Portray of the Destination
On the Guadalete riverbank, on the coast of Cadiz, lies a city that achieved great splendour during
the discovery of America, due to its shipping tradition when it was part of the duchy of
Medinaceli. The El Puerto de Santa María lords donate contributions to Christopher Columbus when he
was about to embark on a journey to discover the new continent, and it was also here where he
prepared his second journey. Juan de la Cosa served with his caravel "Santa María" and, in 1500
designed the first known world map of the history. During that period the rich traders, otherwise
known as "Cargadores a Indias" (Merchants to the Indies), built magnificent palaces and manorial
houses which still can be appreciated.
The first settlements in this territory date back to the prehistory period, as the
archaeological site "El Aculadero" and the vestiges located close to the medieval tower of Doña
Blanca witness. It was also under the Moorish domination when it was just a small hamlet, although
the Christians recovered it in 1260. Many military expeditions departed from this city as it was
the base of the Royal Galleys and seat of the "Capitanía General del Mar Océano" (military command)
during the 16th and 17th centuries, and also the headquarters of the French army during the 19th
century Independence War.
El Puerto de Santa María, with calm cobbled streets with beautiful orange trees and wrought
iron balconies, is one of the most important tourist centres in Andalusia. It features fine golden
sand beaches with warm waters, facilities to practise several sports, and excellent golf courses.
Its popular "jerez" (a kind of sherry), specially light and dry, is a must, as well as
visiting the wine cellars in order to get to know the traditional wine making process.