What Did Christopher Columbus Do?

Christopher Columbus explored uncharted areas to the west of Europe. He discovered many islands in the Caribbean Sea, South America and Central America. Some do not consider his acts to be those of "discovering," since people already lived on those islands. Although Columbus did not set foot on North America, his explorations resulted in the colonization of the New World.

Christopher Columbus traveled four times to the New World. On the first voyage, he predicted that if he sailed far enough west, he would reach China. He instead stumbled upon the Bahamas in the Caribbean in 1492. He also landed on Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

On Columbus' second voyage in 1493, he landed at Guadeloupe, Jamaica and Dominica. At the time, he assumed these islands were part of Japan. He reached South America during his third voyage in 1498. He also landed on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Margarita and Grenada.

Columbus set sail for the New World for the last time in 1502. This time he bypassed the Caribbean islands and went straight to South America, eventually landing in Central America. He had a skirmish with the natives in what is now Panama. Abandoning two of his ships, he limped back to Spain and died four years later.