As humans we can go through the 80s. 80 years may seem many or few, long life full of adventures. But in the history of the earth a succession of generations has been from here to there, going around the world for many years. The land of now was already the steps of someone before …; all these places have breathed history, conversations, events that, if you close your eyes, maybe you can feel.

To the earth the human has explored it for years. Before Bering freeze.

Before contemporary man traveled comfortably on cruises – now that everything seems to be discovered, were the seas and the waves alone. A brave man suddenly decided to make a boat and go sailing. Some ancients fished in fragile rafts. But until the fourteen hundred we actually began to explore the world by the seas.


1511.- The sinking of the Valdivia. The Spaniards arrived in Mexico in the first two decades of the fifteenth century.

Columbus arrived in Cuba in 1492, and it took almost 20 years for the first Spaniard to reach Mexican lands with the sinking of Valdivia in 1511. It was the survivors Jerónimo de Aguilar and Gonzalo Guerrero who arrived at the always paradisiacal Cozumel, where they lived 9 years as slaves in the peninsula.

Cortes found them in 1519 and they served as interpreters.

The voyage of the collapse of Valdivia

1517.- The expedition of Fernandez de Córdoba. In 1517, the first documented trip of Spanish exploration in the Mexican interior took place. Lead by Francisco Fernández de Córdoba, they arrived at Cabo Catoche, where Holbox is.   In fact, on Holbox we have written this Post about the paradisiacal island and the possibility of swimming with Whale Shark. 

From Holbox they went west towards Campeche and Champoton.

Some confrontations with the original settlers left their expedition weak and Cordoba was wounded and left for Florida. In Florida they were between Key Marco and Tampa Bay, and after facing the locals they had to return to Havana. Cordoba dies on his return for the injuries received in Champoton. Even with its complications his trip traced the route for the following expeditions of Grijalva and Cortés.

The expedition of Fernandez de Córdoba.

1518.- The Journey of Juan de Grijalva.  Cordova’s expedition impressed. Imagine the stories of the things seen, what they said about the turquoise waters of Yucatan, Campeche, the vegetation of the Mexican coasts, the settlers and the rich land they perhaps imagined.

All that happened in Havana, there was the center of power with the governor Diego de Velásquez. So much those stories impress, that it was decided to return, and they sent from Cuba four ships and 300 men in 1518 to explore those same lands under the orders of Juan de Grijalva.

Grijalva –in fact, is now the name of one of the most important rivers in Mexico, near the Pantanos de Centla, of which Darwin Nomad has spoken.

They arrived in Cozumel … let’s imagine their journey in front of Tulum, the Sian Ka’nn Reserve, and the passage along the coast of what is now Cancun.   We recommend that you see this article by Darwin Nomad on how to visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve on your own

The chronicles say that they saw high towers and stone houses on the coast. They went through Isla Mujeres to the Rio Lagarto in Campeche in search of water … and it is narrated that they had contact with the locals. They entered Laguna de Términos, that wide lagoon where the oil zone of Ciudad del Carmen is now. They found the Rio Grijalva and entered it. Imagine the stupor, the curiosity, the vertigo and fear of ignoring which strange eyes were beyond the green vegetation.

They followed the coast of Veracruz towards Isla de Sacrificios and reached the Pánuco River, near Tampico. They returned to Cuba bordering the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, via Champoton.

His trip laid the foundations for Hernán Cortés’ definitive subsequent trip, which would reach the Great Tenochtitlan from which the locals had spoken.

The Journey of Grijalva in 1518

In Darwin Nomad we will continue talking about trips and explorations. From what it was before and from the avatars that occurred for what it was today. Visit Mexico.