Was Columbus unaware that he discovered a New World?

Although some discrepancies were noted between the Far East and the lands he found, Columbus apparently remained unaware of the true nature of the Americas, at least not until shortly before his death in 1506.

Both Columbus and the other explorers of South America realized that it, at least, was a continent unknown to Europe. Amerigo Vespucci, who mapped South America for Portugal between 1499 and 1504, identified the lands as separate from Spanish claims to the north.