Over the past 6 months, we've traveled through dozens of cities sometimes staying just one night, other times staying more than a month.
Some of our favorites really surprised us, and others that we expected to be amazing turned out to be duds.
Here are our top 5 cities from the past 6 months:
1. Cartagena, Colombia
Located on the northern tip of Colombia, this historical city has lots of offer. Colorful buildings and charming side streets characterize the walled city where we spent more of our time. You can access the ocean here, eat amazing ceviche and enjoy the louder, more vibrant life of the Colombian coast.
2. Cusco, Peru
There's a reason why everyone raves about this mountain town. Located at 11,000 feet in the Andes, Cusco is a charming window into the Sacred Valley and the access point to the Inca Trail. While it's now full of tourists, we still felt like Cusco has maintained the magic that has drawn visitors to it for years. We enjoyed getting lost down its narrow cobble-stone streets and discovering the local Andean food culture.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
This is, hands down, one of our favorite cities in the world. Surrounded by ocean, rocky cliffs, sun-drenched beaches and gorgeous mountains, Cape Town is stunning to behold. It's culture seems both upscale and laid back. It's a very different city from others in South Africa and one that we felt had something for everyone. Here you can enjoy the amazing food scene, dive with great whites, see African penguin colonies, scuba dive with seals, hike, wine taste and more.
4. Medellin, Colombia
The City of Eternal Spring has- unfortunately- suffered from a bad reputation for too long. Driving into this city and laying eyes on its massive mountain ranges, green forests and enormous stretching city center made me understand how this place gave birth to magical realism. It's a mysterious and breath-taking part of the world. Medellin has an amazing metro system- the only in South America- connecting every inch of of the city in a cheap, clean and easy way. The food and music are incredible and unique, and its rough history means Medellin has yet to be overrun by tourists.
5. Florence, Italy
Despite the droves of tourists that populate its streets, Florence maintains an old-world charm. It's a city best explored on foot with historic landmarks at every turn. And if you're not into museums and statues, the food scene is incredible. It's difficult to get a bad meal in this town. Italian food does simplicity well, and with fresh and seasonal ingredients, you don't need complicated.