Lighthouses of Bonaire

Bonaire is an island off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean Sea. The easternmost and least populous of the so-called ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), it has a permanent population of about 14,000. The island was colonized by the Netherlands in 1636, and it remained under Dutch control throughout the colonial period except for brief occupations by British forces during the Napoleonic Wars. For many years, Bonaire was part of the Netherlands Antilles, a federation of the Dutch colonies in the West Indies. However, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved in October 2010, and Bonaire is now a "public body" with the status of an overseas municipality of the Netherlands.

Bonaire is a very popular tourist destination, but not much information is available online about its lighthouses. Special thanks are due to Lothar Döhle and Don Wiss for the use of the photos on and linked to this page. Additional reports and photos from lighthouse visitors would be very welcome!

In 2008, Tideland Signal Corporation installed new MaxLED-200 optics in Bonaire's navigational aids. According to Tideland, all the lights had been out of service for several years prior to these renovations. The lighthouses are presumably maintained by the Bonaire Port Authority.

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 List numbers are from Publication 110.

General Sources
Bonaire Leuchttürme
Photos and notes by Lothar Döhle on the lighthouses of Bonaire.
Online List of Lights - Bonaire
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. Most of the Bonaire photos are by Capt. Theo Hinrichs.
Lighthouses in Bonaire
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses -Netherlands Antilles
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Willemstoren Light
Lacre Punt Light (Willems Toren), June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by D.W. Ward

East Coast Lighthouses
* Seru Bentana (Ceru Bentana, Ricado Winklar)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); four white flashes every 22 s. 10 m (34 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower attached to a small service building. Lighthouse painted white. Döhle's photo is at right, Eliot White has a June 2003 photo, Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The lighthouse was rebuilt after being heavily damaged by fire following a lightning strike in 1954. In 1999 it was renamed for Ricardo Winkler, the keeper who lost his life in the fire. The lighthouse was restored and repainted in 2012. Located on a rocky headland several miles east southeast of Malmok, near the northern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Washington/Slagbaai National Park. ARLHS NEA-002; Admiralty J6416; NGA 16056.
* Boca Spelonk
1910. Active; focal plane 30 m (100 ft); white flash every 5 s. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with gallery and a modern aluminum lantern. Lighthouse painted white. 2-story keeper's house in ruins. Döhle has a good photo, Trabas has a view from the sea by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the eastern tip of the island. Accessible only by foot or 4WD. Site open; Döhle was able to climb the tower. ARLHS NEA-001; Admiralty J6414; NGA 16064.
* Lacre Punt (Willems Toren)
Date unknown (station established 1837). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 9 s. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with gallery; lantern removed; solar-powered beacon. Lighthouse painted white with four narrow vertical red stripes. 1-story keeper's house in ruins. D.W. Ward's photo appears at the top of this page, Döhle has a photo, Alida Thorpe has a January 2006 photo, Trabas has a view from the sea by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the southern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS NEA-012; Admiralty J6411; NGA 16100.

Seru Bentana Light
Seru Bentana Light, April 2002
photo copyright Lothar Döhle; used by permission


West Coast Lighthouses
* Punt Vierkant (Belnem)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); three white flashes, separated by 5.5 s, every 22 s. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, painted white. A photo and a closeup are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located adjacent to the Lighthouse Beach Resort at Belnem, about 5 km (3 mi) south of Kralendijk. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J6409; NGA 16096.
* Kralendijk (Fort Oranje) (3)
1932 (station established 1837). Active; focal plane 13 m (44 ft); white flash every 2 s. 7 m (23 ft) square tapered-pyramidal stone tower, painted a light tan. Don Wiss's photo is at right, Döhle has a good photo, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, another photo is available, and the tower is centered in a Google satellite view. The light station now serves as the harbor master's office. Located on the site of a seventeenth century fort adjoining the cruise ship docks at Kralendijk, on the west side of the island. Site open, tower status uncertain. ARLHS NEA-007; Admiralty J6408.3; NGA 16093.
Punt Wekoewa (Wecua Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white tower. No photo available. Google's satellite view suggests a post light with gallery. Located on a promontory on the steep northeast coast of Bonaire; accessible by an unpaved road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS NEA-011; Admiralty J6403; NGA 16060.
* Malmok
Inactive. Approx. 7.5 m (25 ft) round stone tower in ruins. 1-story keeper's house also in ruins. Döhle has an excellent photo, Keith Sheridan has a March 2005 photo, Graham Martin has a 2008 photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Lightphotos.net has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the northern tip of the island. Site open. Site manager: Washington/Slagbaai National Park. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS NEA-013.
Kralendijk Light
Kralendijk (Fort Oranje) Light, February 2005
photo copyright Don Wiss; used by permission
Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Patagonia Restaurant, in Harbour Village on the north side of Kralendijk. The lighthouse may be active, but it is not recognized as an aid to navigation.

Adjoining pages: South: Eastern Venezuela | West: Curaçao

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Posted April 21, 2006. Checked and revised December 22, 2013. Lighthouses: 7. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.