Pedro de Valdivia was born in the Spanish city of Badajoz in the Hidalgo family. In 1520-1521 years he fought in the army of Charles V in Flanders, and then till 1525 in Italy. After the war he moved to Europe to South America, where he was an active participant of the conquests under the command of F. Pizarro in Peru (1532-1536) and D. de Almagro in Chile (1535-1537). In 1535 and fought in what is now Venezuela in Group X-F. de Alderete.
In 1540, Pedro de Valdivia was appointed the first governor of the Spanish colony of Chile. This post, with a small break in 1548, he held until December 1553.
In his post de Valdivia founded on the territory under the control cities such as current capital of Chile, Santiago (1541), La Serena (1544), Concepcion (1550), La Imperial (1551), Valdivia (1552), as well as many other settlements . During his reign, the territory stretched from the south of Chile Atacama to Valdivia and Chiloe Island.
However, the expansion of land was accompanied by numerous clashes with the Indians. The prisoners on the orders of the enemies of de Valdivia was executed after a lot of torture.
At the beginning of 1550, having moved far to the south, clashes intensified with the Araucania. A new round of Arauco War. In December 1553 Pedro de Valdivia was captured. Despite his promise to give the Indians all the land in exchange for freedom, they executed the governor. Stripped him naked, they forced him to have golden sand, then another living sharp shells cut off limbs, and then the head. Heart conquistador ate leader with approximate, since, according to their belief, then the power goes defeated them. From the skull Araucanians made cup from which then drank alcohol.  According to some reports, his body was also fried and eaten by the tribe.