The settlement was at first called Aspinwall, in honour of William H.
The second settlement made by his expedition at Buenos Aires was even less successful and long-lived than the first.
In the north, however, the hot lowlands are malarial and unsuited to north European settlement, while the dry, elevated plateaus are celebrated for their healthiness, those of Catamarca having an excellent reputation as a sanatorium for sufferers from pulmonary and bronchial diseases.
That a far more advanced race had at one time a settlement on the north-west coast is indicated by the cave-paintings and sculptures discovered by Sir George Grey.
It was founded (perhaps on the site of an early Sicanian settlement) by colonists from Gela about 582 B.C., and, though the lastest city of importance founded by the Greeks in Sicily, soon acquired a position second to that of Syracuse alone, owing to its favourable situation for trade with Carthage and to the fertility of its territory.