Callao is the largest and most important port in Peru. The city is coterminous with the Constitutional Province of Callao, the only province of the Callao Region. Callao is located west of Lima, the country's capital, and is part of the Lima Metropolitan Area, a large metropolis that holds almost one-third of Peru's population. Callao borders Lima Province on the north, east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
Callao was founded by Spanish colonists in 1537, just two years after Lima (1535). It soon became the main port for Spanish commerce in the Pacific.
Callao is built on and around a peninsula, the district of La Punta, a wealthy residential neighborhood. An historical fortress, the Castillo de Real Felipe (site of "Rodil's Last Stand"), stands on the promontory overlooking the harbor.
A large naval base is sited in Callao. Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport is located in Callao.
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