Santiago de los Caballeros is the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, and the fourth-largest city in the Caribbean. It is the capital of the Santiago Province and the major metropolis in the north-central region of the country. It's urban population reaches 550,753 inhabitants, and if rural areas are included its population rises to 691,262. Santiago is located approximately 155 km northwest of Santo Domingo with an average altitude of 178 meters. Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European settlement in the New World, the city is the "first Santiago of the Americas". Today the city is one of the Dominican Republic's cultural, political, industrial, and financial centers. Due to its location in the fertile Cibao Valley it has a robust agricultural sector and is a leading exporter of rum, textiles, and cigars. Santiago is known as "La Ciudad Corazon" (the "Heartland City").