Lighthouses of Cuba

The largest island of the West Indies, Cuba was a Spanish colony until it was conquered by the U.S. forces during the Spanish-American War of 1898; the U.S. occupation ended officially in 1902. Nineteenth century Cuban lighthouses therefore have Spanish designs, similar to those used in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. One surviving lighthouse, Cayo Jutías, is known to have been built under the U.S. occupation.

Due to the longstanding political difficulties between Cuba and the U.S., American tourists have had practically no access to these lighthouses for the past 50 years. Most of the information available on the Internet has been posted by European or Canadian visitors or by Cuban tourist agencies.

Most Cuban lighthouses are not automated, so keepers are on site at most locations. Some of the stations are staffed by civilian keepers, but others are tightly restricted military posts. In general, the information on the Internet indicates that the major lighthouses, at least, are well maintained.

More information is needed on these lighthouses. If you have information or photos you are willing to share, please contact me.

Aids to navigation in Cuba are maintained by the Ayuda a la Navegación division of Grupo Empresarial Geocuba. The Spanish word for a lighthouse is faro.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CU numbers are from the Cuban light list; it is not available online but many numbers appear in the Admiralty's Notice to Mariners of 2012 Week 45. Admiralty numbers are from Volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 110.

General sources
Lighthouses of Cuba - Part I
and Part II
Australian lighthouse researcher and author Garry Searle wrote this report in 2005 for the Bulletin of Lighthouses of Australia; it includes valuable photos.
Online List of Lights - Cuba
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Cuba
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Leuchttürme in Kuba
Photos posted by Andreas Köhler.
World of Lighthouses - Cuba
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Phares d'Amérique
Photos posted by Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller on their Phares du Monde web site.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas und der Karibik auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Lighthouses of the Bahamas and the West Indies
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.
Faro de Roncali
Faro de Roncali (Cabo San Antonio Light), 2005
photo copyright Garry Searle; used by permission
Pinar del Río Province (Western Cuba) Lighthouses
Cabo Corrientes
Date unknown (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 5 s. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the cape, a southwestward prong of Pinar del Río about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of Cabo San Antonio. Site status unknown. CU-1190; Admiralty J5212; NGA 13712.
Cabo San Antonio (Faro de Roncali)
1850 (José Pérez Malo). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 23 m (75 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. 1-story keeper's house. Searle's photo is above, Belén Menendez Solar has a 2009 photo, another photo is available, Fabio Bretto has a closeup, Trabas has a very distant view from the sea by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse is named for Count Federico Roncali (1809-1857), the Spanish governor of Cuba during its construction. The lighthouse is accessible by 4WD via a dirt road running the 80 km (50 mi) length of the narrow Guanahacabibes peninsula. Searle reached the lighthouse with some difficulty and was not allowed to enter the tower, but tourist sites suggest that conditions have improved. Located at the extreme western tip of the island, overlooking the Yucatán Strait. Site open, tower reported open. ARLHS CUB-017; CU-0001; Admiralty J4820; NGA 12436.
Cayo Buenavista
1930. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) square (?) pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the east end of Cayo Buenavista, an island off Mantua. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-003; CU-0005; Admiralty J4826; NGA 12460.
** Cayo Jutías
1902 (U.S.). Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white light, 2 s on, 13 s off. 41 m (134 ft) octagonal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery, built on a screwpile foundation; original Barbier et Bérnard Fresnel lens. Lighthouse painted with black and yellow horizontal bands; lantern unpainted. Davide Artioli's photo appears at right, Bertolt Graichen has a a good photo, Gerard Sanz has a photo, Emily Muir has a 2008 photo, and Bing has a fine satellite view. This lighthouse is the only survivor of four towers of this class built in Cuba during the U.S. occupation; it was prefabricated in the U.S. by the Waddell & Hedrick Co. The keeper maintains a small museum and conducts tours of the tower. The cay is located northwest of the Bahía de Santa Lucia in Pinar del Río. Accessible by bridge from the nearby port of Santa Lucia. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS CUB-022; CU-0018; Admiralty J4828; NGA 12484.


