The governor of Cuba chose Hernán Cortés to lead an expedition to the mainland of South America.
Excited, Cortés finally received the opportunity to gain fame and fortune which he and several other conquistadors have come to the West Indies for.
In 1519 Cortés set sail along with 11 ships and 530 conquistadors.
On board the ship, he took several large fighting dogs and 16 horses.
Cortés explained that he also intended to find the strait which separated the 'island' of Yucatán from the 'mainland' in the hope of finding a route to Asia, along with the expedition to South America.
Finally, after months of sail, the expedition landed on the eastern coast of Mexico at present-day San Juan de Ulua.