Where in South America is the city of Maracaibo?
Maracaibo is a city and the municipal seat of Maracaibo Municipality in northwestern Venezuela, on the western shore of the strait that connects Lake Maracaibo to the Gulf of Venezuela. It is the second-largest city in Venezuela, after the national capital, Caracas, and the capital of the state of Zulia. The population of the city is approximately 2,658,355 with the metropolitan area estimated at 5,278,448 as of 2010.
Maracaibo is often known as "The First City of Venezuela", for being the first city in Venezuela to adopt various types of public services, including electricity, as well as for being located adjacent to shores of Lake Maracaibo, where the name of Venezuela allegedly originates.
Early indigenous settlements around the area were of Arawak and Carib origin. Maracaibo’s founding date is disputed. There were failed attempts to found the city—in 1529, by Captain Ambrosio Ehinger, and in 1569, by Captain Alonso Pacheco. Founded in 1574 as Nueva Zamora de la Laguna de Maracaibo by Captain Pedro Maldonado, the city became a transshipment point for inland settlements after Gibraltar, as the head of the lake, had been destroyed by pirates in 1669.
It was not until the first decades of the 17th century that the first town was settled. Petroleum was discovered in 1917, leading to a large increase in population from migration.