Cayo Jutías Light, Pinar del Río, July 2004
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Davide Artioli

Punta Gobernadora (Bahía Honda) (2)
1956 (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 32 m (105 ft) round tower with lantern and double gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Pablo Antolin has a 2009 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, a sibling of the Cayo Jutías light, was prefabricated by the Waddell & Hedrick Co. in the U.S. Punta Gobernadora is about 3 km (2 mi) northwest of the entrance to Bahía Honda in northwestern Pinar del Río. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-029; CU-0032; Admiralty J4836; NGA 12512.
Puerto del Mariel
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (134 ft); white flash every 12 s. 31 m (102 ft) square skeletal tower. No closeup photo available, but a Bing satellite view shows the tall tower. The first Mariel lighhouse (1902) was established on the east side of the harbor entrance. The present lighthouse marks the west side of the entrance, about 40 km (25 mi) west of Havana. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-036; CU-0072; Admiralty J4846; NGA 12552.

La Habana (Havana) Province and City Lighthouses
* Río Santa Ana
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 50 m (164 ft) observation room mounted atop a water tank elevated on a cylindrical column. Tank and lantern painted light blue, column white. Searle has a photo, another photo and a photo taken from the observation room are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located about 20 km (13 mi) west of Havana and a similar distance east of Mariel. Site open, tower apparently open but we have no information on this. CU-0095; Admiralty J4847.6; NGA 12562.
* Darsena de Barlovento (Marina Hemingway)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 7 s. 8 m (26 ft) square skeletal tower mounted atop a multi-story hotel. Tower painted white. Lightphotos.net has a closeup photo, Köhler has a view from ground level, and Bing has a satellite view. Marina Hemingway is a large resort development and marina, located about 15 km (9 mi) west of downtown Havana. Site open, tower closed. CU-0112; Admiralty J4848; NGA 12564.
**** Castillo del Morro (3)
1845 (station established 1764). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 25 m (82 ft) unpainted round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, built on the ramparts of the Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro (El Morro Castle). Lighthouse floodlit at night. This familiar landmark of Havana harbor is by far Cuba's best known lighthouse. Leando Ciuffo's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo by Carlos María Silvano, Köhler has a photo, another fine closeup is available, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Chantal Penet, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Forand has a closeup postcard view, and the tower is seen in a Bing satellite view. The original lighthouse was replaced in 1818 by a round cylindrical masonry tower. Located on the east side of the very narrow entrance to Havana harbor. Site and tower open daily. Site manager: Parque Histórico Militar El Morro-La Habaña. ARLHS CUB-009; Admiralty J4857; NGA 12580.
Havana Inner Harbor Range No. 1 Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); quick-flashing yellow light. 32 m (105 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower; the light must have been lowered to the middle section of the tower. The tower is seen at the extreme right of J. Bouts's photo of Havana's oil refinery, and Bing has a satellite view. Located in an industrial area at the southeastern end of Havana harbor. Site and tower closed. CU-0138; Admiralty J4860.1; NGA 12592.
Havana Inner Harbor Range No. 2 Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); yellow light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located in an industrial area at the southeastern end of Havana harbor. Site and tower closed. CU-0133; Admiralty J4859.1; NGA 12598.
Canasí (Arcos de Canasí)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 125 m (410 ft); white flash every 7 s. 14 m (46 ft) round fiberglass tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Cuba's highest light stands on a high bluff above the beach north of Arcos de Canasí in the northeast corner of La Habana province. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-018; CU-0150; Admiralty J4867.5; NGA 12613.
Faro del Morro
Castillo del Morro Light, Havana, May 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Leandro Ciuffo

