Alfaguara was established in 1964. It was part of Editoriales del Grupo Santillana. In March 2000 Santillana, which publishes over 117 million books each year, was acquired by the Spanish conglomerate PRISA. In 2014, PRISA sold Santillana's trade operations to Penguin Random House.
It awards the Premio Alfaguara de Novela (Alfaguara Novel Prize), a prestigious Spanish-language literary award. The prize, launched in 1998, goes to an unpublished work of fiction in Spanish.
Alfaguara Infantil and Alfaguara Juvenil publish books for children and young people.