Bordeaux, Cape Town, Los Angeles and Mérida.
Those are Lonely Planet’s four best cities in the world, the places they urge their readers to visit in 2017.
Dismissing Cancun’s “party culture,” the U.S.-based travel guide noted that “Mérida’s cultural offering is like no other on the Yucatán Peninsula.”
“On any given day you’ll find a dizzying array of live music, art shows and dance performances, and the booming culinary scene is hotter than a Habanero pepper,” writes Lonely Planet. “This year Mérida has been designated the American Capital of Culture, meaning visitors can expect a ginormous cultural extravaganza as organizers stage a series of large-scale events throughout 2017.”
Lonely Planet also admires Mérida’s “well-preserved colonial architecture” and it’s reputation for safety in Mexico. Cities were judged for cultural richness and the warmth of its people, among other criteria.
Yucatán’s tourism secretary, Saúl Ancona Salazar, said that belonging to the Top 10 list helps “sell” the city internationally, with Mérida keeping company with heavy-hitters such as Moscow, Seoul and Lisbon.
The editors also ranked countries around the world, and this year, Canada comes out on top. Thanks to a great tourism infrastructure and a weak Canadian dollar, Lonely Planet named the country the best travel destination for 2017.
Only two U.S. cities made the list: L.A. and Portland, Ore.
“So, whether you’re looking for a new home post-Nov. 8 or just want an outdoorsy getaway, it is time for some poutine and Justin Trudeau,” Forbes magazine wrote to its U.S. audience, referring to the presidential election.