Francisco de Orellana and the Exploration of the Amazon River

Francisco de Orellana went searching for the legendary city of El Dorado, and in the process sail the entire length of the Amazon River – one of the greatest river explorations known to history.

Episodes

Francisco de Orellana and the Exploration of the Amazon River – Part 1
In part 1 of our podcast, Francisco de Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro head over the Andes in search of El Dorado – the City of Gold. Instead, the two conquistadors only find hardship and death. While Pizarro will attempt a torturous return over the Andes, Orellana will strike out east on a 4,000 mile journey down the Amazon in a desperate bid to return to civilization.

Download this episode or listen online.

Francisco de Orellana and the Exploration of the Amazon River – Part 2
Francisco de Orellana heads down the Amazon River in a bid to return to civilization. Little does he know that he is about to begin one of the most amazing journeys in the annals of exploration. His epic trek will include a battle with the legendary Amazons, encounters with cannibals, near starvation and much, much more.

Download this episode or listen online.

Maps

Select Resources

The best book I found on Orellana was River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon by Buddy Levy. It’s a well-written adventure that was my go-to source for this podcast.

Relación del nuevo descubrimiento del famoso río grande que descubrió por muy grande ventura el capitán Francisco de Orellana según la transcripción de don Toribio Medina is a version of Orellana’s tale as written by Father Gaspar de Carvajal – the priest who accompanied Orellana down the Amazon. This version is in Spanish (I could not find an English language version).

Wikipedia Links:

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.