SAN JUAN – The editors of the Lonely Planet travel guides have selected San Juan, Puerto Rico, as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2018, praising the capital’s efforts to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
“San Juan is a place where old meets new, where the city’s colonial past meshes comfortably with an emerging modern urbanity. Old San Juan is a walled enclave with cobblestoned roads, leafy plazas, and historic churches and forts. Beyond the walls, modern San Juan is draped with murals, and its cadre of museums and galleries form a dynamic art scene,” Lonely Planet said.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello, who has been working to restore electricity and other basic services on the island, hailed the news.
“Grateful for @LonelyPlanet’s confidence in our Island’s rebuild efforts. Still a lot of work to do and this is just the beginning,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a Twitter post.
Jose Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, celebrated Lonely Planet’s decision to put San Juan on the list.
“Proud to announce that @lonelyplanet has chosen San Juan as one of the World’s Top 10 Cities for Travel in 2018! We will be back!” Izquierdo tweeted.
The tourism official said that the island’s capital was known for its hospitality and would recover from the storm, which hit the US territory more than a month ago.
“San Juan is a blend of old and new. An accessible city with historic flavor where Spanish Colonial history blends with American citizenship,” Izquierdo tweeted.
Lonely Planet’s editors ranked San Juan No. 8 on the list of best cities to visit next year.
“In September 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, becoming the biggest storm to impact the island in 89 years. While San Juan did not escape the wrath of the hurricane, there’s no doubt that it will rebuild and remain the enchanting city it’s always been,” Lonely Planet said.
On Tuesday, Puerto Rico’s government said that the death toll from Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on Sept. 20, stood at 51.