Vasco De Balboa
First conquistador to see the Pacific Ocean
The map above is the routes Balboa traveled
He convinced colonists to move to the western side of the Gulf of Uraba. They established the town of Darién on the Isthmus of Panama, which is a small strip of land that connects Central America and South America. Balboa became the interim governor of the settlement.
In 1513, Balboa led an expedition from Darién to search for a new sea reportedly to the south and for gold. He hoped that if he was successful, he would win the favor of Ferdinand, the king of Spain. While he didn't find the precious metal, he did see the Pacific Ocean, and claimed it and all of its shores for Spain.
The news of the discovery arrived after the king had sent Pedro Arias de Ávila to serve as the new governor of Darién. The new governor was reportedly jealous of Balboa and ordered him to be arrested on charges of treason. After a brief trial, Balboa was beheaded on January 12, 1519, in Acla, near Darién, Panama.