The Longest Continuously Inhabited Cities in the Americas

September 25, 2014

When North America and South America are combined, you’ll have a massive landmass called “The Americas”, or also known as the New World. Before its regions were colonized by different European countries and large numbers of African slaves set foot on the continent in the early times, the Asians have already first settled between 40,000 BCE and 15,000 BCE. The population grew after the people from the Arctic like the Inuits have also settled in the northern-most parts of America and completed the group of what is now known as the indigenous peoples of America.

Whether made by the old natives or immigrants, these old but continuously inhabited cities in the Americas surely contributed greatly to what the world is in the past and the present. Here’s the list of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the Americas together with some fun facts about them.

North

Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico

Photo via: D. Jenison

Photo via: D. Jenison

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1075
Cool Fact: Acoma Pueblo is located on a 365-foot-high mesa, a type of land formation similar to a plateau, which made it isolated from conflict for hundreds of years.

Oraibi, Arizona

Photo via: Wondermondo

Photo via: Wondermondo

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1100
Cool Fact: European explorers didn’t discover Oraibi until about 1540.

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Photo via: Avenue Calgary

Photo via: Avenue Calgary

Location: Canada
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1540s
Cool Fact: The St. John’s area is responsible for about half of the goods and services produced in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. Augustine, Florida

Photo via: Avenue Calgary

Photo via: Avenue Calgary

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1565
Cool Fact: After it was founded by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, St. Augustine (or San Agustín in Spanish) was the capital of Spanish Florida for 200 years.

Jamestown, Virginia

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1607
Cool Fact: Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Photo via: Zia Realty Group

Photo via: Zia Realty Group

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1607
Cool Fact: Santa Fe was originally inhabited by the Pueblo Native American tribe in the early 1100s.

Quebec City, Quebec

Photo by: stas1992 via Panoramio

Photo by: stas1992 via Panoramio

Location: Canada
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1608
Cool Fact: Almost 95% of the residents of Quebec speak French as their native language.

Albany, New York

Photo via: Light Stalkers

Photo via: Light Stalkers

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1614
Cool Fact: Albany, the capital of the state of New York, was founded by the Dutch.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Photo via: Wikipedia

Photo via: Wikipedia

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1620
Cool Fact: Plymouth is known as “America’s Hometown” because it was colonized by the Pilgrims who came over on the famous ship the Mayflower.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Photo via: Saint John

Photo via: Saint John

Location: Canada
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1631
Cool Fact: Saint John is the only city located on the Bay of Fundy. As such, the sea has been significant in the political, social, and economic development of Saint John.

Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Photo by: blogcdn via Pinterest

Photo by: blogcdn via Pinterest

Location: Canada
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1634
Cool Fact: Trois-Rivières is French for “three rivers.” It received this name because the Saint-Maurice River has three mouths at the Saint Lawrence River, where the city is located.

Montreal, Quebec

Photo by: Luciano R Oliveira via Panoramio

Photo by: Luciano R Oliveira via Panoramio

Location: Canada
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1642
Cool Fact: Montreal is home to the world-famous performing arts group Cirque du Soleil.

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Photo via: Wikipedia

Photo via: Wikipedia

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1668
Cool Fact: The original settlement was divided into two towns, one in Canada and one in the US, when the Canadian border was revised in 1817. The towns are connected by the International Bridge.

San Diego, California

Photo via: Slowae.com

Photo via: Slowae.com

Location: US
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1769
Cool Fact: The University of California, San Diego is a leading research institution in the area of biotechnology.

Central

Cholula

Photo by: ThoiryK via Panoramio

Photo by: ThoiryK via Panoramio

Location: Mexico
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 2nd century BC
Cool Fact: The main attraction in Cholula is the Great Pyramid, dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl.

Mexico City

Photo by: Panatwo via Panoramio

Photo by: Panatwo via Panoramio

Location: Mexico
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1325
Cool Fact: Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas, founded by the Aztecs.

Santo Domingo

Location: Dominican Republic
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1496
Cool Fact: For a time, the city was known as Ciudad Trujillo, when dictator Rafael Trujillo renamed it after himself. After his death, the city returned to its original name.

San Juan

Location: Puerto Rico (US)
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1508
Cool Fact: Famous pop musician and General Hospital star Ricky Martin was born in San Juan.

Nombre de Dios, Colón

Photo via: Daisy's Tales

Photo via: Daisy’s Tales

Location: Panama
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1510
Cool Fact: Nombre de Dios was used as a major port for the Spanish treasure fleet, which was used to transport various goods like silver, gold, spices, and tobacco.

Baracoa

Location: Cuba
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1511
Cool Fact: Cristopher Columbus landed at this location on his first voyage.

Vera Cruz

Photo by: Diana F. via Pinterest

Photo by: Diana F. via Pinterest

Location: Mexico
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1519
Cool Fact: Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés came to Vera Cruz in 1519 in search of gold, which had been found in the area previously.

Panama City

Photo via: Goista

Photo via: Goista

Location: Panama
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1519
Cool Fact: Panama City was the launching point for the expeditions that would eventually conquer the Incas in Peru.

South

Upper Xingu

Photo via: The Lost Lobos

Photo via: The Lost Lobos

Location: Brazil
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 800 AD
Cool Fact: The Xingu National Park was created to protect the environment and the indigenous tribes that live in the area.

Quito

Location: Ecuador
Continuously Inhabited Since: 980 AD
Cool Fact: At 9,350 feet above sea level, Quito is the highest national capital city in the world.

Cusco

Location: Peru
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1100
Cool Fact: Machu Picchu, a site of 15th century Incan ruins, is located in the mountains 50 miles northwest of Cusco.

Santa Marta

Location: Colombia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1525
Cool Fact: Simón Bolívar, a key figure in helping Latin America gain independence from the Spanish Empire, died in Santa Marta.

São Vicente, São Paulo

Photo via: TrekEarth

Photo via: TrekEarth

Location: Brazil
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1532
Cool Fact: São Vicente was the first permanent Portuguese settlement in the Americas.

Bogotá

Photo via: Wikipedia

Photo via: Wikipedia

Location: Colombia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1538
Cool Fact: Bogotá is home to more than 100 higher education institutions.

Santiago del Estero

Photo via: Taringa!

Photo via: Taringa!

Location: Argentina
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1553
Cool Fact: The highest recorded temperature in Santiago del Estero is 115.5 ºF (46.4 ºC).