In 1560, a group of Spanish Conquistadors are having trouble walking through the Peruvian jungle. They are searching for El Dorado. Due to a food shortage, they send a couple of people upstream through the river to get help. But when one of the boats gets destroyed, there is a rebellion and the short tempered Aguirre places Don Pedro de Ursua as their puppet-leader. But they don't know that the Indians only invented El Dorado to fool the invaders. On their long way, the expedition members start to lose their reason, they are shot with arrows and have lost all their food. When everyone dies, Aguirre remains the only survivor on the wooden boat floating across the river.