Lighthouses of Belize
Belize is a small country located at the base of the Yucatán
Peninsula and bordered to the north by Mexico and to the west and south
by Guatemala. The coast of the country faces east on the Gulf of Honduras,
the westernmost extension of the Caribbean Sea. Fringed by coral reefs
and with a steady onshore trade wind, the coast is quite hazardous for
Settled by British pirates, privateers, and other seamen as early as
the 1630s, Belize is the only English-speaking country of Central America.
Long known as British Honduras, it took the Mayan name Belize in 1973
and became independent in 1981. Belize City is the principal
Aids to navigation in Belize are maintained by the Belize
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA Light List
numbers are from NGA Publication 110.
- General Sources
Online List of Lights
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
- Lighthouses in Belize
- Photos available from Wikimedia.
- World of Lighthouses - Belize
- Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
English Caye Light, Belize, June 2005
photo copyright Lewis Melton; used by permission
- Belize District Lighthouses
- Mauger Caye (Turneffe)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed watch room. Entire lighthouse is white. Steve Melki's photo is at right, Wikimedia has Melki's view from the sea, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Mauger Caye is the northernmost islet of the Turneffe Cays, an extensive reef system 75 km (47 mi) long and about 30 km (19 mi) east of Belize City. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BLZ-007; Admiralty
J5940; NGA 16280.
- * Fort
George (Baron Bliss)
- Recent (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red
flash every 5 s. 15 m (50 ft) strongly-tapered concrete pillar, with a gallery
but no lantern. Tower painted white with a broad red band at the base; gallery
red. Donna McCraw has a good closeup photo,
another photo is available, Trabas has Douglas Cameron's view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite
view. This light was built as a memorial to Henry E.E.V. Bliss, an English
financier and self-styled baron who was a major benefactor of Belize. Bliss's
tomb is adjacent to the base of the tower. Located on a point of land at the
harbor entrance in Belize City. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BLZ-014; Admiralty
J5954; NGA 16368.
Caye (Eastern Channel Range Rear)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 2.5 s.
19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Entire
lighthouse painted white. Lewis Melton's photo appears in reduced size above, a closeup of the tower and another closeup of the lantern are available, Paul Huber has a view from the sea, Wikimedia has a photo, and Bing has a satellite
view of the station. The light station includes the Belize pilot station,
with several buildings and a pier for the pilot boats. Located on a small
island about 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Belize Harbour. Accessible only by
boat, but visible from all ships entering the harbor. Site and tower closed.
ARLHS BLZ-012; Admiralty J5943.1; NGA 16308.
- ** Sandbore Caye (3)
- Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft);
white flash every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower
with gallery, formerly painted white but now painted red with a white band at the top. A 2008 photo is available, Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a satellite
view of the station. Several web sites mention that the station is staffed and the keepers allow visitors to climb the tower.
Located about 50 km (30 mi) east of Belize City on a small cay at the northern
end of Lighthouse Reef, a coral atoll famous as a diving site. Accessible
only by boat. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS
BLZ-010; Admiralty J5934; NGA 16288.
Mauger Caye Light, Turneffe Cays, July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Steve Melki
- #Half Moon Caye (3)
- 1931 (station established 1820). Collapsed in 2010, this was formerly
a 24 m (79 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with enclosed
base and upper portion, built on the brick foundation of the 1848
lighthouse. A 2005 photo is at right, Scott Schmidt has a good photo of both the old and new lighthouses, and Fabrizio Rizzo has a 2006 view
from the modern tower. The tower was reported
to be "falling to pieces" and "dangerous to climb"; it looked very
dangerous in a 2008 photo.
In 2006, the Belize Audubon Society contacted the World Lighthouse
Society for assistance in planning a restoration of the lighthouse,
but no work had been done. The lighthouse collapsed during Tropical
Storm Matthew in late September 2010. Located on Half Moon Caye at
the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef, a coral atoll famous as
a diving site. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
Site manager: Half
Moon Caye National Monument. ARLHS BLZ-017.
- ** Half Moon Caye (4)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (80 ft); four white flashes
every 15 s. 24 m (79 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted
white. A photo is at right, Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located adjacent to the site
of the historic lighthouse. Site open, and visitors often climb the
tower. Site manager:
Caye National Monument. ARLHS BLZ-013; Admiralty J5936; NGA
Toledo District (Southern Belize) Lighthouses
- Bugle Caye (3)
- Date unknown (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 19
m (62 ft); white flash every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal steel
skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Small white keeper's house,
probably staffed. Fiona MacFarlane has a good photo,
and Google has a satellite
view. Located on a small cay off the coast about 130 km (80 mi)
south of Belize City. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status
unknown. ARLHS BLZ-002; Admiralty J5968; NGA 16384.
Old and new Half Moon Caye lighthouses, Lighthouse Reef, April 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by dsasso
Snake Caye (1)
- 1915. Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. According
to SouthernBelize.com, "East Snake Caye was first known as Lighthouse
Caye ... A lighthouse was built on the island to help fishermen navigate their
way after sunset. Today, two lighthouses are located on the caye. A new lighthouse
was recently constructed beside the old one." Located on a small cay,
the easternmost of a group of four, about 8 km (5 mi) off the southern coast
of Belize. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS
Snake Caye (2)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15
m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located next
to the historic lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status
unknown. Admiralty J5972; NGA 16392.
- Hunting Caye
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); one long white flash every
10 s. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. Fiona MacFarlane
has a 2009 photo,
Trabas has a distant view
by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Bing has a satellite view. NGA's listing of the tower height as 75 ft appears to be a
typo. Hunting Caye is at the southern end of the Sapodilla Cayes, about 65
km (40 mi) east of Punta Gorda; this is the southeasternmost point of Belizean
to SouthernBelize.com, this is a staffed station and there is also a small
military outpost on the cay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status
unknown. ARLHS BLZ-015; Admiralty J5974; NGA 16396.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Mexico Caribbean | South: Guatemala
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Posted May 19, 2004. Checked and revised September 9, 2013. Lighthouses:
10. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at