Age of Exploration Time Line

Dates Who and What They Did Country Sailing For

Infante Dom Henrique (Prince Henry the Navigator) - sailed to the Madeiras and Azores, and south, along the coast of Africa, to the western bulge of Africa (Cabo de Não)


Gil Eanes, set sail in 1434 and rounded Cabo de Não, discovering that the reputed terrors of the southern ocean did not exist.

1469 - 1474

Fernão Gomes - he sailed along the coast of Africa Guinea coast, every year going 100 leagues further. Gomes's ships swung around the bulge of Africa, reaching the Gold and Ivory coast.


Diogo Cão - Discovered the mouth of the Congo River.

1486 - 1488 Bartolomew Dias - set sail in 1486 and discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1487, rounding the southernmost point of Africa and continued sailing north along the African coast, a long distance, until a mutiny caused him to return to Portugal. He arrived in Portugal in December of 1488. The Portuguese had discovered a sea route to India. Portugal
1492 - 1493 Christopher Columbus (First Voyage) - set sail from  port of Palos, in southern Spain on August 3, 1492. Sighted land in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, discovered Cuba, Española, and other islands in West Indies. Returned March 4, 1493 España
1493 - 1496 Christopher Columbus (Second Voyage) - set sail from Palos on September 25, 1493, on November 3rd, they sighted the island of Dominica, in the West Indies. He crisscrossed the Caribbean and discovered many islands in the process. There were so many island, the Columbus named the "Las Mil Virgenes" (One Thousand Virgins). He discovered Puerto Rico and sailed on the northern cost of Española, the southern coast of Cuba, Jamaica, and back on the southern coast of Española. Returned to Spain on June 11, 1496. España
1497 - 1497 John Cabot (First Voyage) - Giovanni Caboto born in Genoa, citizen of Venice, sailed for England from Bristol, England, in May 20, 1497. Reached Belle Island on the northern coast of Newfoundland, on June 24, 1497. He sailed down the east coast of Newfoundland, to the southern corner, Landing only on Newfoundland, at Belle Island. He never landed again on the coast, before he returned to England on July 30, 1497 England
1497 - 1499 Vasco de Gama - sailed from Lisbon on July 8, 1497, sailed by the Cape of Good Hope, and reached India. Returned to Lisbon on August 29, 1499 Portugal
1498 - 1500 Christopher Columbus (Third Voyage) - Sailed from the port of Sanlucar in Spain on May 30, 1498, Sighted Trinidad on July 31, 1498, reached the coast of South America the Guiana's on August 2, 1498 and sailed west along the coast to Venezuela. He arrived in Española in August 19, 1498.He was arrested by Francisco de Bobadilla, the new Royal Commissioner, along with his brothers, Bartholomew, Diego and sent home in chains, arriving in Spain in October, 1500. España
1498 John Cabot (Second Voyage) - sailed from Bristol in May, 1498. His four ships, and crew were lost at sea, and never heard from again. England
1499 - 1500 João Fernandes (Lavrador) - An Azorean farmer that sailed from Terceira and viewed Greenland and discovered The Labrador.  Portugal
1499 - 1500 Amerigo Vespucci - sailed from Cadiz on May 18, 1499, reached coast of Brazil in June, 1499 and explored 3,000 miles of the coast of South America. Returned to Cadiz in June, 1500 España
1499 - 1500 Alonso de Ojeda - sailed from Santa Maria, Spain, on May 20, 1499. He sighted the mainland near the mouth of the Orinoco River, He sailed south to the Amazon River, and then north, crossing the Equator, and then sailed west, along the coast of South America along the Guiana's and Venezuela. He gave Venezuela its name. Returned to Cadiz in April, 1500 España
1499 - 1500 Pedro Alonso Niño - sailed Palos, Spain on June 1, 1499. He sighted land on the coast of Brazil, and sailed north west, along the route of Ojeda. Returned to Palos, in April, 1500. España
1499 - 1500 Cristobal Guerra - sailed from Spain, sometime in 1500. He sailed to the Pearl Coast, to collect pearls. This is the same area discovered by Ojeda, and Niño. He returned on November 11, 1501 España
1499 - 1500 Vicente Yañez Pinzon - set sail from Palos, Spain in December, 1499. Landed on the southern coast of Brazil on January 20, 1500, and sailed north along the coast. Returned on September 30, 1500. España
1499 - 1500 Diego de Lepe - set sail from Palos, Spain, on December 18, 1499, and landed on the coast of Brazil on February 14, 1500. He followed the closely he route of the Portuguese navigator, Cabral. He went farther south along the American coast than any of his predecessors. He claimed all these lands in the name of the King of Spain, only to have it voided by the Line of Demarcation of 1498., and returned to Spain in June, 1500. España
