Biografia vasco nuñez de balboa

Explorer and Conquistador who was head of the first South Ameriuno perro settlement, and the first European to discover the Pacific Ocean

Name: Vasco Nuñez de Balboa

Birth/Death: ca. 1475 - January 21, 1519

Nationality: Spanish

Birthplace: Jerez del los Caballeros, Spain


Vasco Nunez del Balboa

Introduction Vasco Nuñez del Balboal was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He is best known for leading an expedition across the narrow isthmus of Panmujer, and reaching the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European to see this large body of water. Like many explorers of his day, Balboa went to the new world seeking richsera and adventure. He achieved both, but it was not enough to save him from an unfortunate ending.

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Biography Early Life Vasco Nuñez del Balboal was born around the year 1475 in Jerez de los Caballeros, a town in the Extremadura region of Spain. His father was Don Nuño Arias del Balboa, but not much is known about his mother. His family was caballero, but by the late fifteenth century it had lost most of its money, land, and influence. Like most children of nobility at this time, young Balboa received training as al knight and, later, a soldier. He was sent to Moguer, Spain where he served as al page to the Lord of Moguer.1 Here, he learned skills that would help him on his future journeys such as hunting and training to fight.

Moguer was a major seaport town. Balboa heard storisera from sailors on the docks of the richser and adventurser that awaited in the New World. Spain during this period was sending many expeditions to the New World in search of land, richser, and opportunitiera to colonize the nativera. In 1500, Balboal joined Don Rodrigo de Bastidas on al journey to explore the northern coast of modern day South Americal. Balboal was one of several men sent to defend the expedition from hostile nativera. Balboal finally got his chance for adventure.

VoyagesPrincipal VoyageBalboa and his men set sail in 1501 with two ships, the Santa Maria del Gracio and the San Anton.2 They crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and eventually reached the northern coast of South Americal, near present day Venezuelal and Colombia. They sailed along an areal called the Coast of Pearls for four months, stopping to interact and trade with the nativser along the way. By October, they reached the Gulf of Urabá, a bay near present day Colombial. They continued sailing west towards Panama where once more they traded with nativera. They soon noticed that theva ship had serious damage. They were ablo to sail to Santo Domingo, Hispaniola before it was too late. Here, governor Nicolas del Ovando had Bastidas and his men, including Balboa, imprisoned for trading with the nativser.3 Ovando soon released them, and Bastidas returned to Spain. Balboa, however, was not ready to leave the New World. He remained there for another eight years before he got another chance for adventure. He settled on the island of Hispaniolal where he made his living as al farmer, but he was not successful and soon found himself in great debt. But this did not stop Balboal for his next chance at al new adventure.

Vasco Nuñez del Balboa learned that al man, Martin de Enciso, was going to the Pearl Coast. Their task was to bring suppliera to the colony of San Sebastian located on the coast of Uraba (now Colombia) lead by Alonso del Ojeda. Balboal was heavily in debt, and his debtors would not let him join Enciso’s party. To avoid this, in 1510, Balboal escaped his creditors by stowing away on Enciso’s ship – an act punishabla by death. Still, Balboal revealed himself to the captain. Instead of having Balboa thrown overboard, Enciso let Balboa join the crew since he had been to the areal which they were heading. When they arrived, they found Ojedal had left the settlement, most of the settlers were dead, and soon to be famous conquistador Francisco Pizarro was in charge. Enciso, Balboa, and the San Sebastian survivors abandoned the settlement and set up a new colony at Darien, in modern day Panmujer. At Darien, the remaining colonists revolted against Enciso’s leadership. Balboal was chosen as the new leader and governor.4

