Political map of North America & the Caribbean 6 January 1494 (Columbus’ second voyage): Impressed by his reports, Ferdinand (Ferdinand II of Aragon) and Isabella (Isabella I of Castile) sent Columbus (Christopher Columbus) back to the New World in September 1493, this time with a much larger fleet of 17 ships. Arriving back on Hispaniola only to discover La Navidad had been destroyed in a clash with the Taíno, Columbus founded the town of La Isabela nearby, hoping to profit from goldfields he believed lay inland. Columbus then explored the Caribbean, unsuccessfully trying to find access to China—which he remained convinced was nearby (Voyages of Christopher Columbus).