Lighthouses of Costa Rica: Caribbean Coast
Costa Rica is a country of Central America, located between
Nicaragua and Panama. The country has a lengthy coastline on the Pacific
Ocean and a much shorter one on the Caribbean Sea. The principal ports
are Puntarenas and Caldera on the Pacific and Limón on the Caribbean.
This page is for lighthouses of the Caribbean coast; there is a separate page for the Pacific coast. Very little is known about lighthouses in Costa Rica, so additional
information from visitors would be very welcome.
Aids to navigation in Costa Rica are regulated by the División
Marítimo Portuaria, an agency of MOPT (Ministerio de Obras
Públicas y Tranportes), the public works and transportation ministry.
East coast lights are presumably
maintained by JAPDEVA (Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrallo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica), the port
and development authority for the Caribbean coast.
The Spanish word for a lighthouse is faro. In Spanish-speaking America, this word is used generally for all navigational lights, large and small, although smaller lights are also called balizas (beacons).
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of
the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals for Caribbean
lights and from volume G for Pacific lights. Light List numbers are
from NGA Publication 110 for Caribbean lights and from Publication 111
for Pacific lights.
- General Sources
- World of Lighthouses - Costa Rica
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Online List of Lights - Costa Rica
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Mittelamerikas auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Isla Pájaros Light, Limón, May 2003
Panoramio photo copyright Luis C. Alvarado; used by permission
- Limón Canton Lighthouses
- Isla Pájaros (Bahía Móin)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 2.5 s. Approx.
20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted with red and white
horizontal bands. Luís Alvarado's distant view is at the top of this page,
but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the island and Bing's satellite view just misses the tower. Located on an island about 500 m (0.3 mi) offshore
and 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Limón. Accessible only by boat. Admiralty
J6067; NGA 110-16516.
- Limón (Isla Uvita, Isla Quiribrí) (2)
- 1891 (station established 1878). Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white flash every 10 s.
25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. A closeup photo is available (thanks to Alex Trabas for finding this elusive photo!), the lighthouse is barely visible in an aerial view of the island (look upper right on the island), and Huelse has a historic (but very distant) postcard view, but the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view. This is the
traditional landfall light for Puerto Limón, Costa Rica's only major port on the
Caribbean Sea. The Museo Nacional de Costa Rica has a history of the island and its lighthouse. The lighthouse was privately funded and prefabricated in London. The Northern Railway Company assumed control of the light in 1930 and maintained it until JAPDEVA took ownership in 1964. The island was used to quarantine smallpox patients between 1881 and the 1920s. Located on an island about 3 km (2 mi) east
of Puerto Limón. Accessible only by boat. ARLHS COS-006; Admiralty
J6068; NGA 110-16504.
- [Puerto Limón (Container Pier)]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); continuous red light. Approx.
14 m (46 ft) steel (?) post with a small gallery. The light is seen
near the center in a photo of the pier, and
Google has a satellite view. Located at the south end of the breakwater
pier at Puerto Limón. Site status unknown. Admiralty J6069; NGA 110-16508.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Caribbean Nicaragua | Southeast: Northern Panama
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Posted (Central America page) January 24, 2005. Checked and revised October 18, 2017. Lighthouses: 2. Site copyright
2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.