All four of the voyages of Christopher Columbus were across the Atlantic Ocean to Central and South America and the islands of the Caribbean. He landed in San Salvador, Dominica, Trinidad, and Martinique, but spent time in Cuba, Greater Antilles, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and many islands.
Christopher Columbus' Voyages
The first voyage of Columbus began on August 3, 1492 and ended in 1496.
- He left from Spain with three ships, the Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria, and sailed to the Canary Islands for provisions and repairs.
- Then he set out for the Indies on September 6th.
- On October 13, he landed on an island he called San Salvador. He met the local people, who were peaceful, and stayed with them to observe their lifestyle.
- He also explored some of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
- The Santa Maria ran aground and Columbus went back to Spain on January 15, 1493 and left 39 men in the settlement he founded, La Navidad.
When he got back to Spain, he gave Ferdinand and Isabella some gold nuggets and jewelry and told them he thought he had found islands that were close to Japan or China.
Columbus and Dominica
Dominica was another place where one of the voyages of Christopher Columbus ended.
- Columbus set out later that same year, 1493, with instructions from the King and Queen to establish friendly relations with the native people.
- He arrived at Dominica on November 3, 1493 and after exploring for a while, went on to the Greater Antilles, landing in Puerto Rico.
- On November 22, Columbus traveled to La Navidad to find that his men had been killed.
- He established a new settlement on the coast of Hispaniola called Isabella.
- Later he revisited Cuba and explored Jamaica.
- In 1495, Columbus enslaved 560 people against the wishes of the King and Queen.
- He shipped them to Spain, and around 200 died on the trip and half of the rest were ill. They arrived in Spain in 1496.
- This was the beginning of slavery for the Spanish in the New World.
Columbus' Third Voyage
Christopher Columbus believed his voyages were taking him to China but where they took him was not even close:
- His third voyage started in 1498 and ended in 1500.
- He landed in Trinidad on July 31, 1498.
- He went on the explore South America and some of the islands.
- He returned to Hispaniola to find the settlers there were not happy because they felt he lied to them about the abundance of riches.
- Columbus had been appointed viceroy and governor of the Indies but he was not able to handle the post, partly because of bad health.
- He asked for help in governing and Bobadilla was appointed.
- Because of complaints, he arrested Columbus in 1500 and soon sent him back to Spain. He was jailed for six weeks before he was released.
Columbus and Martinique
The voyages of Christopher Columbus also took him to Martinique.
- He landed there on June 15, 1502 but soon continued on because a hurricane was coming.
- He was denied port at Santo Domingo and went on to the mouth of the Jaina River.
- Soon he explored the islands off the coast of Honduras and later, went on to Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama.
- He and his men became stranded in Jamaica and stayed there a year because the governor of Hispaniola would not help him.
- Finally, Columbus and his men returned to Spain on November 7, 1504.
Life and Commemorations
Now that you know the ports of call of the voyages of Christopher Columbus, here are a few additional facts about his life:
- Christopher Columbus lived from 1451 to 1506. He was born in Genoa, Italy and was a navigator and explorer.
- Columbus Day is observed on October 12 in Spain and other some places in the Americas. In the United States, it is observed on the second Monday in October.
- Many streets and cities have been named after Columbus, and many monuments have been built in his honor.
- In 1893, 400 years after his first voyage, Columbus’ likeness was placed on a U.S. postage stamp.
Christopher Columbus' voyages were instrumental in Spanish colonization and opened the door for other European countries to settle in the Americas.