1499 - 1503 Rodrigo de Bastidas - he set sailed from Cádiz in October, 1500. He reached South America in the area of Venezuela and continued westward. He passed Cape de la Vela, and explored Colombia. the bay where the city of Cartagena is now built. He sailed northwest into the Gulf of Darien along the coast of Panama going to the  site of Nombre de Dios, and possible as far as Porto Bello. Bastidas, is credited with the discovery of  Panamá in 1501. He returned to Española, where like Columbus, he was imprisoned and sent in chains to Spain in 1503, by Francisco de Bobadilla.   España
1500 Gaspar Corte Real (First Voyage) - sailed from the Azores and explored Newfoundland, looking for the Northeast Passage, and returned to Lisbon in the autumn of 1500. Portugal
1500 - 1501 Pedro Alvares Cabral - he sailed from Lisbon, Portugal on March 9, 1500, and sailed along the southern coast of Brazil, heading north, he followed the coast. He returned to Portugal in the summer of 1501 Portugal
1501 - 1502 Amerigo Vespucci - sailed from Lisbon, Portugal on May 13, 1501. He sighted the coast of Brazil on August 15, 1501, heading south, he explored the coast of Brazil. He returned to Lisbon in June, 1502  Portugal
1501 Gaspar Corte Real (Second Voyage) - sailed from the Azores in mid-May, 1501 and to explored the Northeast Passage. Two of Gaspar's three ships returned to Lisbon on October 10, 1501. Gaspar and his ship was lost at sea, and never heard from again. Portugal
1501 Juan de la Cosa - he sailed from Spain to the northern coast of South America, and returned the same year. España
1502 Miguel Corte Real (older brother of Gaspar) - sailed from the Azores in May of 1502, to search for his brother and the Northeast Passage. One of his two ships returned. Miguel's flag ship with him on board was lost at sea, and never heard from again. Portugal
1502 - 1504 Christopher Columbus (Fourth Voyage) - Columbus sailed, from the port of Cadiz on May 11, 1502, on his fourth and last voyage searching for a passage to the Spice Islands.. He landed in Martinique on June 15. He arrived in Española on June 29th, seeking protection from a Hurricane. From there, he sailed on the southern coast of Cuba, and across to Honduras, down the coast past Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. He explored Panama for some time, traveling as far east as El Retre. He sailed back to Veraguas, and set up a settlement of Belen searching for gold mines. The Indians attacked the settlement, and they had to abandon it. He then sailed as far east as he could, and then sailed north, landing in Cuba. He then headed to Española, but his ships were sinking, and he reached Jamaica, where he spent 1 year, marooned there. Eventually, he was able to embark to Española on a ship that was sent to pick him, and his men, up. He arrived in Spain around the end of November, 1504. España
1505 Juan de la Cosa - he sailed from Spain to the northern coast of South America, and returned the same year. España
1505 Juan Bermúdez - of Palos, discovered Bermuda in 1505 España
1507 Juan de la Cosa - he sailed from Spain to the northern coast of South America, and returned the same year. España
1508 - 1508 Sabastian Cabot - son of Giovanni Caboto, born in Venice, sailed from England in 1508 searching for a North West Passage. Not much is known about this trip, and some historians doubt it ever took place. Sebastian told others that he had also accompanied his father, John on his first voyage. England
1508 Sebastian de Campo - Circumnavigated Cuba España
1508 - 1509 Vicente Yañez Pinzon - In 1508, he made two expeditions to the New World  looking for the path to the Spice Islands. It is not known, where they went, but it is suspected that they sailed to Honduras and the Yucatan. Returned in 1509. España
1509 Juan de la Cosa - he sailed from Spain to the northern coast of South America, He was killed by Indians in Colombia.. España
1513 Juan Ponce de Leon - set sail from San German, Puerto Rico, on March 3, 1513, in search of the Fountain of Youth. They sailed northwest and on April 2nd, sighted, what he thought was a large island, which he gave the name of Pascua Florida, because it was Easter season, and there were many flowers in the area. On April 3rd, he went ashore to claim it for Spain. He landed in a small inlet near Daytona Beach. He also discovered a strong current (Gulf Stream) that forced his ships, that were sailing south, to sail backwards. He sailed down the coast of Florida, past the Florida Keys, and up the western coast to Charlotte Harbor. Returning home, he sailed west, skirting the Yucatan, past the north coast of Cuba, and back to Puerto Rico, getting home on October 10th, 1513.  
