Lighthouses of Curaçao
Curaçao is an island off the coast of Venezuela
in the southern Caribbean Sea. It is the central and largest of the so-called
ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). The island is about
65 km (40 mi) long but only 5-13 km (3-8 mi) in width; it has a permanent
population of about 140,000. Curaçao changed hands several times
during the early colonial period but was confirmed as a Dutch colony in
1815. For many years it was the capital of the Netherlands Antilles,
a federation of the Dutch colonies in the West Indies. However, the Netherlands
Antilles was dissolved in October 2010, and Curaçao
is now a separate country under the Dutch crown.
Curaçao is a very popular tourist destinations, but not much
information is available online about its lighthouses. Additional
reports and photos from lighthouse visitors would be very welcome!
Aids to navigation in Curaçao are presumably maintained by the Curaçao Ports Authority. In 2008, Tideland Signal Corporation installed new MaxLED-200 optics
in Curaçao's navigational aids. According to Tideland, all the
lights had been out of service for several years prior to these renovations.
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
List of Lights - South Caribbean
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- Curaçao Lights
- Photos contributed by Willy Maal, a resident of Curaçao.
- World of Lighthouses - Curaçao
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Lighthouses in Curaçao
- Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Klein Curaçao Light, March 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by
- Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao)
- 1850 (rebuilt in 1879 and again in 1913). Reactivated; focal plane
25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 20 m (66 ft) round masonry
tower with lantern and gallery, connected to two ruined 2-story keepers
houses. The lighthouse is white with a red lantern; the keeper's
houses are red. Mingo Hagen's 2008 photo is above, Gordon Crago has an
August 2004 photo,
Trabas has Captain Theo Hinrichs's photo,
Wikimedia has a photo, Confluence.org has a good view of
the island and lighthouse, and Google has a good satellite view. Previously abandoned and still endangered,
this historic lighthouse was nonetheless reactivated with a solar-powered
LED beacon in the restoration of Curaçao's aids to navigation. Recent photos show the keeper's houses to be crumbling rapidly. The
barren island of Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao) is
located 11 km (7 mi) off the southeastern tip of Curaçao.
Located at the center of the island. Accessible
only by boat. Site open; the tower was open prior to reactivation but
may be closed now. ARLHS NEA-006; Admiralty J6399;
- Punt Kanon (Oostpunt)
- Date unknown. Reactivated; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every
Approx. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery.
Trabas has Captain Theo Hinrich's view from
the sea, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the southeastern tip of Curaçao.
Site and tower closed (private property,
trespassers prosecuted). ARLHS NEA-009; Admiralty J6396; NGA 16053.
- * Riffort (Rif Fort, Willemstad)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (83 ft); white light, 3 s on, 2 s off. Square
lantern, painted white with a red roof, mounted on a building in the
an 1828 fort on the north side of the harbor entrance of Willemstad.
The lantern can be seen in John Robertson's April 2007 photo of
the fort, and Google has a satellite view. The fort is now a shopping center, and the building with the
lantern is a restaurant. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Bistro
le Clochard. ARLHS NEA-010; Admiralty J6378; NGA 16012.
- Kaap Sint Marie (Bullenbaai)
- Date unknown. Reactivated; focal plane 12.5 m (41 ft); two white flashes
every 6 s. 6.5 m (21 ft) (?) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery,
painted red. The tower appears taller than its listed height. Bing has a satellite view. Ad. Hovestadt
visited this site in December 2006 and found the light vandalized; the
solar panels had been stolen. Bullenbaai is the location of the island's oil tank farm. Located on the west side of the island
about 8 miles northwest of Willemstad. Site and tower closed (private
property). ARLHS NEA-004; Admiralty J6376; NGA 15968.
- * Noordpunt (2)
- Date unknown (station established 1913). Active; focal plane 42 m (138
ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical concrete
tower with a frame gallery but no lantern, centered in an unroofed concrete
enclosure. Tower and enclosure painted white. Maal's photo is at right, and Trabas has Rainer Arndt's distant view, Google has a satellite view. Located at the northwestern
tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS NEA-008; Admiralty J6372;
Noordpunt Light, May 2002
photo copyright Willy Maal; used by permission
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: Bonaire | South: Eastern Venezuela | West: Aruba
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Posted April 21, 2006. Checked and revised December 23, 2013.
Lighthouses: 5. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.