Advertisement.

EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.

ad
(Already a member? Click here.)

Our subscribers' grade-level estimate for this page: 4th - 5th

An Enchanted Learning® Web Page
Zoom Explorers
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Africa Antarctica Arctic Australia Canada Mexico North America South America Space Undersea Women
1300's and Earlier 1400's Early 1500's Late 1500's 1600's 1700's 1800's 1900's Glossary of Exploration Terms

Explorers from 1501-1550: the Early Sixteenth Century

ALBUQUERQUE, AFONSO DE
Afonso de Albuquerque (14??-1515) was a Portuguese soldier and explorer who sailed to the Spice Islands (the Moluccas, a group of Islands in Indonesia) in 1507-1511, trying to monopolize trade with this area; from Europe, he sailed around Africa to the Indian Ocean. He was appointed the Viceroy of India by King Emmanuel in 1509. He forcibly destroyed the Indian city of Calicut in January, 1510, and took Goa (in southern India) in March, 1510, claiming Goa for Portugal.
AYLLON, LUCAS VAZQUEZ DE
De Ayllon mapLucas Vázquez de Ayllón (1475-1526) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who tried to start a colony in North America in 1526. He was the first European colonizer of what is now South Carolina. His attempt to settle the coast of the Carolinas (near the mouth of the Peedee River at Winyah Bay) was unsuccessful.

For more information on De Ayllon, click here.

BALBOA, VASCO NUNEZ DE
BalboaVasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer. He was the first European to see the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean (in 1513), after crossing the Isthmus of Panama overland.

For more information on Balboa, click here.

CABEZA DE VACA, ALVAR NUNEZ
Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca [Cabeza de Vaca means "head of a cow"] (1490?-1557?) was a Spanish explorer who sailed to North America from Spain, leaving in 1527. He traveled from Florida to Texas on a raft, then walked from Texas to Mexico City. He also explored the Paraguay River in South America. De Vaca and his fellow travelers were the first Europeans to see the bison, or American buffalo.

For more information on Cabeza de Vaca, click here.

CABRAL, PEDRO ALVARES
Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467-1520) was a Portuguese nobleman, explorer, and navigator who was the first European to see Brazil (on April 22, 1500). His patron was King Manuel I of Portugal, who sent him on an expedition to India. Cabral's 13 ships left on March 9, 1500, following the route of Vasco da Gama. On April 22,1500, he sighted land (Brazil), claiming it for Portugal and naming it the "Island of the True Cross." King Manuel renamed this land Holy Cross; it was later renamed once again, to Brazil, after a kind of dyewood found there, called pau-brasil. Cabral stayed in Brazil for 10 days and then continued on his way to India, in a trip fraught with shipwrecks (at the Cape of Good Hope), and fighting (with Muslim traders in India). After trading for spices in India, Cabral returned to Portugal on June 23, 1501, with only four of the original 13 ships.

For more information on Cabral, click here.

CABOT, SEBASTIAN
Sebastian Cabot (1474?-1557?) was an explorer, mapmaker and navigator of Italian descent. He worked as a cartographer (mapmaker) for England's King Henry VIII, was a captain for Spain's King Ferdinand V, explored for England's King Henry VII, and may have secretly explored for Venice. Sebastian Cabot's father was the explorer John Cabot.

Cabot searched for the Northwest passage across North America (1508). He began an unsuccessful trip around the world (1526-1529) in a voyage that supposed to sail to China and the Moluccas (the Spice Islands, in Indonesia), but he only made it as far as the enormous mouth of the Rio de la Plata (a river between Argentina and Uruguay in South America). Later, he began to work for the English again, searching for a water passage across the north of Asia around 1553.

For more information on Sebastian Cabot click here.

