Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón

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Route of Saavedra's travel.

Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón was one of the Spanish explorers in the Pacific Ocean. It is unknown the exact date and place of his birth, but he was born in the late 15th century or early 16th century in Spain. Hernán Cortés was his relative, whom he accompanied to Mexico (New Spain) in 1526.

Voyage of exploration across the Pacific[edit]

In 1527, Hernán Cortés prepared a new expedition aimed to find a new land in the South Sea (or Pacific Ocean) and commissioned his cousin Alvaro to command the new expedition.

On October 31, 1527, they sailed from Zihuatanejo,[1] Guerrero. The three ships (La Florida, Espiritu Santo and Santiago) crossed the South Sea (Pacific) and toured the northern coast of New Guinea, or as he called Isla del Oro ("the Golden Island"). On October 3, 1528 they arrived in the Moluccas. Only one of the vessels survived. He was the first navigator to cross the Pacific Ocean from the Americas.

Four failed attempts to return to New Spain[edit]

In their first attempt to return across the South Sea to Mexico, they were diverted by the northeast trade winds that threw them back to the Moluccas.[2]

A few days later Álvaro de Saavedra tried again the second time by navigating back down south. His ship shored in New Guinea, one of the Pacific Islands known at that time. There they received some food and water from the natives and they sailed again northeast where they discovered the Marshall Islands and Admiralty Islands.

After that, they arrived in the island of Eniwetok, where they continued the journey northeast and were surprised again by northeast trade winds, which led them to the Moluccas for the third time.

In 1529, trying again to go back to the New Spain, they were surprised by bad weather and the ship wrecked in a big storm. He died on the wreck.


There are some questions as to whether Spanish explorers did arrive in the Hawaiian Islands two centuries before Captain James Cook's first recorded visit in 1778.

There is an old Hawaiian oral story that describes white people arriving in the islands many generations ago, who were welcomed by Chief Wakalana. It is possible that these visitors were members of Alvaro de Saavedra's crew.


  1. ^ "Voyage of Alvaro de Saavedra 1527-28". Filipiniana.net - The Premier Digital Library of the Internet. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  2. ^ Bolton, Herbert (1947). "The West Coast Corridor". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 91 (5). 

External links[edit]