The Discoverers' Route

Visit all the villages where the explorers like Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro or Vasco Núñez de Balboa were born.

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  2. The Discoverers' Route

Discover Extremadura in a different way

  • Visit all the villages where the explorers like Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro or Vasco Núñez de Balboa were born.

    On the Discoverers' Route you will be able to find out more about Extremadura, its villages, culture and gastronomy, reliving the deeds of explorers such as Vasco Núñez de Balboa. The route we propose for discovering Extremadura is dotted with natural spaces like the Monfragüe National Park, the Tajo International Nature Reserve or the Sierra Suroeste.

    If you set off from the north, the first town you will reach on the Discoverers' Route is Plasencia. The birthplace of Inés de Suárez, co-founder of Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, now known as Santiago de Chile. Travelling along the EX-208, just 80 km down the road you will find Trujillo. This town is famous for its numerous churches, convents and for the Trujillo Holy Week. But we cannot forget that this is also the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro, the discoverer of Peru, and of Francisco Orellana, who explored the River Amazon, both of whom left their mark in the form of palaces and stately homes, some of which have now been converted into hotels or restaurants.

    Further along the route you will come to Cáceres, recognised as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1986. You can stroll through its medieval streets and gaze upon its palaces. It contains some of the best-preserved heritage in Europe. And you will be able to imagine what went through the head of Cáceres-born Francisco de Godoy before he set off from his home town for the Americas, where he was appointed mayor of Lima in 1536.

    Continuing along the route, just over 60 km further on lies Villanueva de la Serena, the birthplace of Pedro de Valdivia, the conquistador of Chile and co-founder of Santiago de Nueva Extremadura alongside Inés de Suárez, with whom he had a long relationship.

    Just 12 km away is Medellín, where Hernán Cortés, the discoverer of the Aztec empire, was born. In this town you can visit and admire the archaeological finds.

    If you travel 40 km west along the A5 motorway you will come to Mérida, a World Heritage city and the home town of another explorer, Juan Rodríguez Suárez, the founder of the first settlement in Venezuela, which he named Mérida.

    And just 60 km away, in the direction of Portugal, lies Badajoz. In 1485 this city of great artistic wealth witnessed the birth of Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras, a great explorer who took part in the conquest of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

    To finish off the route, 100 km south you will discover Jerez de los Caballeros, where the first European to see the Pacific Ocean, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, was born. He was without doubt one of the greatest discoverers in history. We should also highlight the figure of Hernando de Soto, who discovered Florida and explored the River Mississippi.

    But all of these voyages, which led to the foundation of so many cities, and the great figures of the explorers, started somewhere. It all began in Guadalupe, a small municipality in Cáceres province which lies in the Las Villuercas region. Because Guadalupe and its Royal Monastery, a complex comprised of a chapel, cloister, sacristy and various museums (embroidery, religious art and miniated books), was declared a World Heritage site in 1993.

    This is the Discoverers' Route that we suggest you follow in order to discover Extremadura in a different way. A region where you will find a vast range of contrasts, and where history can be felt in every single nook and cranny.

  • Distance:
    443 km
  • Four days
  • Theme:

    • Destinations

    Type of Transport:

    • Motor vehicle
  1. Day 1
  2. Day 2
  3. Day 3
  4. Day 4
Plasencia — where culture and nature go hand in hand

a Plasencia — where culture and nature go hand in hand

Tourist destination

The historical heritage of Plasencia holds its own in terms of the cultural interest of the other towns and cities of Extremadura, but with the added attraction of its parks.


Plasencia , Cáceres (Extremadura)

Trujillo, birthplace of discoverers

b Trujillo, birthplace of discoverers

Tourist destination

Already important in the Roman Empire, the Discovery of America brought it universal fame and greatness.


Plaza Mayor, s/n Trujillo, Cáceres (Extremadura)

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