People as diverse as the Phoenicians, the Scandinavians, the Irish, the Welsh, the Chinese, the Romans, the Greeks, the Celts, the Basques, the Ainu, the Egyptians, .the Norse, the Arabs, the ancient powers of India, the Polynesians, and every other sea-faring culture before that most certainly got to North and South America were actually in the New World, in some cases, way before 1492.
Columbus is given credit probably because it was a well-communicated, planned and documented the voyage. These may not have been possible for the earlier explorers. There are not enough records that add substance to their claim and except the Phoenicians who documented their travels in useful inscriptions. very few left any written records for their efforts.
In 1872, on a plantation in Brazil, a stone, covered with strange carvings, was found in a field. The carvings were later identified as Phoenician writing, telling of a ship blown off course and landing in a strange, new land, some 2500 years earlier, after returning from a trip to the Middle East. The Phoenicians were well known as enthusiastic sailors and were one of the foremost to document their travels. They have been known to travel around the coast of Africa to the Arab lands. Also, historians agree that, in 1872, of Phoenician writing was not of a state to which the stone could have been a fake.
The term Phoenician refers to the inhabitants of the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon and also included the Israelite tribes of Dan, Asher, and Zebulon who resided near these cities along the eastern Mediterranean shore. These people also traded frequently along the northern African and Spanish coasts as well as the British Isles and navigated the Straits of Gibraltar called the “Pillars of Hercules”. Diodorus of Sicily wrote, in the first century BCE, that the Phoenicians, while sailing along the west coast of Africa, were blown off course into the ocean by a "furious storm" and after many days being blown about, "arrived at the island and so they were the first to discover it." The only places, west of Europe that has navigable rivers are Cuba, Haiti and North and South America.