CABRILLO, JUAN RODRIGUEZ
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (? -1543) was a Spanish or Portuguese explorer (his nationality is uncertain). Cabrillo was the first European explorer of the Californian coast. In 1542, he sailed from Acapulco to southern California, claiming California for King Charles I of Spain. Cabrillo named San Diego Bay and Santa Barbara. He died on San Miguel Island (in the Santa Barbara Channel) after a fight with Indians, from complications resulting from a broken leg.
CARTIER, JACQUES
Jacques CartierJacques Cartier (1491-1557) was a French explorer who led three expeditions to Canada, in 1534, 1535, and 1541. He was looking for a route to the Pacific through North America (a Northwest Passage) but did not find one. Cartier paved the way for French exploration of North America.

Cartier sailed inland, going 1,000 miles up the St. Lawrence River. He also tried to start a settlement in Quebec (in 1541), but it was abandoned after a terribly cold winter. Cartier named Canada; "Kanata" means village or settlement in the Huron-Iroquois language. Cartier was given directions by Huron-Iroquois Indians for the route to "kanata," a village near what is now Quebec, but Cartier later named the entire region Canada.

CASTILLO, BERNAL DIAZ DEL
Bernal Diaz del Castillo, also known as Bernal Diaz, (1492-1584) was a Spanish historian and soldier who chronicled the Spanish conquest of Mexico. In 1514, he went to America as a soldier, with Pedrarias Dávila, the new governor of Darien. In 1517, he sailed to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, with Francisco de Córdoba's expedition. He returned to Mexico in 1518 with Grijalva, and in 1519, with Hernando Cortés. This last expedition entailed over 100 battles, including the surrender of Mexico City (in 1521). As a reward for his service, he was appointed governor of Santiago de los Caballeros in Guatemala. Bernal Diaz del Castillo published "Verdadera Historia de la Conquista de Nueva España", (True History of the Conquest of New Spain) in 1568.
COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, hoping to find a route to India (in order to trade for spices). He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the years 1492-1504, sailing for King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain. On his first trip, Columbus led an expedition with three ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

For more information on Columbus, click here.

CORDOBA, FRANCISCO FERNANDEZ DE
Francisco Fernández de Córdoba (? - 1524) was a Spanish explorer and slave trader who explored Mexico (1517) and Nicaragua (1524).

For more information on, Cordoba, click here.

CORONADO, FRANCISCO VASQUEZ DE
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado (1510-1554) was a Spanish ruler, explorer and conquistador. He was the first European to explore North America's Southwest.

For more information on Coronado, click here.

CORTE REAL, GASPAR
Gaspar Corte Real (1450?-1501?) was a Portuguese explorer who sailed to Greenland in 1500, and perhaps also reached the coast of North America (Newfoundland). Gaspar was lost at sea about 1501, and his brother Manuel died trying to find him.

For more information on Corte Real, click here.

CORTES, HERNAN
Hernán Cortés (also spelled Cortez), Marqués Del Valle De Oaxaca (1485-1547) was a Spanish adventurer and conquistador (he was also a failed law student) who overthrew the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain (1519-21).

Cortes sailed with 11 ships from Cuba to the Yucatan Peninsula to look for gold, silver, and other treasures. Hearing rumors of great riches, Cortés traveled inland and "discovered" Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. He then brutally killed the Aztec emperor Montezuma and conquered his Aztec Empire of Mexico, claiming all of Mexico for Spain in 1521. Treasures from the Aztecs were brought to Spain, and Cortés was a hero in his homeland. Cortés was appointed governor of the colony of New Spain, but eventually fell out of favor with the royals. He then returned to Spain where he died a few years later.

DA GAMA, VASCO
Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) was a Portuguese explorer who discovered an ocean route from Portugal to the East.

Da Gama sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, to India (and back) in 1497-1499. At that time, many people thought that this was impossible to do because it was assumed that the Indian Ocean was not connected to any other seas.

Da Gama's patron was King Manuel I of Portugal, who sent da Gama, then an Admiral, on another expedition to India (1502-1503). After King Manuel's death, King John III sent da Gama to India as a Portuguese viceroy (the King's representative in India). Da Gama died in India in 1524.

