2027 marks the 500 year anniversary of the 600-member Narvaez Expedition.
2028 marks the 500 year anniversary of arrival of 400 expedition members in Florida.
2036 marks the 500 year anniversary of the four survivors' arrival in Mexico City.
2037 marks the 500 year anniversary of the end of the ten-year misadventure, as Cabeza de Vaca returned to Europe.
The four survivors gave a joint account of their travels in 1536 and Cabeza de Vaca wrote an additional version of his own in 1542, after returning to Spain.
Hernando de Soto launched an expedition into Florida and the Southeastern United States in 1539, encountering peoples who were affected by the Narvaez expedition, and reaching as far as East and Central Texas (following DeSoto's death in 1542).
One of the four suvivors of the Narvaez Expedition, Esteban de Dorantes, was killed by Zuni Indians in 1539, while leading a party from Mexico City to the Pueblo lands of the Upper Rio Grande, reported by the Narvaez survivors to have wealth.
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado invaded the Pueblo lands in 1540, possibly reaching as far as the Texas Panhandle and North Texas, where he encounted people who may have met the four survivors of the Narvaez Expedition, before returning to Mexico on 1542.
Proposed Historic and Interpretive Trail Locations:
Sanlucar de Barrameda, Cadiz, Spain
Santo Domingo Island
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Jagua (Xagua), Cuba
Canarreos Archipelago (Canarreo), Cuba
Guaniguanico (Cordillera de Guaniguanico?)
Cabo Corrientas and Cabo San Antonio, Parque Nacional Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, Cuba
St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay ("La Cruz"), Florida
*Jungle Prada Mound Site, Jungle Prada de Narvaez Park
*Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site, Terra Ceia, Florida
*Madira Bickel Mound Archaeological State Park, Ellenton, Florida
*Crystal River Archaeological State Park, Crystal River, Florida
*Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge (shell middens)
Appalachee region ("Apalachen")
St. Marks, Florida
*Lake Jackson Archaeological State Park, Tallahasee, Florida
*DeSoto Site Historical State Park, (Anhaica), Tallahasee, Florida
Indigenous community on the Apalachicola River ("Aute")
Apalachicola Bay ("Bay of Horses"), Florida
St. Vincent Island, Florida
Mobile Bay, Alabama
Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana
Marsh Island or Shell Keys ("Island of Doom"), Louisiana
Note: Popular history suggests Galveston Island is the site of the Castaways' landing on the "Island of Doom", but navigation records and the explorers' failing health indicate Marsh Island or a similar proximity on the Louisiana coast is more likely the location of their second stranding. [Read more at misisipi.org]
*Los Adaes State Historic Site, Louisiana
*Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Texas
Smith Point, Galveston Bay
Galveston Bay west side (greater Houston area)
Natural Springs, South Texas
Rio Grande ("100 Huts", between Laredo and Del Rio)
Sierra Madre Oriental (Mountains sighted, "15 leagues from the sea")
Inland Course, through the Sierra Madre Oriental
Sierra del Carmen (Mountain with "iron slags")
Big Bend National Park
The Rio Grande ("A large river from the north")
The Chihuahuan Desert ("The Cow People")
March to the Great River
Over the Sierra Madre Occidental to the Rio Yaqui
Indigenous community ("The Town of Hearts")
Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Compostela, Nayarit, Mexico (by way of San Miguel [del Zapote?])
Mexico City, DF, Mexico
Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
Vile do Corvo (Corvo Island), Portugal (the Azores)
Bold - Sites of high likelihood to absolute certainty
Italic - Significant sites of high probability
*Asterisk - Informative sites, representative of historic experience
Additional sites listed are probable, significant or under consideration.
Cabeza de Vaca, depicted in a Houston, Texas sculpture.