The first European who entered the territory of present-day Bolivia was Diego de Almagro, the conqueror of Chile, who in 1535, moved from Cuzco, skirted Lake Titicaca to the west and crossed the Potosí plateau, then continuing on to Jujuy. The following year Juan de Ayolas, on behalf of Pedro de Mendoza, the founder of Buenos Aires, continued the exploration of Paraná-Paraguay, already begun by the Caboto, founded Asunción (1536), then continued his navigation on Paraguay up to around 20 ° S., where, in a port which he gave the name of La Candelaria, he left his lieutenant Domingo Martínez de Irala in custody of the boats, with the order to wait for him six months. He then tried to reach Peru, crossing eastern Bolivia and reaching the east of the region of La Paz (1537) he then returned after six months to Paraguay, without meeting the de Irala and was murdered there together with all his companions by the indigenous Domingo Martínez de Irala in 1548- 49 repeated the crossing starting from Paraguay at 21 ° 30 ‘S. and reaching Chuquisaca. Nuño de Chávez, whom he commissioned to travel to Lima, fulfilled his mission and returned to Asunción in 1549. For Bolivia 2019, please check philosophynearby.com.
In the century XVI it seemed that the Paraná-Paraguay, dating back to the 21st S., and the Chaco plans should become the main traffic route between Europe and Peru: but towards the end of the century, subjected the tribes of the Tucumán region, the northern road was almost abandoned. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the geographical knowledge of Bolivia progressed with the progress of colonization, especially in the elevated region, where the silver mines attracted large white populations and gave rise to various centers of permanent colonization. The missions that the Franciscans and Jesuits founded in various parts of the country contributed greatly to this knowledge; among others we will remember Father Patiño, who in 1821 climbed the Pilcomayo up to about a hundred kilometers from Santa Barbara.
Important progress was made in the century. XIX and in our century, thanks to numerous explorations guided by scientific intent. Between 1843 and 1846 Francis de Castelnau reached upper Paraguay, explored the region on which the watershed between this river and Madeira runs, then crossed all of Bolivia passing through Chuquisaca and Potosí and reaching Peru. In 1869 W. Chandless explored the Beni and Madre de Dios basins, while the year before Keller had sailed the Mamoré. In 1882 J. Crévaux, passing through Salta and Tariia, reached the mission of San Francisco on the Pilcomayo at 21 ° 30 ‘; then this river descended and near Ipantipucú he was attacked and killed with all his escort by the Toba Indians. In the years 1891-1892 the Chaco and the current department of Santa Cruz were crossed by the engineer. Cerceau, who was looking for mineral deposits. Very fruitful results were the explorations of Sir Martin Conway (1898 and 1900) in the Royal Cordillera and the numerous journeys made by the Swedish ethnologist Erland Nordenskiöld, who in 1901-1902 visited the border region between Bolivia and the Argentina, in 1904-1905 the regions of the plateau surrounding Titicaca, in 1908-1909 and in 1913-14 particularly eastern Bolivia. Among the other explorations of the last thirty years we will remember that of G. de Créqui Monfort (1903) in the region between Titicaca and the Argentine border; by Arthur W. Hill (1903) in the region surrounding Titicaca; by H. Hoeck (1903-1984), intended for geological investigations, in the area of S. dell’Illimani and up to the Río Mataca, a tributary of the Pilcomayo; by J.-B. Vaudry (1904) in southeastern Bolivia; of the botanist Th. Herzog (1907-1908) in the department of Santa Cruz; by J. Bowman (1913) in the Titicaca and Poopó basins; by the zoologist FC Walcott (1924) in SO Bolivia; by H. Krieg (1925-1926) in the Bolivian Chaco; and finally the very recent exploration of K. Troll (1926-28) in the Cordillera Reale and in the Desaguadero basin, during which a copious series of topographical data was collected which will soon make it possible to publish a new overview map of Bolivia.