Juan Ponce de Leon sailed for Spain, starting his career as part of Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the New World. Later, the Spanish crown sent Ponce de Leon to govern the eastern half of Hispaniola and then to further explore the newly discovered Americas.
While Ponce de Leon served with distinction as a colonial governor, he is most famous for his exploration of Puerto Rico and Florida. Rumors of gold sent him to Puerto Rico in 1508, and rumors of a fountain that restored all who drank from it to youth drew him to a Caribbean island known as Bimini and then later to Florida.Learn More
Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico on Nov. 19, 1493, during his second voyage from Spain. The island was inhabited by thousands of Taino Indians, who called the island "Boriken," which means "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord." It was later renamed Puerto Rico, which means "rich port."Full Answer >
Hernando Cortes sailed for Spain. He traveled to the New World at the age of 19 and played a major role in advancing Spain's position in the Americas. He is best known for defeating the Aztec Empire and conquering Mexico for Spain.Full Answer >
Amerigo Vespucci explored the world for Spain and Portugal during the late 15th century and early 16th century. The precise amount of his exploration is controversial. Some researchers believe that letters supposedly written by Vespucci that describe his journeys are forgeries.Full Answer >
Not much is known about Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, but it is known that he was born in Spain in 1494, during the age of exploration. Just two years before Pineda was born, Christopher Columbus had discovered a new world to be combed through.Full Answer >