Vasco Núñez de Balboa sailed his expeditions for Spain. He was part of an expedition that explored Colombia and spent time exploring Panama. In September 1513, he saw the Pacific Ocean from a mountaintop in Panama.
After leaving Spain in 1500, Balboa never returned to his home country. He served as interim governor of Darien, the first stable Spanish colony in South America. In 1514, King Ferdinand named him governor of the new Spanish provinces of Panama and Coiba. His final expedition for Spain occurred in 1517, when he transported his boats across the Panama isthmus to explore the Pacific Ocean.