1513 Vasco Nuñez de Balboa - on September 1, 1513, Balboa set of from Antigua, Panama,  with a force of 190 Spaniards and about 1,000 natives searching for a sea, that was told to him, by the Indians of Panama. On September 29, Balboa and his party, walked into the Pacific Ocean, and claimed it in the name of Spain, along with all the land that toughed its coast. He called the ocean, the "South Sea", since he had to walk south, from Antigua. Balboa was given credit for the discovery of the Pacific Ocean. España
1515 - 1516 Juan Diaz de Solis - sailed in October 8, 1515, and was instructed to sail around the southern tip of South America, and up the coast, until he reached Panama. He reached the coast of Brazil, and in February of 1516, reached Uruguay and entered the Plate River.  Seeing a group of Indians, he went ashore with 7 men, and the Indians attacked them, killing everybody in the landing party, cutting to pieces, and eating them in plain view of the ship. The ship with the survivors returned to Sevilla in September of 1516. España
1517 Francisco Hernandez de Córdoba - sailed from Havana on February 8th, 1517, to kidnap Indian slaves to replenish Cuba, of its already depleted Indians. They reached the Yucatan in 21 days. There they had many battles with the Indians, and many of their party were killed. Every where he landed, he had to fight battles with the Indians. He returned to Cuba, several months later and reported on the wealth of the Yucatan, the temples and treasures he found there. España
1518 Don Diego Velásquez - sailed from Santiago, Cuba on April 8th, 1518, to explore the Mexican coast, and check out the stories told by Córdoba. They saw the temples of the Yucatan, and continued all the way to Vera Cruz. They found some of the Indians, very war like, and some friendly. They returned to Matanzas, Cuba in October, 1518. España
1518 Alonso Alvarez de Pineda - sailed at the end of 1518. They landed on the west coast of Florida, and encountered the same reception that Ponce de Leon received, and continued up the coast. They discovered the Mississippi River, and sailed 20 miles up the Mississippi. They then continued along the coast, west and south, along the coast of Texas. At a place called Chila, they were defeated by the Indians, and Pineda was killed. The natives managed to burn most of the ships in the fleet, but one. The survivors, arrived in Vera Cruz, and joined Cortez's army, that was already there. Pineda, was able to navigate, along the Gulf of Mexico coast, and positively prove, that were was no passage to the Pacific Ocean. He and not De Soto or La Salle, discovered the Mississippi River.  
1519 - 1522 Ferdinand Magellan - sailed from Sevilla, Spain on September 19, 1519. In February, 1520, they were exploring the coast of Patagonia. Discovered the Straits of Magellan in October, 1520. When he reached the Pacific Ocean, he was so happy, at finding calm waters, the he named it the Pacific Ocean. He was killed in April 27, 1521, off the coast of Mactan Island, Philippines,  and his crew continued the circumnavigation of the world, arriving back in Spain on September 6, 1522. España
1519 - 1521 Hernando Cortéz - set of to Mexico from Santiago, Cuba on February 18, 1519, with 11 ships, and 600 men and 16 horses. In Tabasco, he acquired the help of Indian girl, Mariana, who became his interpreter and mistress. He allied himself with the Zempoalans and added another 2,000 men to his force. To prevent problem with his men, wanting to go home, he burned all of his ships. Along the way, he kept adding to his army, when all of the enemies of the Aztecs joined forces. When he arrived at Tenochtitlan, on November 8, 1519, his force numbered more than 5,000 men. Cortez arrested Motecuhzoma and eventually burned him to death.  After many fierce battles, in which over 2/3 of the Spaniards were killed, many of them drowning in the lake, because they were so loaded with gold, which they would not let go of. They retreated to Tlaxcala in 1520 to regroup. On December 28, 1520 they set out again to Tenochtitlan with a force of more than 100,000 Indian allies, finally defeating the Aztecs on August 13, 1521.The final battle for the conquest of Tenochtitlan, took 93 days, of vicious fighting. From there, he sent an army to the south of Mexico, to capture and subdue the Mayans. España
1520 João Alvares Fagundes - sailed from Portugal in 1520 to explore Codfish Land (Newfoundland) and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He discovered St. Pierre, Miquelon and the many islands between Newfoundland and St. Lawrence including the Penguin Island. He also sailed along the coast of Nova Scotia and discovered the Bay of Fundy. He went back in 1521 and 1525 to establish colonies in the area. Portugal
