How Long Did Francisco Coronado Sail For?

Francisco Coronado was a Spanish explorer who is famous for his expedition to the southwestern United States in the 16th century. His journey was arduous and took him across vast territories, but how long did Francisco Coronado sail for? Let’s delve into the details of his voyage and find out.

The Background

Francisco Coronado set sail from Mexico in 1540 with a mission to explore and conquer the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, also known as Cibola. He had heard tales of these wealthy cities and was determined to find them.

The Expedition Begins

Coronado’s expedition started from Compostela, located in present-day Mexico. He led a group of soldiers, missionaries, and indigenous guides. Their journey took them through various landscapes, including deserts, mountains, and plains.

The Search for Cibola

Coronado’s main objective was to find Cibola, which he believed was located somewhere in the northern region of present-day Mexico or the southwestern United States. The expedition moved northward through modern-day Arizona and New Mexico.

  • The Duration: The entire expedition lasted for approximately three years.
  • The Challenges: The journey was fraught with challenges such as extreme weather conditions, scarcity of food and water, hostile encounters with Native American tribes, and treacherous terrains.

The Legacy

Although Francisco Coronado did not discover the fabled Seven Cities of Gold during his expedition, his journey had a significant impact on the exploration and colonization of the Southwest region of the United States. His reports provided valuable information about the geography and resources of these areas.

Coronado’s expedition paved the way for further exploration and settlement by the Spanish in the Southwest. It also contributed to the expansion of Spanish influence in North America during the Age of Exploration.


So, how long did Francisco Coronado sail for? His expedition lasted for approximately three years, during which he explored vast territories in search of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Despite not finding the riches he sought, Coronado’s journey left a lasting impact on the history and exploration of the southwestern United States.

Whether you are fascinated by historical expeditions or interested in understanding the exploration of North America, Francisco Coronado’s voyage is an important chapter to explore.

Photo of author

Michael Allen