Columbus spent five months exploring islands in the Caribbean before returning to Spain. Because of the lengthy time he spent exploring the area, he was able to paint quite a picture of the landscape and people who lived in this area, which he reported to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who had financed the exploration.
Overall, the letter paints a portrait of this land as rich in resources and ripe for claim—and without resistance. Instead of seeing the calm demeanor of the land's inhabitants as a strength, Columbus viewed it as a weakness which allowed them to be easily conquered and ruled by Spain:
The inhabitants...are all, as I said before, unprovided with any sort of iron, and they are destitute of arms, which are entirely unknown to them, and for which they are not adapted; not on account of any bodily deformity, for they are well made, but because they are timid and full of terror.
Columbus describes the people as "honest" and generous, as they share their resources with him and ask for nothing in return. Columbus captured some of these people as slaves and took them back to Spain as a testament to their character.
The land was described as being lush and abundant in resources, which could also benefit Spain.
The island called Juana, as well as the others in its neighborhood, is exceedingly fertile. It has numerous harbors on all sides, very safe and wide, above comparison with any I have ever seen. Through it flow many very broad and health-giving rivers; and there are in it numerous very lofty mountains.
Columbus goes on to comment on the fruits that are available on this island which are not available in Spain and notes the spices and metals which are also in plentiful supply and which could benefit Spain's people.
The letter portrays this island, full of inhabitants with their own distinct (and peaceful) culture, as simply an easily conquerable and diverse land which could benefit Spain. And since King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella would have been looking for a return on their investment of approximately a million US dollars in today's currency, this news would have been favorable to Columbus.