Matanzas Province Lighthouses
Punta Seboruco (2)
Date unknown (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 15 s. 33 m (108 ft) slender round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white bands. Köhler has a photo, and Google has a satellite view showing the lighthouse standing very close to the beach. The original lighthouse was a 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower. Located about 8 km (5 mi) north of Matanzas. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-034; CU-0151; Admiralty J4868; NGA 12616.
Punta Maya (2)
1988 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 8 s. 32 m (105 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. This light station is staffed by the military. A photo and a more distant view are available, Köhler has a photo of the station, Luís Naranjo also has a photo, and a Google satellite view shows the light station on the beach. A seawall has been built to protect it. A postage stamp has an image of the original Spanish lighthouse. The new lighthouse commemorates the 30th anniversary of the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. Located on Punta Maya at the east side of the entrance to the Bahía Matanzas. Site and tower closed: Searle was allowed to take a photo from outside the gate of the military area. ARLHS CUB-032; CU-0152; Admiralty J4872; NGA 12620.
Cayo Piedras del Norte (2)
1857 (station established 1847). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and double gallery, painted white, attached to two 1-story keeper's houses. Guyomard and Carceller have several photos by Chantal Penet, and Google has a good satellite view. In May 2004, Tom Pohrt found the lighthouse staffed by the military; the tower was in good condition but the roof had collapsed on one of the keeper's houses (this can be seen in the satellite view). The original lighthouse, a 25 m (82 ft) wood tower, was destroyed by a hurricane in August 1856. Located on a small cay about 8 km (5 mi) northwest of the entrance to the Bahía de Cárdenas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS CUB-013; CU-0182; Admiralty J4879; NGA 12652.
Cayo Diana (7?)
Date unknown (station established 1847). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 8 s. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. 1-story masonry keeper's house. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The first light, on a mast, was destroyed by an 1856 hurricane, and the second was lost during the Spanish-American War. The present light replaced a 9.5 m (31 ft) skeletal tower built in 1931 along with the keeper's house. Located on a small cay in the center of the entrance to the Bahía de Cárdenas. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CU-0178; Admiralty J4881; NGA 12660.
Cayo Cruz del Padre (Faro Hernan Cortés) (2)
1862 (Armando de Velasco). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 7 s. 25 m (82 ft) square cylindrical concrete skeletal tower surrounding and rising above a 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical stone light tower, all attached to a 1-story stone Spanish keeper's house. The original lantern remains on the old tower, and a concrete seawall surrounds the station. A photo appears at right, César O. Gómez López has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view (misidentified on the card as Cayo Piedra) that shows the original appearance of the lighthouse. The skeletal extension was added in 1982. The light marks the northernmost point of Cuba and warns mariners from the numerous cays off the north coast of Matanzas. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS CUB-037; CU-0245; Admiralty J4886; NGA 12672.
Cayo Cruz del Padre Light
Cayo Cruz del Padre Light, Matanzas, 2012
photo copyright CosasDeBarcos.com; permission requested

Villa Clara Province Lighthouses
Cayo Bahía de Cádiz
1862 (Armando de Velasco). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 49 m (161 ft) cast iron tower with lantern and double gallery, painted in a black and white checkered-stripe pattern (similar to the second Cape Henry, Virginia, lighthouse). 1-story keeper's houses. A blogger has posted black and white photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Cuba's second tallest lighthouse, this light appears to be a sibling of the Faro Paredón (see below). The cast iron was imported from England. A 1927 photo and and a second historic photo show that the tower was formerly painted all white. David Allester and Eileen Quinn visited here in May 2004, and the military commander gave them a tour of the lighthouse. Located in the Archipiélago de Sabana off northwestern Villa Clara. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-015; CU-0246; Admiralty J4888; NGA 12676.
Cayo Fragoso
Date unknown (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. It's not known whether the present light is the original. Cayo Fragoso is the largest barrier island of the Sabana-Camaguëy Archipelago north of Caibarién. Located at the northwestern end of the cay. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CU-0284; Admiralty J4900; NGA 12716.

Sancti Spíritus Province Lighthouse
Cayo Caimán Grande de Santa Maria (2)
1955 (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 48 m (158 ft); white flash every 5 s. 32 m (105 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands; the lantern is silvery metallic. Bing has a good satellite view of the station. The original lighthouse was one of the siblings of the Cayo Jutías light (see above); Forand has a historic photo showing an early stage in its construction. The lighthouse was built by Julio Perez-Arocha; according to his daughter Ana, it was prefabricated in France and required a year to assemble. David Allester and Eileen Quinn stopped here in May 2004, found the station occupied by the military, and were not able to visit the lighthouse. The surrounding area is protected as a national park. This lighthouse is located on a tiny cay about 65 km (40 mi) west of Cayo Coco, north of Bahía Buena Vista. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown, although the lighthouse can be viewed from the water. ARLHS CUB-020; CU-0325; Admiralty J4916; NGA 12780.
Faro Caimán Grande de Santa Maria
Caimán Grande de Santa Maria Light, Sancti Spíritus, May 2004
photo copyright David Allester; used by permission

