Picture of the Golden Hind

Elizabethan Explorers Timeline

  • People, events, facts and important dates in the Elizabethan Explorers Timeline of the Elizabethan Age
  • Explorers Timeline 1000 - 1600
  • Early Explorers Timeline 1000 - 1500
  • Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1500 - 1600

Picture of the Golden Hind

Elizabethan Explorers Timeline

The Elizabethan Age - Elizabethan Explorers Timeline

The Explorers Timeline charts the most important discoveries which were made during the Renaissance era. The Renaissance age of new ideas and learning encouraged a pioneering spirit of curiosity and adventure which are reflected in the Timeline. The success of the Spanish and Portuguese explorers and the lands they discovered and conquered are charted in the Explorers Timeline which details the names of the great European Explorers, their accomplishments and significant dates.


The discoveries and voyages of the great Renaissance explorers such as Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506), Vasco da Gama (1469-1524), Hernando Cortez and (1485-1547), Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618) and Sir Francis Drake (1542-1596). Facts about the famous Spanish Explorers, Portuguese Explorers and English Explorers have been detailed in the Elizabethan Explorers Timeline.

Famous Explorers


Explorers Timeline

The Elizabethan Explorers Timeline covers three sections: 

  • Early Explorers Timeline from 1000 - 1500 ( this early Explorers Timeline provides a 'backdrop' to the achievements and voyages of discovery by the Renaissance and Elizabethan Explorers
  • Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1500 - 1550
  • Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1550 - 1600

Early Explorers Timeline 1000 - 1500

1000: Polynesians discover and settle in New Zealand
1001: Leif Ericson was the first European to explore North America
Marco Polobegins his exploration of China and Asia
1432: Early Portuguese navigators discovered the Azores
1445: Dinis Dias is the first Portuguese explorer & European to sail the west coast of Africa
1456: The Cape Verde islands are explored by Portuguese
1470: The Portuguese begin 15 years of African exploration
1488: Bartholomeu Dias of Portugal first European to sail from the Iberian Peninsula to the south of Africa.
1492: The Discovery of America by
Christopher Columbus. For specific facts and information about America please refer to Colonial America.
1496: First European settlement in the "New World" established at Hispaniola by Columbus
1497: John Cabot and his son Sebastian were the first Europeans to discover Canada, landing      the coast of Newfoundland
1498: Vasco da Gama sails around the Cape of Good Hope and reaches India
1499: Alonzo de Ojeda explores the mainland from the equator to Cape la Vela in Columbia into Venezuela
1500: Vicente Pinzon and Juan Dias de Solis discovered Brazil before Cabral
1500: Cabral credited with discovering Brazil

Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1500 - 1550

1501: Amerigo Vespucci explores the coast of South America
1500: Rodrigo de Bastidas and Juan de la Cosa discover Panama
1508: Juan Dias de Solis explores Argentina
1510: Portuguese ships conquer Goa in India which begins the era of Portuguese dominance in southern Asia
1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa explores the Pacific coast of Panama and discovers Pacific Ocean
1513: Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida
1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa “discovers” the Pacific Ocean in Panama
1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovers the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean.

1513: Juan Ponce de Leon searches for the Fountain of Youth in Florida
1516: Juan Dias de Solis explores Uruguay
1517: Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba explores Yucatan
1518: Juan de Grijalava discovers Mexico
Ferdinand Magellanis the first to go around the world
1519: Hernando Cortez kidnaps Aztec Emperor Montezuma and loots the Aztec gold
1519: Alonzo de Pineda explors gulf Coast of America
1522: Gil Gonzales de Avila and Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba explores Nicaragua & Granada
1524: Giovanni Verrazano, an Italian explorer employed by France, sails along the
coast of North America and discovers New York Bay
1524: Hernando Cortes conquers the Honduras
1524: Pedro de Alvarado conquers Guatemala and El Salvador
1525: Spanish mapmaker Diego Ribeiro makes the first scientific charts of the Pacific
1526: Francisco Montejo conquers Yucatan

1528: Panfilo de Narvaez conquers Cuba and explores Florida
1528: Alvar Cabeza de Vaca explores Texas, Arizona and New Mexico
1530: The Portuguese begin their colonization of Brazil
1531: Francisco Pizarro conquers Peru
1532: Francisco Pizarro invades and loots the Incan Empire
1533: Sebastian de Benalcazar conquers Ecuador
1534: Jacques Cartier discovers the Great Lakes and the the St. Lawrence River
1536: Pedro de Mendoza explores Paraguay
1538: First exploration of Bolivia
1539: Hernando de Soto explores south-eastern North America, seeking gold
1540: Francisco Vázquez de Coronado explores south-western North America
1540: Discovery of the Grand Canyon by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas
1540: Francisco de Orellana (1511-1546) explores Amazon River
1541: Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado arrives in Kansas in search of gold
1542: Cabrillo explores and discovers the Californian coast
1542: Rey Lopez de Villalobos explored the Philippines
1542: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay, California
1549: A Portuguese expedition establishes a large colonial presence in Brazil

Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1500 - 1550

1556: Portuguese establish port of Macau on Chinese coast
1559: Tristan de Luna expedition explores North America
John Hawkinssails to Africa - profits from the slave trade
1563: Francisco de Ibarra explores New Mexico
1564: Spain begins conquest of the Philippines
1568: Oppressive Spanish rule leads to Dutch revolt, which lasts until 1648
1568: Spanish discover the Solomon Islands
1572: Spain establishes Manila
1576:The Englishman
Sir Martin Frobisherbegins three attempts to find the Northwest Passage and gold sailing to Baffin Bay and into the Hudson Strait
Sir Francis Drakecircumnavigates the world - December 13 1577 to September 26 1580
1584: Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe (both in the service of
Sir Walter Raleigh) explore the coast of North Carolina ( For additional information click Virginia History Timeline)
1585: Sir Walter Raleigh establishes the Roanoke colony
Sir Richard Hawkinstravels to the South Pacific
1595: Sir Walter Raleigh seeks golden city of El Dorado in South America
1598: Juan de Archuleta explores Colorado

Elizabethan Explorers Timeline
Details, facts and information about the Explorers of the Elizabethan Age can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.


Elizabethan Explorers
Elizabethan Age of Exploration
Spanish Explorers

Elizabethan Explorers Timeline

  • Interesting Facts and information about Elizabethan Explorers Timeline during the Elizabethan Age
  • People, events and important dates in the Elizabethan Explorers Timeline of the Elizabethan Age
  • Explorers Timeline 1000 - 1600
  • Early Explorers Timeline 1000 - 1500
    Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1500 - 1550
    Elizabethan Explorers Timeline 1550 - 1600
  • Elizabethan Explorers and Explorations

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Elizabethan Explorers Timeline


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