Alvarado, Pedro de (1495?–1541), a Spanish soldier and explorer of Central America. Alvarado commanded a ship in the Spanish expedition to Yucatán, led by Juan de Grijalva, in 1518. From 1519 to 1521, he served as one of the principal lieutenants of Hernando Cortez in the conquest of the Aztec empire of Mexico. Left in command of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City) in 1520, Alvarado provoked a brief but bloody revolt by his brutality toward the Indians. In the temporary retreat from the city, he distinguished himself by his daring in battle.
During 1523–27, Alvarado subdued the Mayas in Guatemala and the Pipils in what is now El Salvador. He was governor of the Captaincy General of Guatemala (all of Central America), 1530–34. In 1534 he led an unsuccessful expedition against Quito, northern capital of the Inca empire. Alvarado was killed during the Mixton War, an Indian uprising against the Spanish in western Mexico.