Ciego de Ávila Province Lighthouses
Cayo Jaula
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on an islet on the reef about 4 km (2.5 mi) off the northwest coast of Cayo Coco, a large island off the north coast of Ciego de Ávila province. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. CU-0326; Admiralty J4917; NGA 12788.
*** Cayo Paredón Grande (Faro Diego Velázquez)
1859 (Antonio Montenegro). Active; focal plane 48 m (158 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 40 m (131 ft) 16-sided cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted in a checkered black and yellow pattern; base painted white; lantern silver. Fresnel lens in use. Three 1-story keeper's quarters. Capt. Hubert Hall has contributed two additional photos (one is at right), Derek Blackadder has a portfolio of photos from a November 2007 visit, Trabas has a distant view by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a satellite view. Like other Cuban lighthouses, this tower was formerly painted all white. The lighthouse has been named for Diego Velázquez, who first explored the islands off Cuba's north coast in 1514. Located on a small island off the north side of Cayo Romano. Bridges and causeways connect the cay to Cayo Romano, Cayo Coco, and the mainland. The Cayo Coco/Romano area is famous for its birdlife, especially flamingos. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS CUB-010; CU-0327; Admiralty J4918; NGA 12800.

Camagüey Province Lighthouses
Cayo Confites
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an islet on the reef about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Cayo Guajaba, a large island northeast of Esmeralda in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. CU-0328; Admiralty J4922; NGA 12804.
** Punta Maternillos (Faro de Colón)
1850. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 15 s. 52 m (171 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, adjacent to a 1-story keeper's quarters complex. A 2011 aerial photo is below right, Belén Menendez Solar has a photo, a 2009 photo and a 2010 closeup are available, and Google has a good satellite view. This is Cuba's tallest lighthouse. Named for Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish), the light guards the entrance to Nuevitas, the second most important port of Cuba's north coast after Havana. Located on the beach at the end of a long spit on the north side of Cayo Sabinal, about 20 km (13 mi) north of Nuevitas. Accessible by road. Site and tower reported open. ARLHS CUB-031; CU-0329; Admiralty J4926; NGA 12808.
Faro Cayo Paredón
Cayo Paredon Grande Light, Ciego de Ávila, 2003
photo copyright Capt. Hubert Hall; used by permission
Nuevitas (Punta Prácticos) (4?)
Date unknown (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) white pyramidal concrete tower. No closeup available, but the tower is hiding behind the palm tree on the left in David Cesar's view from the sea. Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The original light was shown from a mast mounted on the keeper's house. It was replaced in 1908 and again in 1928; it is not known if anything survives of earlier lights at this historic station. Located in La Boca, on the east side of the entrance to the narrow passage at the eastern end of Cayo Sabinal, leading to Nuevitas. Site status unknown. CU-0330; Admiralty J4928; NGA 12812.

Las Tunas Province Lighthouses
Punta Roma
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance to the Bahía de Manatí. Site status unknown. CU-0389; Admiralty J4942; NGA 12872.
Punta Piedra del Mangle (Punta Mangles) (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lightphotos.net has a photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory of the mainland about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Gibara. Site status unknown. CU-0423; Admiralty J4946; NGA 12892.
Faro Colón
Faro de Colón (Punta Maternillos Light), Nuevitas, October 2011
Televisión Camagüey photo by Orestes G. Casanova

