Founded on July 29, 1525 by Spanish conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas, who named the city after the Catholic day for Saint Martha. However many historians argue that he named it after the Spanish city of Santa Marta de Astorgas, which he had also visited. It was one of the first cities to be founded in Colombia. The first one was Santa María la Antigua del Darién. El Libertador Simón Bolívar died at a ranch named Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino on the outskirts of Santa Marta on December 17, 1830.