Christopher Columbus First Voyage Summary


Christopher Columbus’ First Voyage Summary – Phase 1

Here we will give a summary of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas (or the new world). Christopher Columbus sailed on his first voyage in 1492, on 3rd August.

In search of a sea route to Asia (for trade), he sailed with three ships from the Palos de la Frontera Port of Spain.

That day, the scenario of Palos port was quite different and charming. Along with other people, king Ferdinand and queen Isabella also went there to wish him on the journey.

In a total of three ships Santa Maria (largest), Nina, and Pinta, captain Columbus started the first voyage with his 89 crew members. Spanish king and queen hoped that if would get successful in his mission then Spain’s luck would be changed forever.

The time he sailed off the vessels was the evening of the day.


Phase 2

On September 6th, his ships reached the Canary Islands, Africa. This was the time when all their food and other necessary equipment started being finished.

Gradually, the condition of his crew members also started deteriorating. But Columbus never gave up, he kept motivating them. Finally, after a month on October 12th, Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas.

He thought they reached the Bay of Gulf. He named the island ‘San Salvador’. Present-day, this is the capital of El Salvador. At that time, locals called it ‘Guanahani’.

christopher columbus first voyage summary

Christopher Columbus’ First Voyage – Phase 3

From October 1492, he explored various places in the new world. Two of them were the northeast coast of Cuba (October 28, 1492) and the north-western coast of Hispaniola (December 5, 1492).

Then Columbus met Cacique Guacanagari (local king) and requested him to let his a few men be left behind. After taking permission from Cacique Guacanagari, he left his 39 men in ‘La Navidad’.

In 1493 on January 15th, Columbus prepared Nina (Ship) and Pinta to arrive back in Spain.


Phase 4

While arriving back in Spain, on the way, Columbus and his crew faced some biggest storms in the Atlantic. Finally, on the 15th of March 1493, they succeeded in reaching Spain.

In Spain, they were welcomed like heroes, who were supposed to return after discovering Asia. To prove that he made it, Columbus showed some things, which he brought from the new world.

The things were:

  • Samples of gold
  • Pearls
  • Jewelry, he stole from natives
  • Flowers
  • Birds
  • Some native people, he kidnapped
  • And more.

Columbus insistently tried to prove that he reached Asia and China. However, in reality, one was Cuba and another was Hispaniola (he believed to be China).

Interesting Facts Related To Columbus' First Voyage

4 Interesting Facts Related To Columbus’ First Voyage

1. 10 days after the beginning of Columbus’ first voyage, when the needle of his compass no longer pointed to the North Star; they thought that Columbus had discovered magnetic declination.

But ironically (for him), later he got to know that the Europeans were already aware of the phenomenon.

2. On his first voyage, when he met many of its aboriginals, Columbus thought that they had no religious beliefs of their own. Hence he believed, they can easily convert the people to Christianity. 

3. By believing that he had discovered India, he named its native people ‘Indios’ (This is a Spanish word, which means ‘Indians’).

4. Do you know that Christopher Columbus was a greedy tyrant?

Yes, I am not kidding. Actually, when he was on his first voyage, he captured and killed many of its natives for various purposes. Mainly for slavery.

He even insisted prisoners guide him to the sources of gold, silver, pearls, and other precious metals.

He mentioned in his writings that because of the natives’ primitive war tactics and weapons, it was easier to defeat them. Along with the help of his only 50 men, Columbus defeated the natives’ entire group and ruled them as he wished.



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