Holguín Province Lighthouses
Punta Rasa (Gibara)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 15 s. 30 m (98 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A closeup photo is available, Emanuele Blicchi has a sunrise photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the west side of the entrance to Gibara in Holguín province. Located on a cape about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of Gibara. Site status unknown, but the lighthouse is visible from a nearby road. ARLHS CUB-033; CU-0424; Admiralty J4948; NGA 12894.
Puerto de Vita (Puerto Sama, Punta Barlovento) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 10 s. 31 m (101 ft) round cylindrical tower, probably concrete, with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. Anne Philpot has contributed a good photo, Köhler has a very distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. The original light was on a mast; it was replaced by a skeletal tower sometime after 1920. Puerto de Vita is a port about 30 km (20 mi) west of Cabo Lucrecia in Holguín province; it is a common port of entry for yachts arriving in Cuba from the east. Located on a headland on the east side of the entrance. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-027; CU-0426; Admiralty J4952; NGA 12900.
**** Cabo Lucrecia (Punta Lucrecia, Faro Serrano) (2)
1868 (Restituto Blancafort) (station established 1861). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 37 m (121 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery on an octagonal stone base. 1-story keepers quarters. Lighthouse painted white. Anne Philpot's photo is at right, a 2008 closeup and another 2008 photo are available, and Bing has a good satellite view. This is a very well preserved example of a nineteenth century Spanish lighthouse. It is a well-known tourist attraction, and the keeper's house contains a small museum. Located on the cape, northwest of Banes in Holguín province. Site and tower open. ARLHS CUB-014; CU-0457; Admiralty J4958; NGA 12912.
Punta Mayarí (Bahía de Nipe) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 6 s. 31 m (102 ft) square skeletal tower, probably with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but the shadow of the tower can be seen on a Google satellite view. Located on the east side of the entrance to the Bahía de Nipe northeast of Mayari. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-038; CU-0477; Admiralty J4962; NGA 12920.
Faro de Cabo Lucrecia
Cabo Lucrecia Light, Banes
photo copyright Anne Philpot; used by permission
Punta Liberal (Cayo Saetía)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower, colored with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a headland of Cayo Saetía, which is not a small cay but a relatively large island separating the Bahía de Levisa from the Atlantic. Site status unknown. CU-0513; Admiralty J4975; NGA 12948.
Cayo Moa Grande (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The previous light (before 1940) was on a 33 m (108 ft) skeletal tower. Located on a barrier island about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of Moa. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CU-0570; Admiralty J5012; NGA 12980.

Guantánamo Province (Eastern Cuba) Lighthouses
* #Baracoa (Bahía de Baracoa) (5)
Date unknown (station established 1870). Apparently destroyed in 2012. The light was mounted on a short mast atop a 4-story concrete building. Trabas has a photo by Alfonso Biescas Vignau, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The building seemed quite dilapidated, and it was apparently destroyed by Tropical Storm Isaac in August 2012. Google's satellite view shows an empty lot where the building stood. The original light was shown from a mast mounted on the keeper's house. In 1906, it was replaced by an 11 m (36 ft) skeletal tower; this was replaced by a second skeletal tower around 1930. In 1956, the skeletal tower was replaced by a shorter metal tower. The most recent structure appeared to date from the 1960s. Located on the waterfront at the southern entrance to the harbor of Baracoa. Site open. CU-0596; Admiralty J5016; NGA 13000.
** Punta Maisí
1862 (Mariano Moreno). Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 5 s. 31 m (102 ft) round stone tower with lantern and double gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. Several 1-story keeper's houses and other light station buildings; this is a staffed station. The photo at right is from the province's official publication Venceramos, a closeup photo and a 2008 photo are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the extreme eastern tip of the island commanding a view of the Windward Passage. Accessible by road from Baracoa. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS CUB-030; CU-0599; Admiralty J5018; NGA 13008.
Punta Caleta
Date unknown (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Punta Maisí. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-039; CU-0602; Admiralty J5020; NGA 13012.
Faro de Punta Maisí
Punta Maisí Light, Baracoa, June 2012
Guantánamo Province photo

Guantánamo Bay U.S. Naval Base Lighthouses
Note: The United States administers Guantánamo Bay under the terms of the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which provided for a perpetual lease of the property to the U.S. for the purpose of maintaining a naval station. The current government of Cuba regards the treaty as invalid, since the new nation was in no position to negotiate with the U.S. on equal terms in 1903. However, no change in the U.S. ownership is likely without considerable change in the relationship between the two countries.
* Windward Point (Punta Barlovento) (1)
1904 (U.S.). Reactivated (inactive 1955-1988, now privately maintained and unofficial). 18 m (60 ft) round cylindrical steel tower with six buttresses, lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, except the lantern roof is gray. This lighthouse, built and maintained by the U.S., is located on the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo. The original 1-story wood keeper's quarters houses the historical collection for the naval base. Michael Ortiz has a photo, the U.S. Coast Guard has historic information and a 1949 photo, Lighthouse Digest has a March 2006 feature article on the lighthouse, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Forand has a postcard photo of the station, and a Google satellite view is available. A temporary light may have been displayed here in 1899. The active beacon was moved in 1955 to a skeletal tower atop the hill behind the point (focal plane 103 m (377 ft); white flash every 5 s). Google has a satellite view of the new light. Endangered: In January 2010 it was reported that the lighthouse is seriously deteriorated and may have to be demolished. Based on this report, the lighthouse was placed on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. Located at the eastern entrance to Guantánamo Bay. Site open, keeper's quarters open Sunday afternoons, tower closed. Site manager: U.S. Naval Base Guantánamo Bay. ARLHS GTM-001; USCG 3-33370; Admiralty J5024; NGA 13020.
Hicacal Beach
Date unknown (U.S.). Active; focal plane 24.5 m (80 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. Approx. 21 m (69 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The tower carries a rectangular daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. It appears that this light was originally the rear light of an entrance range for Guantánamo Bay, but the range has been discontinued. Forand has a postcard view of an early range light that must have been nearby. Located on a sandy point on the west side of Guantánamo Bay. Site and tower closed. USCG 3-33380; Admiralty J5026.1; NGA 13028.
Windward Point Light
Windward Point (Punta Barloventa) Light, Guantánamo Bay, 2003
photo copyright IT2 Paul W. Nelson, U.S. Navy Reserve; used by permission

