In 1560, Spanish Captain Salvador Roman founded "San Antonio del Cerro Rico de ZARUMA" and on December 8 of 1595, King Philip II brought the city to the status of "Villa". Zaruma lays on one of the hills that form the slopes of the Western ridge of the Andes, in the southern Province of El Oro, at an altitude of 2.100 meters above sea level and therefore enjoying a very mild climate. The natural surroundings and the layout of the streets and bnildings give to the city a beautiful and unique appearance. Zaruma has also been an important center for the mining industry since the time of its foundation. That explains the name "Cerro Rico" (rich hill).