- from Amazon
Europeans first stumbled upon the Amazon River by accident. In 1541, Gonzalo Pizarro, a Spanish adventurer, set out to find a city of gold.
He believed it to be in the Andes Mountains of western South America. Joining Pizarro was another Spanish adventurer, Francisco Orellana.
Along the way, the expedition ran out of food. So Pizarro sent Orellana in search of supplies. Neither those who stayed behind nor those who set out with Orellana ever found the gold of their dreams. However, over 3,000 miles, 9 months, and many adventures later, Orellana did reach the mouth of the Amazon, in eastern South America. This made him the first European to travel the entire length of the river.