Santiago de Cuba Province Lighthouses
* Morro Santiago de Cuba (3)
1923 (station established 1842). Active; focal plane 82 m (269 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 18 m (60 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern silver. 2nd order Fresnel lens in use. Tom Magliery's photo is at right, Sharif El-Hamalawi has another photo of the light station, Jan Veen has a good photo, Köhler has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have several photos by Christian Penet, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and the station appears on a Google satellite view. The orginal lighthouse was a 10 m (33 ft) octagonal cast iron tower prefabricated in New York; Forand has a historic postcard view. The lighthouse was damaged during the Spanish-American War, but U.S. authorities repaired it in 1899. The present tower was completed in 1914, but due to the disruptions caused by World War I its optical equipment was not installed until 1923. In the interim the light was displayed from a wood skeletal tower. Founded in 1514, Santiago de Cuba was the island's capital during the 16th century and the base from which Spain explored and conquered the Americas. The light station is a short distance east of the city's 17th century fortress, the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on a headland about 1 km (0.6 mi) east of the Santiago de Cuba harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CUB-026; CU-0638; Admiralty J5046; NGA 13112.
Aserradero
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 19 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The tower appears to be mounted on a concrete base. Located on a high bluff about 13 km (8 mi) west of the entrance to Santiago de Cuba. Site status unknown. CU-0665; Admiralty J5048; NGA 13154.

Faro Santiago de Cuba
Morro Santiago de Cuba Light, March 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Tom Magliery


Granma Province Lighthouse
** Cabo Cruz
1871. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 5 s. 32 m (105 ft) round masonry tower, unpainted white stone. 1-story stone keeper's quarters. Anne Philpot's photo is at right, another good closeup photo is available, Alessandro Pilotto has a 2008 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the southwestern tip of Granma province and the western end of the Sierra Maestra range, about 110 km (70 mi) north of Jamaica. It was in this area that Fidel Castro and his guerrillas landed in 1956. The photos indicate this lighthouse is very close to the beach; it may be endangered by beach erosion. Located at the end of Cuban highway 4, about 1.5 km (1 mi) east of the point of the cape. Site open, tower probably open. Site manager: Parque Nacional Desembarco del Granma. ARLHS CUB-016; CU-0679; Admiralty J5054; NGA 13172.

Jardines de la Reina Lighthouses
Note: Named by Columbus, the Jardines de la Reina ("Gardens of the Queen") form an archipelago of more than 600 cays and small islands stretching parallel to Cuba's southeastern coast in Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila provinces. The islands are all included in the Parque Nacional Jardines de la Reina, Cuba's largest nature reserve.
Cayo Cachiboca
1930. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 15 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower, mounted on a pile foundation and painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse is located on a cay near the southeastern end of the Jardines de la Reina off the southwestern coast of Camagüey province. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS CUB-040; CU-0826; Admiralty J5077; NGA 13340.
Cayo Bretón
1930. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on square concrete platform supported by concrete piles. A 2006 photo is available, but the tower is not visible in Google's distant satellite view of the area. This lighthouse is about 150 km (90 mi) northwest of Cayo Cachiboca, marking the western end of the Jardines de la Reina in Ciego de Ávila province. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS CUB-041; CU-0828; Admiralty J5084; NGA 13344.
Faro de Cabo Cruz
Cabo Cruz Light, Granma Province
photo copyright Anne Philpot; used by permission

