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

Walter RaleighWalter Raleigh
22 January 1554, British
Politician, Writer, Explorer, Aristocrat

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

Hernando de SotoHernando de Soto
1500 AD, Spanish
Explorer

Samuel de ChamplainSamuel de Champlain
13 August 1574, French
Explorer
BalboaVasco Núñez de Balboa
1475 AD, Spanish
Spanish Explorer

Juan Sebastián ElcanoJuan Sebastián Elcano
30 November 1476, Spanish
Explorer

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

William AdamsWilliam Adams
24 September 1564, British
First ever Western Samurai
Alvar N. C. de VacaAlvar N. C. de Vaca
1490 AD, Spanish
Explorer

Antonio PigafettaAntonio Pigafetta
1491 AD, Italian
Scholar

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de VacaÁlvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
1490 AD, Spanish
explorer, writer

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

Juan Rodríguez CabrilloJuan Rodríguez Cabrillo
13 March 1499, Portuguese
Navigator
Juan de OñateJuan de Oñate
 

Diego ColumbusDiego Columbus
01 April 1479, Spanish, Portuguese
Navigator

Pedro Álvares CabralPedro Álvares Cabral
1467 AD, Portuguese
Nobleman

Matteo RicciMatteo Ricci
06 October 1552, Italian
explorer, cartographer, writer, missionary,
Pedro Menéndez de AvilésPedro Menéndez de Avilés
15 February 1519, Spanish
Explorer

Martin FrobisherMartin Frobisher
1535 AD, British
Sailor
Humphrey GilbertHumphrey Gilbert
09 September 1539, British
Adventurer

Francisco de AlmeidaFrancisco de Almeida
1450 AD, Portuguese
Soldier

Pedro de ValdiviaPedro de Valdivia
17 April 1497, Spanish
Explorer, Military personnel
Willem JanszoonWillem Janszoon
1570 AD, Dutch
Navigator

Richard HakluytRichard Hakluyt
1553 AD, British
Writer
Ruy López de VillalobosRuy López de Villalobos
1500 AD, Spanish
explorer

Sebastián de BelalcázarSebastián de Belalcázar
1479 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

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

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Willem BarentszWillem Barentsz
1550 AD, Dutch
Navigator
Diego Velázquez de CuéllarDiego Velázquez de Cuéllar
1465 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

Jean RibaultJean Ribault
1520 AD, French
explorer

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

Duarte BarbosaDuarte Barbosa
Portuguese
 
Cornelis de HoutmanCornelis de Houtman
02 April 1565, Dutch
Explorer
Richard HawkinsRichard Hawkins
1562 AD, British
Explorer

Martin BehaimMartin Behaim
06 October 1459, German
Geographer and navigator

Gonzalo PizarroGonzalo Pizarro
1510 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

Thomas CavendishThomas Cavendish
19 September 1560, British
explorer
Lucas Vázquez de AyllónLucas Vázquez de Ayllón
1480 AD, Spanish
Magistrate

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

Andrés de UrdanetaAndrés de Urdaneta
30 November 1508, Spanish
Explorer

Marcos de NizaMarcos de Niza
1495 AD, French
Missionary

Ralph FitchRalph Fitch
1550 AD, British
Explorer
Gaspar Corte-RealGaspar Corte-Real
 

Pedro de MendozaPedro de Mendoza
22 June 1487, Spanish
Explorer
Anthony van DiemenAnthony van Diemen
1593 AD, Dutch
Colonial administrator

Juan de GrijalvaJuan de Grijalva
1489 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

Fernão Mendes PintoFernão Mendes Pinto
1509 AD, Portuguese
Author
Juan Díaz de SolísJuan Díaz de Solís
1470 AD, Spanish
Navigator

Pêro da CovilhãPêro da Covilhã
1460 AD, Portuguese
Diplomat
Richard ChancellorRichard Chancellor
1521 AD, British
Explorer

Willem SchoutenWillem Schouten
1567 AD, Dutch
Dutch Navigator

Lourenço de AlmeidaLourenço de Almeida
1480 AD, Portuguese
Explorer

Martim Afonso de SousaMartim Afonso de Sousa
1490 AD, Portuguese
Explorer

John DavisJohn Davis
30 September 1550, British
explorer
Thomas ButtonThomas Button
1575 AD, Canadian, Welsh
Explorer

Jean-François RobervalJean-François Roberval
1500 AD, French
Adventurer

Jacob van HeemskerckJacob van Heemskerck
13 March 1567, Dutch
Explorer

Pedro PáezPedro Páez
1564 AD, Spanish
Missionary
Philipp von HuttenPhilipp von Hutten
18 December 1505, German
Adventurer

Pietro della VallePietro della Valle
02 April 1586, Italian
Composer
Robert DudleyRobert Dudley
07 August 1574, British
Explorer

Francisco BarretoFrancisco Barreto
1520 AD, Portuguese
Soldier

Juan FernándezJuan Fernández
1536 AD, Spanish
Explorer
Olivier BrunelOlivier Brunel
1540 AD, Dutch
Merchant

Will AdamsWill Adams
24 September 1564, British, American
 
Panfilo de NarváezPanfilo de Narváez
1478 AD, Spanish
Conquistador

Dirck HartogDirck Hartog
09 November 1580, Netherlands Antilles
Dutch merchant captain and explorer

Lodovico de VarthemaLodovico de Varthema
1470 AD, Italian
Traveler