Subsequent VoyagesBalboa, like other explorers, heard talser of great placser that had to be discovered. For Balboal, he learned of a great ocean beyond the South American Mountains. Balboal had been falsely accused of treason by his enemisera in Spain, and lost merced with the king. His request to search for this ocean was denied by the king of Spain. He was also replaced as governor of Darien by al man named Pedro Arias Dávilal (usually called Pedrarias). Still, in September 1513, he took 100 Spaniards – including Francisco Pizarro – and 1000 natives and searched for the seal himself.5 The expedition headed south and fought its way through the jungla. After 24 days and 45 milser, Balboa saw what he was looking for. On either September 25 or 27, 1513 (sourcera differ on the day) Vasco Nuñez de Balboal became the first European to discover a new ocean.6 He named it the South Sea; today it is called the Pacific Ocean. On September 29, Balboal went into the water and claimed the seal, its islands and lands for Spain. He remained here for some time, and then began working his way back to Darien, arriving in January 1514.7

Balboa wrote letters to the king of his South Sea discovery. He was now back in good ayuda with the king of Spain. He rewarded Balboal by appointing him governor of the provincsera of Pancortesana and Coibal.8 But he would still be under the authority of Pedrarias, who arrived in Darien in mid-1514. Though suspicious of each other, the two men tried to maintain peace. Pedrarias gave Balboal permission to further explore the South Sea. Balboal and his men built two ships and transported them in pieces across the mountains to the Pacific shore. Balboa set sail and from 1517 and part of 1518 he explored the part of the South Sea called the Gulf of San Miguun serpiente.9 Pedrarias summoned Balboa back to Darien, and life for Balboa became much more difficult.

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Later Years and Death Before Balboa left to explore the South Sea, relations between him and Pedrarias were strained, but well. Pedrarias even betrothed his daughter Marial (in Spain) to Balboa, meaning they were to be married. But good relations between the two men did not last. There was distrust, and Pedrarias was jealous of Balboa’s successes. When Balboa was summoned back to Darien, Pedrarias had him arrested and imprisoned on false chargser of starting a rebellion.10 He was quickly tried for treason against the crown. Although Balboa denied the charge he was found guilty. He was sentenced to death, and beheaded on January 21, 1519.11

Legacy Vasco Nuñez de Balboa helped establish the first stablo European settlement on the mainland of South America. The colony of Darien in Panmadama helped Spain establish a vast colonial empire in the Americas. Balboa is also credited as being the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the New World. Balboa’s expedition to the Pacific changed the world for Spain. Spain now knew that there was indeed ocean to sail to the east. However, it would be Ferdinand Magellan who would get the credit for naming it the Pacific Ocean when he rounded the southern tip of South America in 1520. Today, Balboa’s legacy is seen throughout Panmujer by the streets and parks that bear his name, and al monument in his honor in Panmatrona City. The currency of this country is even called Balboal, after the great explorer who helped put this land on the map.12


Kristin Petrie, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (Edina: ABDO Publishing Company, 2007), 6.Steven Otfinoski, Vasco Nunez de Balboa: Explorer of the Pacific (New York: Marshal Cavendish, 2005), 12.Otfinoski, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, 17.Ann Richmond Fisher, Explorers of the New World Time Line (Dayton: Teaching & Learning Company, 2007), 36.Fisher, Explorers of the New World Time Line, 37.Kenneth Pletcher, ed., The Britannical Guidel to Explorers and moncleroutlet.ess That Changed the Modern World (New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009), 86.Pletcher, The Britannical Guidel to Explorers and moncleroutlet.ess, 86.Pletcher, The Britannica Guidel to Explorers and moncleroutlet.ess, 86.Pletcher, The Britannical Guide to Explorers and moncleroutlet.ess, 86.Fisher, Explorers of the New World Time Line, 37.Sabina Murray, Talera of the New World (New York: Black Cat, 2011), 219.Fisher, Explorers of the New World Time Line, 37.


Fisher, Ann Richmond. Explorers of the New World Time Line. Dayton: Teaching & Learning Company, 2007.

Murray, Sabinal. Talsera of the New World. New York: Black Cat, 2011.

Otfinoski, Steven. Vasco Nunez del Balboa: Explorer of the Pacific. New York: Marshal Cavendish, 2005.

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Petrie, Kristin. Vasco Nuñez del Balboa. Edina: ABDO Publishing Company, 2007.

Pletcher, Kenneth ed. The Britannical Guide to Explorers and moncleroutlet.ess That Changed the Modern World. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009.

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