Go to a page on da Gama.

DE ALBUQUERQUE, AFONSO
Afonso de Albuquerque (14??-1515) was a Portuguese soldier and explorer who sailed to the Spice Islands (the Moluccas, a group of Islands in Indonesia) in 1507-1511, trying to monopolize trade with this area; from Europe, he sailed around Africa to the Indian Ocean. He was appointed the Viceroy of India by King Emmanuel in 1509. He forcibly destroyed the Indian city of Calicut in January, 1510, and took Goa (in southern India) in March, 1510, claiming Goa for Portugal.
DE AYLLON, LUCAS VAZQUEZ
De Ayllon mapLucas Vázquez de Ayllón (1475-1526) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who tried to start a colony in North America in 1526. He was the first European colonizer of what is now South Carolina. His attempt to settle the coast of the Carolinas (near the mouth of the Peedee River at Winyah Bay) was unsuccessful.

For more information on De Ayllon, click here.

DE LEON, PONCE
Juan Ponce de Leon (1460?-1521) was a Spanish explorer and soldier who was the first European to set foot in Florida. He also established the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico and discovered the Gulf Stream (a current in the Atlantic Ocean). Ponce de Leon was searching for the legendary fountain of youth and other riches.

For more information on Ponce de Leon, click here.

DE NARVAEZ, PANFILO
Panfilo de Narvaez (1470?-1528) was a Spanish explorer and soldier. He helped conquer Cuba in 1511 and led a Spanish royal expedition to North America (leaving Spain in 1527). He was born in Valladolid, Spain and died on his expedition to Florida.

De Narvaez was granted the land of Florida by the Emperor Charles V in 1526. He led an expedition there with 300 men, including Cabeza de Vaca. After surviving a hurricane near Cuba, his expedition landed on the west coast of Florida (near Tampa Bay) in April, 1528, claiming the land for Spain.

For more information on de Narvaez, click here.

DE NIZA, MARCOS
Fray Marcos de Niza (1495 - March 25, 1558 ) was a Franciscan priest who is said to have traveled to the fabled "Seven Golden Cities of Cibola" in what is now the western part of New Mexico.

De Niza was born in Savoy (now in France, but it was Italian then), and became a Franciscan friar. He sailed to the Americas in 1531, and traveled to Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. He freed some Native American slaves at Culiacán, Mexico.

He and the Moorish slave Estevanico were sent from Mexico City to find Cibola by the Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza (March to August 1539). De Niza reported that he and Estevanico saw the extraordinarily rich "Seven Golden Cities of Cibola," but they were later found to be simple Zuni Indian pueblos. Estevanico was killed by Zuni Indians during this expedition. De Niza survived and eventually was in charge of his Franciscan order (1541).

DE PINEDA, ALONSO ALVAREZ
de Pineda mapAlonso Alvarez de Pineda was a Spanish explorer and map-maker. De Pineda sailed for the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, Francisco de Garay, who sent him to explore and chart the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico in 1519. Captain De Pineda and his crew were probably the first Europeans in Texas, claiming it for Spain. One of the regions he explored and mapped was the area around Corpus Christi Bay; De Pineda entered Corpus Christi Bay on the feast day of Corpus Christi, hence the name.
DE SOTO, HERNANDO
Hernando De Soto (1500?-1542) was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Atlantic Ocean and was the first European to explore Florida and the southeastern US.

For more information on De Soto, click here.

DE URDANETA, ANDRES
Andres de Urdaneta (1508-1568) was a Spanish explorer who accompanied Garcia Jofre de Loaysa on the second sailing expedition around the world when he was 17 years old. On this 1525 trip, only one ship of the original seven survived.

Urdaneta found a sailing route from the Phillipines to Mexico in 1565. This route was extensively used by the Manila galleons until 1821, when the Spanish rule in Mexico ended.

