El Camino Real

Mission way-station along Florida’s El Camino Real.

From the time St. Augustine (capital of Florida at the time) was established in 1565, Spanish military and religious authorities began extending their reach beyond the town limits.  They developed various modes of transportation between widely dispersed settlements which eventually included forts, missions and ranches. 

Map placed at Ichetucknee Springs near Fort White highlighting part of the Camino Real.

During this period, many roads were established in Spain’s New World colonies, often following earlier Indian footpaths and trade routes. In La Florida, the Camino Real helped move people and supplies between St. Augustine and the more than 100 missions located to its west among native populations living on the frontier.

Rontittle.com photo of the drawing by Edward Jonas depicting movement of an oxcart along the Camino Real toward a mission.

In the 1680s, Florida Governor Diego de Quirogay Losado contracted the services of military engineer Enrique Primo de Rivera to build a formal road across north Florida that was suitable for oxcarts. 

Rontittle.com photo of drawing of oxcart by Edward Jonas.

Although there are no standing Spanish missions in Florida today, important clues found in historical documents, archaeological evidence, and the land itself have allowed researchers to reconstruct this royal road’s path.  So, come learn about, explore, and enjoy the places and stories of La Florida and its El Camino Realhttps://dos.myflorida.com/historical/explore/el-camino-real/

Blessings along the Way!


14 thoughts on “El Camino Real

  1. The Spanish conquerors of America seemed to have a love for certain phrases. “El Camino Real” is used to name both the road linking missions in the state of California and also a road through Yucatán and Campeche in Mexico. You’ve got me wondering where else one can find “El Camino Real” roads!

  2. I didn’t know about El Camino Real…it is very interesting that Florida doesn’t have any standing missions remaining in Florida although that could have been because of hurricanes.

    1. Thanks so much Mamen An. I think it is interesting how much of the US was influenced early by travelers from around the world. 😊

  3. That’s interesting. There is an El Camino Real in California in the Bay Area, too. I didn’t know there was also one in FL! 🙂

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