Tropico 3 is a great game, if you like that type of game. It it definitely a simulation game like SimCity or Rollercoaster Tycoon.
From what I remember, Populous was more of a RTS game. That being said, there is some overlap between RTS and simulation games these days.
"In questions about good and bad, we ought not to follow the opinion of the many, but the opinion of the one who has understanding."