Latin America Guide As You Follow in Columbus' Footsteps

Latin America

When Columbus set sail westwards in 1492 and discovered the New World, he believed that he had discovered the west path to the Indies.

At the time of his death in 1506, he was unaware that he had found a new continent which would be something still celebrated on the anniversary of the discovery, October 12th, over five hundred years later throughout the New World.

Christopher Columbus

Originally from Genoa, Cristoforo Colombo or Christopher Columbus as he is known in English, first petitioned the King of Portugal in 1485 to fund his planned voyage to find the Indies by travelling west. He was denied.

Eventually it was the Catholic Monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile who agreed to fund his expedition.

On August 3rd, 1492, three ships departed the Spanish mainland to travel Latin America from the Caribbean island of San Salvador where they landed ten weeks later.

Latin America

Columbus was not the first to arrive in the New World, the Vikings had landed 500 years previously and the indigenous people are believed to have arrived by traversing the Bering Strait thousands of years before, however Columbus will always be remembered as the man who conquered the seas and gave Latin America its place on the map.

Latin America travel no longer takes two months and the journey is far safer than it was in Columbus' day. No longer either is it necessary to petition the monarchs for financial assistance as regular flights arrive in the international airports across Latin America on a daily basis, although a visitors travel visa is required to visit many of the countries.