Santa Marta, city in northern Colombia, capital of Magdalena Department, on a deep bay of the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of the Manzanares River, at the northwestern foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Located in an area in which bananas, cotton, tobacco, and livestock are grown, Santa Marta exports bananas, hides, and coffee. Industries include fishing, fish canning, brewing, the manufacture of brick and tile, and tourism at the area's seaside resorts. The city is a terminus of the Atlántico Railroad. Among the oldest permanent European settlements in Latin America and a major port on the Spanish Main since colonial days, Santa Marta is the site of a cathedral (which once housed the tomb of the South American revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar), Fort San Fernando, and the ruins of the Santo Domingo Monastery. Bolívar died at the nearby San Pedro Alejandrino estate, now a museum. Founded in 1525, the city suffered numerous raids, notably by the English navigator Sir Francis Drake in 1586 and 1596 and by pirates in the 17th century. Population (1997 estimate) 343,038.