DE VACA, ALVAR NUNEZ CABEZA
Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca [Cabeza de Vaca means "head of a cow"] (1490?-1557?) was a Spanish explorer who sailed to North America from Spain, leaving in 1527. He traveled from Florida to Texas on a raft, then walked from Texas to Mexico City. He also explored the Paraguay River in South America. De Vaca and his fellow travelers were the first Europeans to see the bison, or American buffalo.

For more information on Cabeza de Vaca, click here.

DIAS, BARTOLOMEU
Bartolomeu Dias (1457-1500) was a great Portuguese navigator and explorer who explored Africa's coast. In 1488, Dias led the first European expedition to sail around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, leaving Tagus, Portugal in 1487. This breakthrough of circumnavigating the Cape of Good Hope opened up lucrative trading routes from Europe to Asia. Dias may have originally called the southern tip of Africa the "Cape of Storms"; it was later renamed the Cape of Good Hope. On a later expedition (in 1500, with Pedro Álvares Cabral), Dias sailed near South America on the way to Africa, and spotted land at Espírito Santo in Brazil, calling it the "Land of the True Cross." Although they thought it to be an island, Dias was still among the first Europeans to see Brazil. Dias died during this expedition; he was lost at sea near the Cape of Good Hope in 1500.
DIAS, DIOGO
Diogo Dias was a Portuguese navigator (and brother of Bartolomeu Dias) who was the first European to sail to Madagascar, an island off the southeastern coast of Africa. Diogo Dias landed in Madagascar in 1500, and named it the Isle of St. Lawrence. His ship had been on an expedition with Pedro Álvares Cabral and Bartolomeu Dias, but Diogo Dias' ship became separated from the others at the Cape of Good Hope, and then came upon Madagasacar. He then returned to Portugal.
DIAZ, BERNAL
Bernal Diaz del Castillo, also known as Bernal Diaz, (1492-1584) was a Spanish historian and soldier who chronicled the Spanish conquest of Mexico. In 1514, he went to America as a soldier, with Pedrarias Dávila, the new governor of Darien. In 1517, he sailed to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, with Francisco de Córdoba's expedition. He returned to Mexico in 1518 with Grijalva, and in 1519, with Hernando Cortés. This last expedition entailed over 100 battles, including the surrender of Mexico City (in 1521). As a reward for his service, he was appointed governor of Santiago de los Caballeros in Guatemala. Bernal Diaz del Castillo published "Verdadera Historia de la Conquista de Nueva España", (True History of the Conquest of New Spain) in 1568.
ESTEVANICO
Estevanico (pronounced es-tay-vahn-EE-co), also called Estevan, Esteban, Estebanico, Black Stephen, and Stephen the Moor (1500?-1539) was a Muslim slave from northern Africa (Azamor, Morocco) who was one of the early explorers of the Southwestern United States.

For more information on Estevanico, click here.

NARVAEZ, PANFILO DE
Panfilo de Narvaez (1470?-1528) was a Spanish explorer and soldier. He helped conquer Cuba in 1511 and led a Spanish royal expedition to North America (leaving Spain in 1527). He was born in Valladolid, Spain and died on his expedition to Florida.

De Narvaez was granted the land of Florida by the Emperor Charles V in 1526. He led an expedition there with 300 men, including Cabeza de Vaca. After surviving a hurricane near Cuba, his expedition landed on the west coast of Florida (near Tampa Bay) in April, 1528, claiming the land for Spain.

For more information on de Narvaez, click here.

MAGELLAN, FERDINAND
Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) was a Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition that sailed around the Earth (1519-1522). Magellan also named the Pacific Ocean (the name means that it is a calm, peaceful ocean).

For more on Magellan, click here.

Go to a Magellan printout
Global Treasure Hunt

Global Treasure Hunt - Magellan

This activity requires a globe or detailed world map (one showing country names, latitude and longitude). Then follow the directions to follow Magellan's route around the globe. When you are done, unscramble the circled letters to find the hidden treasure word. Or go to the answers. Or go to a pdf of the questions and answers.

