri Lanka section is its one-of-a-kind cuisine, which fuses flavors from neighboring countries while providing unique, flavorful twists. The guide also mentions the many immersive, beautiful train rides the country has to offer. The route from Kandy to Ella is TPG bucket-list approved — and first class tickets go for the low price of only $6.

Among the remaining top five countries to visit in 2019 are Germany, Zimbabwe, Panama and Kyrgzstan. Meanwhile, the title of  No. 1 city to visit in 2019 went to the “Scandi cool” Copenhagen, Denmark.

Featured image by by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images.

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