Vasco Nunez de Balboa is a Spanish explorer and conquistador that is credited with discovering the Pacific Ocean. Through his explorations, Vasco Nunez de Balboa was able to establish the first settlement in Central America. He is considered to be the first Spaniard to explore and gain a foothold in the Americas.
Here are some facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa:
Fact 1: Vasco Nunez de Balboa became an explorer because he wanted more fortune. With this goal in mind, he set sail towards the Spanish colonies which are already established in parts of Central America.
Fact 2: Balboa claimed the western shores of South America through his conquests and explorations. He was able to seize Panama and there he discovered the Pacific Ocean and later claimed the shores all for Spain.
Fact 3: Vasco Nunez de Balboa is a great swordsman. Little is known about his younger years but the young Balboa is said to have excelled in using the sword as a student. He was considered the best swordsman during his younger days.
Fact 4: Balboa raised pigs to earn a living during his stay in Hispaniola. This island became the eventual base for the Spanish explorers in the Americas. Hispaniola is now present-day Jamaica.
Fact 5: Vasco Nunez de Balboa found gold during his explorations in South America. After establishing the town of Darien in present-day Panama, Balboa led an expedition in discovering gold in the land called Tubanama. With this discovery, Balboa instantly became rich and famous.
Fact 6: As a way to escape from his creditors, Vasco Nunez de Balboa was able to stow away with his dog by hiding in a barrel that is loaded onto a boat. This boat eventually brought Balboa to Colombia.
Fact 7: Balboa was officially appointed as governor of the town he established in Panama. It was in 1511 when the King of Spain gave this title to Balboa with his conquest and establishment of Darien in Panama.
Fact 8: When Balboa left the Spanish colony in Panama, Pedro Arias Davila was appointed by the King of Spain as the new governor. Balboa continued with his explorations of the Americas and was given the title “Adentalado of the South Sea”. Despite this title, Balboa was to serve under the authority of Pedro Arias Davila. Davila’s appointment as new governor and his authority over Balboa led to political tensions between the two Spaniards.
Fact 9: Despite political differences, Vasco Nunez de Balboa and Pedro Arias Davila were able to reach a peaceful co-existence. Balboa was charged with treason but was later found innocent. With this development, Pedro Arias Davila betrothed his daughter Maria to Vasco Nunez de Balboa as a sign of peace.
Fact 10: Balboa died in the town of Darien which he helped established as the first permanent settlement of the Spaniards in South America. Being accused of treason once again by incumbent governor, Pedrarias Davila, Vasco Nunez de Balbo was found guilty this time and was eventually beheaded in public back in January of 1519.