1521 Juan Ponce de Leon - set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on February 15th, 1521. He went to colonize Florida, and had seeds, and priests to convert the Indians. He reach Sanibel Island, on the west coast of Florida, where he had a battle with the natives, received and arrow wound, that became infected. The returned to Cuba, but he died in July. España
1522 Pascual de Andagoya - set sail in 1522, from Panama in search of the land that he had heard about, from the Indians, further south, called Biru (Peru)., set out to find it. He explored the country east of the Gulf of San Miguel to Ecuador. He confirmed the existence of the rich empire to the south. He collected  large quantities of gold  and pearls. He reached  the San Juan River, Ecuador, claiming all of the land for Spain (and himself). He returned to Antigua.  España
1522 - 1546 Francisco de Montejo - One of Cortez's generals, that was sent to the Yucatan region of Mexico and Guatemala to conquer the Mayans. By 1546, the northern Mayan cities had been defeated, and 500,000 were sold into slavery. Some groups of Mayan's continued fighting, and the Itza tribe was finally subdued in 1967. España
1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano - sailed from Dieppe, France on January 17, 1524. He made landfall on March 1st, 1524 at Cape Fear, southernmost of North Carolina's three capes. They sailed south for about 110 miles, and turned north, to avoid running into any Spaniards, he sailed another 250 miles north, along the coast. He explored the coasts of Georgia, North and South Carolina, and as far north as New York Bay and Arcadia. He returned and anchored at Dieppe on July 8, 1524. France
1524 Francisco Pizarro & Diego de Almagro (First Expedition) - set sail from Panama, in November of 1524 in search of the cities of gold, that the Indians talked about, that lay to the south. The first trip, did not yield any great quantities of gold and Pizarro only went as far south as Punta Quemada, off the coast of Colombia. He sent back some of the small quantity of gold he was able to get, to keep the Governor of Panama happy, and continue his support of the expedition.  España
1525 - 1528 Sebastian Cabot - sailed from Spain to follow Magellan around the world. When he reached the Plate River, in South America, the voyage ended in disaster, and eventually returned to Spain. España
1526 - 1527 Francisco Pizarro & Diego de Almagro (Second Expedition) - set sail from Panama, in 1526. After fighting the hostile natives in the jungles of Colombia and Ecuador, Almagro returned to Panama for more men and supplies, while Prizarro continued past the Bay of Guayaquil, into Peru. He was able to get a glimpse of the Inca Empire and traded for some gold items. Since his force consisted of about 1 dozen men and they were very weak, he and his Spaniards, were on their best behavior, and set the ground work, for when they would return with a greater force.  
1527 Pánfilo Narváez - he sailed form Barrameda on February 22nd, 1527 with the commission to colonize all the lands between Florida and Mexico. He with a force of 260 men, landed in Florida, near St. Petersburg, on May 1st. He sent his ship on to Mexico, to wait for him while he marched up the coast of Florida. He traveled north battling Indians all the way to Apalachee. They constructed 4 boats here and continued on to Pensacola Bay, battling Indians all the way. The crossed the Mississippi River in there boats. Eventually, all of their boats were lost and the Indians kill them all, except for 4 men, one being Cabeza de Vaca. España
1527 - 1528 John Rut - set sail from Plymouth, England on June 10th. On July 21st, they arrived in Newfoundland, and looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed as far as Labrador. His ship was seen by Spaniards on Mona Island, and later, November 25, 1527 in Española. The Spanish reported that the ship was lost. In Puerto Rico, they took in supplies and returned to England in the spring of 1528 England
1527 - 1536 Alvar Nuñez de Vera (Cabeza de Vaca) - he was one of the four surviving members of the Pánfilo Narváez expedition. On November 8, 1527, the boat he was on, capsized, and they managed to swim to the shore. They walked to Texas and then Mexico, with the help of friendly Indians that fed them along the way. They lost all of their cloths along the way, and continued naked. Cabeza de Vaca, wrote that the shed their skin, twice a year, like serpents. They finally reached Mexico City on July 25th, 1536. It took him and his four companions 9 years to complete the trip. España
