The old town of Betancuria was founded in 1405 and was the first capital of Fuerteventura. The town enjoys a fantastic location and offers attractive views of the hilly terrain and winding river below. In the town are several beautiful buildings and churches worth visiting, including the church of Iglesia de Santa Maria de Betancuria and the convent of San Buenaventura. The Casa Museo Arquebiologico has some interesting artefacts including fertility idols and farming tools that reflect the earliest history of the island, before recreational visitors arrived as the final conquering force. The town was built primarily to defend against pirate attacks and in 1593 it was all but destroyed by pirates and then slowly rebuilt. There are various shops and stalls in Betancuria that sell some of the best handcrafts and local produce on Fuerteventura, and one of the best places to get a feel for the folk culture and handicrafts of the region is the Centro Insular de Artesania, located next to the museum on the main road. This peaceful, sleepy old town is a very pleasant place to visit; the town seldom hosts tourists and accommodation is limited, but it makes for a very popular and worthwhile excursion, providing insight into the history and culture of the Canary Islands.