PINZON, VINCENTE
Vincente Yáñez Pinzon (1460? - 1523?) was a Spanish explorer and navigator who sailed with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World, as captain of the Niña. His older brother, Martin Pinzon, was captain of the Pinta and the co-owner of both the Nina and the Pinta.

In 1499, Vincente Pinzon sailed to the Brazilian coast (at a cape he named Santa María de la Consolación). From there, he sailed northwest to the Amazon River, whose mouth he explored. He sailed north to northeastern Venezuela (to the Gulf of Paria) and then returned to Spain.

In 1508, he sailed to the New World twice with Juan Díaz de Solís, trying to find a a passage to the Spice Islands. They sailed to Central America, but the exact locations of these explorations are unknown (they either sailed to Honduras and the Yucatán peninsula or to Venezuela and Brazil).

PIZARRO, FRANCISCO
Francisco Pizarro (1478-1541) was a Spanish conquistador who traveled through much of the Pacific coast of America along Peru. He "discovered" the Incan empire and conquered it brutally and quickly, stealing immense hoards of gold, silver, and other treasures.

For more information on Pizarro, click here.

URDANETA, ANDRES DE
Andres de Urdaneta (1508-1568) was a Spanish explorer who accompanied Garcia Jofre de Loaysa on the second sailing expedition around the world when he was 17 years old. On this 1525 trip, only one ship of the original seven survived.

Urdaneta found a sailing route from the Phillipines to Mexico in 1565. This route was extensively used by the Manila galleons until 1821, when the Spanish rule in Mexico ended.

VACA, ALVAR NUNEZ CABEZA DE
Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca [Cabeza de Vaca means "head of a cow"] (1490?-1557?) was a Spanish explorer who sailed to North America from Spain, leaving in 1527. He traveled from Florida to Texas on a raft, then walked from Texas to Mexico City. He also explored the Paraguay River in South America. De Vaca and his fellow travelers were the first Europeans to see the bison, or American buffalo.

For more information on Cabeza de Vaca, click here.

VERRAZZANO, GIOVANNI DA
Giovanni da Verrazzano (1485-1528) was an Italian navigator who, in 1524, explored the northeast coast of North America from Cape Fear, North Carolina to Maine while searching for a Northwest passage to Asia. Verrazzano sailed for King François-premier (Francis I) of France. Verrazzano's brother, Girolamo da Verrazzano, was a mapmaker who accompanyed Giovanni on his voyage, and mapped the voyage.

Verrazzano left Madeira, Spain, on January 17, 1524, and landed at Cape Fear on March 1. He first sailed south, then returned and sailed north, to New York, anchoring the narrows that are now name for him. He sailed up to Maine and then on to New Foundland, Canada, and back to Europe (landing in Dieppe, France on July 8). Verrazzano thought that North America was a thin isthmus separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Verrazzano was killed and eaten by Carib Indians in 1528. The Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, a suspension bridge that spans New York Harbor, connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island (New York, USA), was named for Verrazzano.

VESPUCCI, AMERIGO
Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) was an Italian explorer who was the first person to realize that the Americas were separate from the continent of Asia. America was named for him in 1507, when the German mapmaker Martin Waldseemüller, printed the first map that used the name America for the New World.

On his first expedition (sailing for Spain, 1499-1500), Vespucci was the navigator under under the command of Alonso de Ojeda. On this trip, Ojeda and Vespucci discovered the mouth of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers in South America, thinking it was part of Asia. On his second expedition (sailing for Portugal, 1501-02) he mapped some of the eastern coast of South America, and came to realize that it not part of Asia, but a New World.

Enchanted Learning® Web Page
Zoom Explorers
Search EnchantedLearning.com for your explorer:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Africa Antarctica Arctic Australia Canada Mexico North America South America Space Undersea Women
1300's and Earlier 1400's Early 1500's Late 1500's 1600's 1700's 1800's 1900's Glossary of Exploration Terms
Guidelines for Writing a Report on an Explorer


Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.


Copyright ©1999 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page