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History of exploration will not be complete without mention of this famous Spanish explorer and conquistador. Vasco Núñez de Balboa will remain remembered as the first European who successfully reached Pacific Ocean via the Strait of Panama.
One of the most famous Spanish explorers of 16th century was Hernando de Soto, who accompanied conquistador Francisco Pizarro in his destruction of Incan empire and contributed to the modern history by exploring the lands of Florida and discovering the mighty river Mississippi.
He is remembered as a captain of the ship "Santa Maria" that carried Christopher Columbus to his discovery of America in 1492. During his five voyages to the Carribean seas he made several maps of that area of witch most famous is "Mappa Mundi".
Juan Ponce de Leon is today remembered as a explorer who operated in central American waters shortly after Christopher Columbus made his historic journey to the west. During his life De Leon made many notable achievements, but today he is mostly remembered for his colonization of Florida and its exploration.