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My crew was as carefully chosen as the disciples of Christ, and I will not tolerate stowaways.
―Hernán Cortés.

Hernán Cortés is based off the real-life individual of the same name. He is the overarching antagonist in the DreamWorks film, The Road to El Dorado.



Hernan Cortes is a relentless and callous man who wants to kill the natives and get the gold he believes them to possess. He also does not tolerate stowaways and after catching Miguel and Tulio planned to flog them and then turn them into life-long slaves.


The Road to El Dorado[]

In Spain in the year is 1519 Hernan Cortés announces to the people of Spain that on that day he and his men will sail to the New World of El Dorado and conquer it for Spain, glory, and gold. When Cortés' men shoot their guns in celebration, Cortés' horse Altivo jumps in fear causing Cortes' drink to spill on him to which Cortes tells Altivo to keep his eyes forward.

When the ships sail later that day Tulio and Miguel are found by the sailors and are considered stowaways to which they are brought to Cortés who orders that Miguel and Tulio be used as slaves on the ship and orders them to be taken to the brig, to which they make their escape in a rowboat, along with Cortes' horse Altivo.

A few days later Cortés and his men arrive on the island where Miguel and Tulio escaped to, as they find the rowboat abandoned on shore and find Miguel and Tulio's footprints in the sand to which they follow the footprints. Later that night Cortés finds one of the Indians from El Dorado named Tzekel-Kan washed up in the water and Cortés points his musket at the gold earring on Tzekel-Kan's right ear and asks him where he got it from to which Tzekel-Kan gladly tells Cortés he got it from El Dorado and offers to take him and his men there to which he does.

Unknown to Cortés and Tzekel-Kan, Miguel and Tulio have spotted them from El Dorado by seeing smoke in the far distance and have crashed their boat in the entrance of the city causing rocks to block it from the Spanish Soldiers. Before they reach the entrance Cortés tells Tzekel-Kan that it had better be there for his sake, but when they arrive, they find nothing but the rocks to which Cortés calls Tzekel-Kan a lying heathen and kicks him into the water and orders his men to seize Tzekel-Kan so they can take him with them and make him their slave. Cortés and his men then leave the area with Tzekel-Kan, not knowing what they've left behind.


  • The real-life Hernan Cortes was only 5' 4" and 160 lb: the Dreamworks depiction of him is significantly larger than his real-life counterpart.
  • In real life, Hernan Cortes was the leader of the Conquistadors who brutally wiped out the Aztecs, slaughtering women, children, and entire families while enslaving what few precious Aztecs they did not kill. It can be assumed that this version of Cortes went to commit the same crimes following his failure to find El Dorado.

External Links[]


v - e - d
Screen-shot el dorado
Films: The Road to El Dorado
Main Characters: TulioMiguelAltivoChelTzekel-Kan

Support Characters: Chief TannabokHernán CortésBiboZaragozaAcolyteStatue Jaguar

See also
Objects: Tulio's Loaded DiceMap to El DoradoZaragoza's Dice

Cast: Armand Assante (Tzekel-Kan)