1528 - 1529 Giovanni da Verrazzano - sailed from Dieppe, France in the spring of 1528, searching for the passage to the Pacific. They sighted Florida, then sailed to the Bahamas, and then set course to the Isthmus of Darien. They anchored off the coast of Guadeloupe, and the Verrazzano brothers rowed to the shore, and were killed and eaten by ferocious, cannibalistic Carib Indians. The crew, on the ships, saw what happened, but were anchored to far out, to be able to help. The ship then continued to Brazil, and returned to Brittany in March of 1529 with a cargo of wood from Brazil. France
1531 - 1534 Francisco Pizarro & Diego de Almagro (Third Expedition) - in the spring of 1528, Pizarro went to Spain, to get the support of King Charles V. After they gave him some gold drinking vessels he brought from Peru, he was given a royal charter to conquer the land of gold, the title of Governor & Captain-General of these lands. In early 1530, he returned to Panama to continue the preparations for his third expedition. Early in January, 1531, Pizarro sailed from Panama on 3 ships. Almagro remained in Panama, getting more supplies and men. Pizarro sailed south and landed in Ecuador, and started plundering the small villages he found along the way. Before the Spaniards reached Peru, they were able to get reinforcements from Panama. Pizarro, then pushed on and on November 15, 1532, they entered the Inca city of Coxamaraca. He invited the Inca ruler to meet with him, and captured him. As ransom, the Incas filled a room that measured 22 by 17 feet with gold for release their ruler. Almagro returned from Panama with a large contingent of reinforcements, needed to secure the empire and in time for the division of the spoils. In the Spanish camp, there was a long debate, on the release of Atahuallpa, as promised. After some time, and rumors of an impending attack by the Inca, Pizarro did not did not release Atahuallpa, but had him executed on June 24, 1534.  España
1534 Jacques Cartier (First Voyage) - set sail from Saint-Malo on April 20th, 1534 and made landfall at Newfoundland on May 10th. Cartier sailed all around the coast of Newfoundland, Labrador, Arcadia, and all the islands in the area. He returned on September 5th, 1534. France
1535 - 1536 Jacques Cartier (Second Voyage) - set sail from Saint-Malo on May 19, 1535, and sighted Funk Island on July 7th. They did not stop at Newfoundland but proceeded to explore the area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the islands in the gulf and Canada. They sailed up the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence River. They arrived at what is now Quebec in September 10th and on October 2nd, the were at the place where Montreal is today. Sailing down the river, he wintered in Quebec. He reached Saint-Malo on July 15, 1536. France
1536 Richard Hore - sailed from Gravesend, England, near the end of April, 1536 on for the purpose of catching codfish and taking tourist on a cruise to the northeast coast of North America. Two months after leaving England, the anchored at Penguin Island. They ran short of provisions and killed and ate what ever they could find, eventually resorting to cannibalism, to stay alive. Some of the tourist died of starvation and others were killed and eaten. They were saved by a French ship that gave them food, and they returned to St. Ives, Cornwall at the end of October 1536. England
1539 - 1543 Hernando de Soto - setting sail from Havana, Cuba, he landed near Fort Myers, Florida on May 25, 1539 with a force of 570 men and 223 horses. De Soto, got his training with Pizarro in Peru, he had no respect for the indigenous population of Florida. His basic strategy, was to enter an Indian town, capture the chief, demand provision, then move to the next village, capture that chief, then release to chief from the previous village. During his expedition, de Soto, killed many Indians, where ever he went. They marched north from Florida, into Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Near Memphis, he built barges and crossed the Mississippi River, two years after landing in Florida. They marched through Arkansas and Oklahoma, then back to the Mississippi. De Sota, died of fever on May 21, 1542, at the mouth of the Red River. His successor, Luis Moscoso, continued the expedition, spending a fourth winter at the mouth of the Arkansas River. He built a ship, sailed down the Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico, and arrived in Mexico on September 1543, with 311 men, out of the original 570/ España
1541 - 1542 Jacques Cartier (Third Voyage) - set sail from Saint-Malo on May 23rd, 1541. There were five ships in the fleet, that was going to colonize Canada. On August 23rd, 1541, it anchored off banks of the future Quebec. They established a settlement and continued their exploration, sailing up the Ottawa River. He arrived in Saint-Malo in October, 1542. France


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January 20, 2002