Photo Credit: Flickr user fvfavo  

A new year means a slew of new countries to explore, and we couldn’t be more excited by the prospect of packing our bags and hitting the open, err, skies.

One of our favorite places on the list curated by Afar is Nepal. After April 2015’s devastating earthquake, Nepal is on the road to recovery and ready for an influx of visitors. With a diverse natural landscape, ancient monasteries, and tasty delicacies (like Momos, classic Nepalese dumplings—yum!), this hauntingly beautiful country in the midst of rebirth is definitely at the top of our list.

Nepal also has as rich festival calendar, including the winter festival Shiva Raatri during which Shiva devotees head to the Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River. Nepal has the ultimate combination of wildlife and natural wonders (such as the Himalayas) and bustling cities with spectacular art, architecture and design styles, making this a culturally diverse destination for art, culture, and design lovers for 2016. An added incentive (as if you needed one)? to discovering Nepal this year is money spent there will continue to help fund relief efforts.

Want to learn more? Check out designer Prabal Gurung’s top picks in his hometown as seen in Conde Nast Traveler.