San Cristóbal is the capital city of the Venezuelan state of Táchira. It is located in a mountainous region of Western Venezuela. The city is situated 818 m above sea level in the northern Andes overlooking the Torbes River, 56 km from the Colombian border. San Cristóbal was founded on March 31, 1561, by Juan de Maldonado. From its inception, the city evolved rapidly as one of the most progressive and important centers of commerce in the country and the region, due primarily to its rich soil and its proximity to the border with Colombia.