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View Poll Results: Which of these cities is most appealing to you, overall?
Cartagena, Colombia 4 28.57%
Cusco, Peru 1 7.14%
Havana, Cuba 2 14.29%
Quebec City, Canada 5 35.71%
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2 14.29%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-10-2018, 07:58 AM
 
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So, the goal of the comparison was looking at five cities in the Americas that are considered significant Old Cities (enough to be mentioned as such by Howard Hillman), but yet aren't one dimensional in the sense that beyond their old cities, they are significant hubs of tourism, business, transit, etc. within their said countries (at least Top 10, if not Top 5 cities in their country, or in the case of Havana, the overall capital)

-Cartagena
-Cusco
-Havana
-Quebec City
-Salvador (de Bahia)

I know that there are larger cities that have highly impressive historic districts perhaps even exceeding these ones listed, within their cities, I did not include those. I also know, there are smaller, perhaps better preserved/more ornate cities within these continents as well. I also did not include those, though I'd say that perhaps the most aesthetically beautiful old town I've seen pictures of in the Americas is Guanajuato, Mexico... haven't visited there to confirm that though.

So, about these, my general impressions:
-Cartagena: Perhaps the most impressively preserved Old City out of this group, really a great tourism hub with beaches nearby. Outstanding natural scenery and ruins on a regional basis too.
-Cusco: A true rival for this though, and it has an astounding network of cobbled streets, etc., perhaps it beats Cartagena on architecture too, though it's hard to say. Cusco is probably the best overall tourism hub with access to dynamic mountains, archaeological sites and even the Amazon and Lake Titicaca are not far at hand. Cusco is 2nd highest on list of airports to fly into in the world that I haven't yet, for tourism (following Jerusalem or Tel Aviv).
-Havana: Perhaps the most unique and fascinating time warp-ish atmosphere, also an outstanding city, the part of so much being ruined also is equally sad and compelling. Probably safest one apart from QC too.
-Quebec City: Perhaps not quite as fascinating as the others but it has a clean feel that would probably be most comfortable to many traveling from around the world. With literally no homicides last year, probably ranks as among the most incredibly safe cities in the world. Lots of cultural sites, reasonable proximity and rail access to Montreal, and beautiful bucolic surrounding scenery.
-Salvador: Maybe the most exotic in terms of the populace, very diverse mix of ethnicities and a place where African and Latin cultures mix and thrive, has great beaches close at hand, and perhaps the most desirable in a resort/year round climate sense. Also the largest city with the most other functions besides the old town. Also however probably the most dangerous, or the one where there are the most warnings even in tourist areas about safety (lists it as more so than Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which also aren't known for being super secure. Still looks super fascinating and enthralling to visit if care is taken, though.)

I have only been to Quebec City, so I don't feel comfortable voting on this, but I am curious to see what your thoughts are on these cities from visit, live, etc. purposes.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
-Quebec City: Perhaps not quite as fascinating as the others but it has a clean feel that would probably be most comfortable to many traveling from around the world. With literally no homicides last year, probably ranks as among the most incredibly safe cities in the world. Lots of cultural sites, reasonable proximity and rail access to Montreal, and beautiful bucolic surrounding scenery.
.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec...osque_shooting


Unfortunately Quebec City was not murder-free last year. But this was an extreme outlier, almost freakish event. Quebec City is an extremely safe city and there have been almost no murders in the city since those tragic events. It's not uncommon for Quebec City to go a full year without any murders, and sometimes as long as 18 or 20 months.


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Old 05-10-2018, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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I will have to go with Cusco as it was once the capital of the Inca empire and there are lots of cool ruins nearby of which Machu Picchu is the most famous.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec...osque_shooting


Unfortunately Quebec City was not murder-free last year. But this was an extreme outlier, almost freakish event. Quebec City is an extremely safe city and there have been almost no murders in the city since those tragic events. It's not uncommon for Quebec City to go a full year without any murders, and sometimes as long as 18 or 20 months.


Noted, yeah I hadn't considered that one I guess I was looking at a 2016 list and extrapolating from that. But, yes, it really is a great/safe place!
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deneb78 View Post
I will have to go with Cusco as it was once the capital of the Inca empire and there are lots of cool ruins nearby of which Machu Picchu is the most famous.
I would concur, as far as where I'd want to visit. It seems to capture all elements, and do so outstandingly. The city itself is a great hub for travelers of all kinds, and has an incredible feel within the streets from everything I hear, loads to see and do in a small space. The surrounding natural scenery is also varied and stunning. As are the amazing ruins and sites that people can trek or ride to from there, and the unique cultural traditions that still take place. It's at once a major cultural and tourism hub and a place truly removed from the world, so in that sense it really is outstanding.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:26 AM
 
8,756 posts, read 3,086,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec...osque_shooting


Unfortunately Quebec City was not murder-free last year. But this was an extreme outlier, almost freakish event. Quebec City is an extremely safe city and there have been almost no murders in the city since those tragic events. It's not uncommon for Quebec City to go a full year without any murders, and sometimes as long as 18 or 20 months.


i dont get it, most americans live in cities with higher murder rates than any vacation spot they would go to... safety shouldnt be a concern when they feel safe in their own cities
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:36 AM
 
3,214 posts, read 2,283,912 times
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Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
i dont get it, most americans live in cities with higher murder rates than any vacation spot they would go to... safety shouldnt be a concern when they feel safe in their own cities
Oh I completely agree. But the fact is a not small number of Americans, even reasonably educated ones, have some type of distrust/fear of ANY foreign country. Doesn't make sense, but it's there. Look at how many Americans do not own a passport.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:46 AM
 
1,393 posts, read 671,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
i dont get it, most americans live in cities with higher murder rates than any vacation spot they would go to... safety shouldnt be a concern when they feel safe in their own cities
No, most Americans live in the suburbs which usually have low murder rates.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:06 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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I haven't been to Cusco but the town itself, although the Inca stonework in the foundations of the colonial buildings are impressive, just looks like a bigger Popayan to me. The difference being the foundations are of inca stone. This novelty is the main reason why the city is elevated to such a status. Not to detract from the great vibe of the city of course which I'm sure is enchanting - I suspect it still feels very much like a town though.

I would say even Cuenca has more elaborate architecture and Cartagena is a notch above that. Quebec city probably has the best panoramic shot with its castle but Cartagena has its entire fort and walls still intact which makes for a great contrast with neighbouring Getsemani, which is still colonial but more artsy, and Manga which has some nice Republican architecture and then of course the impressive skylines of Bocagrande and Castillogrande. Cartagena also has just as much if not more African heritage and bettter preservation of that heritage than Salvador, in its metro area African Bantu is still spoken in small communities.

I just love Cartagena. However, Cusco and Guanajuato are of course on my must sees also. Havana could be the grandest city in the Caribbean if they could only renovate those dilapidated buildings.
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Old Yesterday, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Crappyville,PA
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I did not vote because I have been to only one of those cities (Cuzco).

As far as interest in travel goes:
Havana- high
Cartagena- moderate
Quebec City- zero
Salvador de Bahia- zero
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