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The city is the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida. It is also a popular tourist destination for visitors from North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes including the Tequestas. In 1566 admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded Fortaleza Ozama on a small island in what is now Miami Beach; Spain later built another fort in 1599 called San Carlos de Boca Raton which has since been destroyed by hurricanes but was rebuilt as Biscayne National Park . European settlement began with Spanish soldiers landing at Miamarina (later known as Starling) to claim land for Spain during Ponce De Leon's first expedition in 1513. They were accompanied by Father Juan Crespi , who later became the first Catholic bishop of Florida .