Find out more about the greatest 16th Century Explorers, including Walter Raleigh, Francis Drake, Amerigo Vespucci, Juan Ponce de León and Samuel de Champlain.
Francis DrakeFrancis Drake
1540 AD, British
Navigator
Walter RaleighWalter Raleigh
22 January 1554, British
Politician, Writer, Explorer, Aristocrat

Amerigo VespucciAmerigo Vespucci
09 March 1454, Italian
Discoverer of South America

Juan Ponce de LeónJuan Ponce de León
1474 AD, Spanish
Explorer

Hernando de SotoHernando de Soto
1500 AD, Spanish
Explorer

Alvar N. C. de VacaAlvar N. C. de Vaca
1490 AD, Spanish
Explorer
Samuel de ChamplainSamuel de Champlain
13 August 1574, French
Explorer

William AdamsWilliam Adams
24 September 1564, British
First ever Western Samurai

Juan Sebastián ElcanoJuan Sebastián Elcano
30 November 1476, Spanish
Explorer
BalboaVasco Núñez de Balboa
1475 AD, Spanish
Spanish Explorer

Francisco Vásquez de CoronadoFrancisco Vásquez de Coronado
1510 AD, Spanish
Explorers
Pedro de AlvaradoPedro de Alvarado
1485 AD, Spanish
Explorers

Pedro Álvares CabralPedro Álvares Cabral
1467 AD, Portuguese
Nobleman

Antonio PigafettaAntonio Pigafetta
1491 AD, Italian
Scholar

Francisco Vázquez de CoronadoFrancisco Vázquez de Coronado
1510 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

Matteo RicciMatteo Ricci
06 October 1552, Italian
explorer, cartographer, writer, missionary,
Diego ColumbusDiego Columbus
01 April 1479, Spanish, Portuguese
Navigator

Juan Rodríguez CabrilloJuan Rodríguez Cabrillo
13 March 1499, Portuguese
Navigator

Martin FrobisherMartin Frobisher
1535 AD, British
Sailor

Francisco de AlmeidaFrancisco de Almeida
1450 AD, Portuguese
Soldier
Juan de OñateJuan de Oñate
 

Willem JanszoonWillem Janszoon
1570 AD, Dutch
Navigator
Willem BarentszWillem Barentsz
1550 AD, Dutch
Navigator

Ruy López de VillalobosRuy López de Villalobos
1500 AD, Spanish
explorer

Panfilo de NarváezPanfilo de Narváez
1478 AD, Spanish
Conquistador
Pedro de ValdiviaPedro de Valdivia
17 April 1497, Spanish
Explorer, Military personnel

Lope de AguirreLope de Aguirre
08 November 1510, Spanish
Conquistador
Christopher NewportChristopher Newport
30 November 1561, British
explorer

Pedro Menéndez de AvilésPedro Menéndez de Avilés
15 February 1519, Spanish
Explorer

Sebastián de BelalcázarSebastián de Belalcázar
1479 AD, Spanish
Conquistador
Jean RibaultJean Ribault
1520 AD, French
explorer

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Robert DudleyRobert Dudley
07 August 1574, British
Explorer
Humphrey GilbertHumphrey Gilbert
09 September 1539, British
Adventurer

Gonzalo Jiménez de QuesadaGonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
1509 AD, Spanish
Conqueror

Richard HakluytRichard Hakluyt
1553 AD, British
Writer

Diego Velázquez de CuéllarDiego Velázquez de Cuéllar
1465 AD, Spanish
Conquistador
Gonzalo PizarroGonzalo Pizarro
1510 AD, Spanish
Conquistador
Duarte BarbosaDuarte Barbosa
Portuguese
 

Alonso de OjedaAlonso de Ojeda
1466 AD, Spanish
explorer, conquistador

Thomas CavendishThomas Cavendish
19 September 1560, British
explorer

Martin BehaimMartin Behaim
06 October 1459, German
Geographer and navigator
Cornelis de HoutmanCornelis de Houtman
02 April 1565, Dutch
Explorer

Richard HawkinsRichard Hawkins
1562 AD, British
Explorer

Lodovico de VarthemaLodovico de Varthema
1470 AD, Italian
Traveler

Andrés de UrdanetaAndrés de Urdaneta
30 November 1508, Spanish
Explorer

Ralph FitchRalph Fitch
1550 AD, British
Explorer
Anthony van DiemenAnthony van Diemen
1593 AD, Dutch
Colonial administrator

Lucas Vázquez de AyllónLucas Vázquez de Ayllón
1480 AD, Spanish
Magistrate
Gaspar Corte-RealGaspar Corte-Real
 

Fernão Mendes PintoFernão Mendes Pinto
1509 AD, Portuguese
Author

Gaspar de CarvajalGaspar de Carvajal
1500 AD, Spanish
Missionary, Explorers
Pietro della VallePietro della Valle
02 April 1586, Italian
Composer

Pêro da CovilhãPêro da Covilhã
1460 AD, Portuguese
Diplomat
Marcos de NizaMarcos de Niza
1495 AD, French
Missionary

Pedro de MendozaPedro de Mendoza
22 June 1487, Spanish
Explorer

Juan de ZumárragaJuan de Zumárraga
1468 AD, Spanish
Bishop

Juan de GrijalvaJuan de Grijalva
1489 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

John DavisJohn Davis
30 September 1550, British
explorer
Juan Díaz de SolísJuan Díaz de Solís
1470 AD, Spanish
Navigator

Lourenço de AlmeidaLourenço de Almeida
1480 AD, Portuguese
Explorer

Willem SchoutenWillem Schouten
1567 AD, Dutch
Dutch Navigator

Martim Afonso de SousaMartim Afonso de Sousa
1490 AD, Portuguese
Explorer
Richard ChancellorRichard Chancellor
1521 AD, British
Explorer

Pedro PáezPedro Páez
1564 AD, Spanish
Missionary
Jean-François RobervalJean-François Roberval
1500 AD, French
Adventurer

Thomas ButtonThomas Button
1575 AD, Canadian, Welsh
Explorer

Juan FernándezJuan Fernández
1536 AD, Spanish
Explorer
Philipp von HuttenPhilipp von Hutten
18 December 1505, German
Adventurer

Jacob van HeemskerckJacob van Heemskerck
13 March 1567, Dutch
Explorer
Francisco BarretoFrancisco Barreto
1520 AD, Portuguese
Soldier

Olivier BrunelOlivier Brunel
1540 AD, Dutch
Merchant