Ponce de León : Florida's First Spanish Explorer
Ponce de León : Florida's First Spanish Explorer. Juan Ponce de León was the first Spanish explorer to arrive in Florida. Early Spanish explorers were known as conquistadors (kahn-KEYS-ta-dawrz) or "conquerors." While there are no official records, historians believe that Ponce de León was born in 1460 in San Tervas de Campos, Spain.