Vasco Núñez de Balboa

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Vasco Núñez de Balboa
BirthplaceJerez de los Caballeros, Badajoz, Spain
Maritime explorer for the Crown of Castile
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Balboa, Vasco Núñez de


Born circa 1475 in Jerez de los Caballeros; died 1517 on the Pacific shore of the Isthmus of Panama. Spanish conquistador.

Balboa set sail for America in 1500, reaching the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). In 1510 he sailed across to the Isthmus of Panama, where there was a new Spanish colony. Hearing about a rich southern coastal country (Peru), Núñez de Balboa, in search of a convenient route there, became the first man to cross the Isthmus of Panama and to reach the shore of the “South Sea” (Pacific Ocean). Early in 1517 he was falsely accused of plotting against the ruler of the colony and was executed.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.