Columbus was immediately stricken with the beauty of the Indies, and he said as much in his famous letter describing the islands to King Ferdinand:
All are most beautiful, of a thousand shapes; all are accessible and are filled with trees of a thousand kinds and tall, so that they seem to touch the sky.
Speaking specifically of Espanola, he said:
Espanola is a marvel. The sierras and the mountains, the plains, the champaigns, are so lovely and so rich for planting and sowing, for breeding cattle of every kind, for building towns and villages.
It is worth noting that in addition to the beauty of the place, Columbus was interested in describing how their resources could be turned to profit, and how, as the above quote shows, the islands were suitable for settlement. Anxious to justify his voyage to his patrons, and looking forward to the financial rewards he stood to reap, he was as interested in the profitability of the islands as much as their natural beauty. Still, he was impressed by the natural splendor he witnessed, and what he perceived as an unspoiled paradise.