Christopher Columbus departed on his first voyage from the port of Palos (near Huelva) in southern Spain, on August 3, 1492, in command of three ships: the Niña, thePinta and the Santa Maria. His crew mostly came from surrounding towns such as Lepe and Moguer. Columbus went ashore the next morning at an island he called San Salvador, which the natives called Guanahani.
The identity of his landfall island is in dispute, but it was most likely one of the Plana Cays in the Bahamas. At Guanahani, Columbus met and traded with the Native Americans of the Lucayan tribe. He also kidnapped several of the natives to act as guides before leaving two days later. He stopped at three other islands in the Bahamas over the next two weeks, which he named Santa Maria de la Concepción, Fernandina, and Isabela.
These are most likely the Crooked-Acklins group, Long Island, and Fortune Island, respectively. Columbus explored five islands in the modern-day Bahamas before he made it to Cuba. He reached Cuba on October 28, making landfall at Bariay, a harbor near the eastern tip of the island. Thinking he had found China, he sent two men to investigate.
They were Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres, a converted Jew who spoke Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic in addition to Spanish. Columbus had brought him as an interpreter. The two men failed in their mission to find the Emperor of China, but did visit a native Taíno village. There they were the first to observe the smoking of tobacco, a habit which they promptly picked up.
Routes of Christopher Columbus
On October 11, 1942, the course was W.S.W., and there was more sea than there had been during the whole of the voyage. They saw sand-pipers, and a green reed near the ship. Those of the caravel Pinta saw a cane and a pole, and they took up another small pole which appeared to have been worked with iron; also another bit of cane, a land-plant, and a small board. The crew of the caravel Niña also saw signs of land, and a small branch covered with berries. Everyone breathed afresh and rejoiced at these signs. The run until sunset was 27 leagues.
The Third Trip of Christopher Columbus
On a third expedition (May 30, 1498-October 1500), Columbus sailed farther south, to Trinidad and Venezuela (including the mouth of the Orinoco River). Columbus was the first European since the Viking Leif Ericsson to set foot on the mainland of America.
The Fourth Trip of Christopher Columbus
On his fourth and last expedition (May 9, 1502-Nov. 7, 1504), Columbus sailed to Mexico, Honduras and Panama (in Central America) and Santiago (Jamaica). Columbus is buried in eastern Hispaniola (now called the Dominican Republic).