Christopher Columbus built the first European settlement in the New World here on his second voyage in 1493, near the mouth of the Bajabonico River and facing the bay of La Isabela, populating it with his entourage of approximately 1,500 Spaniards. Named after the then-Queen of Spain, the archeological ruins of the settlement, now a national park, are still standing in this bay area, including Columbus’s first home, perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and nearby, the first church. Historical records show that the first Catholic mass was celebrated there. A modern version of the church–Templo de Las Américas–was rebuilt and inaugurated in 1994 to mark the 500th anniversary of that first mass. There’s also a museum on-site depicting the Taino inhabitants and the Spaniards’ arrival, as well as other preserved relics.