Cienfuegos Province Lighthouses
***
Río Yaguanabo (Jaguanabo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); white flash every 10 s. 34 m (112 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery but no lantern, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. Köhler has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The keepers maintain a small maritime museum and conduct tours of the tower. This lighthouse is on the coast at the entrance to the Río Yaguanabo, about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Cienfuegos. Site and tower open. ARLHS CUB-035; CU-0894; Admiralty J5093; NGA 13464.
* Punta de los Colorados (Cienfuegos, Faro de Villanueva) (2)
1901 (E.J. Balbín) (station established 1851). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Two 1-story keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. José Ignacio López has a photo, a fine closeup is available, Köhler has a good photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Amy Buxton has posted a historic photo believed to show this lighthouse. The first lighthouse was destroyed by U.S. naval bombardment during the Spanish-American War, and a temporary light was shown from a mast until the present lighthouse was completed. Located at the eastern entrance to the inner harbor of Cienfuegos, just south of the city. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS CUB-028; CU-0895; Admiralty J5094; NGA 13468.

Matanzas and La Habana Provinces South Coast Lighthouses
* Playa Girón
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) water tank topped by a small pedestal. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Playa Girón is a beach resort on the edge of the Ciénaga de Zapata (Zapata Swamp) at the south end of Matanzas Province. The area was the site of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, when U.S.-backed Cuban exiles tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. Located on the beach near the west end of Playa Girón. Site open, tower closed. CU-0969; Admiralty J5103; NGA 13538.
Cayo Monterrey
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 10 s. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the southwest end of reef that extends 10 km (6 mi) from Cayo Monterrey at the entrance to the shallow Golfo de Batabanó. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CU-1160; Admiralty J5160; NGA 13656.
* Batabanó (Surgidero de Batabanó) (5)
Date unknown (station established 1847). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 10 s. 28 m (92 ft) water tank topped by a small lantern structure. Water tank painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The anchorage (surgidero) of Batabanó is connected to Havana by a railway and serves as a port for the capital on the south side of the island. A series of mast-type lists was succeeded by a skeletal tower in 1930 and then by the present light atop the tallest structure in the port. Site open, tower closed. CU-1165; Admiralty J5166; NGA 13647.

Canarreos Islands and Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Pines) Lighthouses
Cayo Guano del Este (2)
1970 (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 45 m (148 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery supported by five struts atop a round 1-story keeper's quarters. This unusual lighthouse looks somewhat like a rocket taking off. Erwin Strohmer's photo is at right, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. The original lighthouse, seen in a historic photo posted by the Port of Havana, was a sibling of the Cayo Jutías lighthouse (see above). The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Library has another historic photo, although it misidentifies the lighthouse. The cay is a popular scuba diving site. Located at the eastern end of the Banco Jardines reef complex, at the east end of the Canarreos chain, about 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Cienfuegos. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS CUB-001; CU-1006; Admiralty J5102; NGA 13536.
Carapachibey (2)
1983 (station established 1949). Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 52 m (171 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. A photo and a view from the sea are available, and Google has a fine satellite view. This tall lighthouse is on the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth, formerly the Isla de Pinos or Isle of Pines), a large island about 100 km (60 mi) south of Pinar del Río province. Locally the lighthouse is claimed to be 60 m (197 ft) tall and the "highest in Latin America," but actually there are several taller lighthouses in Argentina and Brazil. This light replaced lights built on Cabo Pepe, about 15 km (9 mi) to the west. The first Cabo Pepe light, built in 1931, was swept away two years later by a hurricane; its replacement was similarly destroyed in 1944. A Google satellite image shows the site of these lighthouses. The Cabo Pepe station was replaced in 1949 by a 27 m (89 ft) concrete tower at the present location. Located on the southeastern coast of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS CUB-019; CU-1033; Admiralty J5138; NGA 13580.

Cayo Guano del Este Light, Canarreos, February 2005
photo copyright Erwin Strohmer; used by permission

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Posted 2003. Checked and revised October 10, 2014. Lighthouses: 49. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.