In 1516 Juan Diaz de Solis, a Spaniard, sailed into the River Plate in an effort to find a short cut to India. Landing somewhere between the present Maldonado and Montevideo in Uruguay, Solis and his party were slaughtered by Indians and the remaining Spaniards returned to Spain. In 1520 the great Portuguese navigator, Magellan, then in the service of Spain, touched in the estuary of the “Mar Dulce” as it was then called and upon sighting the high land on the northern side christened it “Monte de San Ovidéo,” from which “Montevideo” derived its name. The word “Uruguay” came from the river of the same name, which the Indians called “Uru- gua-i,” meaning, according to the Guarani dictionary, “Feathered creatures-beauteous of the River.”
In 1527 Sebastian Cabot, under commission of the King of Spain, explored in the vicinity of the Paraná River. After establishing a number of settlements he returned to Spain in 1530.