Lighthouses of Guiana (French Guiana)

French Guiana, the only remaining European territory in South America, is located on the north coast of the continent adjoining Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. Now known officially as Guiana, the territory is governed as an overseas département of the French Republic. Formerly known as the site of the infamous Devil's Island penal colony, French Guiana has become better known in recent years as the site of the European Space Agency's Spaceport launch facilities. Both the prison and the Spaceport are now popular tourist destinations.

The French word for a lighthouse, phare, is often reserved for the larger coastal lighthouses; a smaller light or harbor light is called a feu (literally "fire," but here meaning "light").

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
Online List of Lights - French Guiana
Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
Lighthouses in French Guiana
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - French Guiana
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme Südamerikas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.

Īle Royale Light
Île Royale Light, Îles du Salut, 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Didwin973

Lighthouses
* Île Royale (2)
1934 (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); two white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 10 s. 29 m (95 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery mounted atop a round masonry tower. Masonry tower painted white; skeletal tower and lantern painted bright red. A photo is above, Larry Halff has a photo, Trabas has a photo by Douglas Cameron, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse stands amid the buildings of a former penal colony, closed in 1951. (Devil's Island, the best known part of the penal colony, is separated from Île Royale by a narrow strait.) The light was originally shown from the roof of the prison hospital. The island is accessible from Cayenne by passenger ferry, and guided tours are available. Located at the highest point of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRG-002; Admiralty J6894; NGA 17416.
* [Île Royale Jetée (Range Front)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); continuous green light. 7 m (23 ft) post centered on a small square equipment shelter. Lighthouse painted with green and white horizontal bands. Trabas has Douglas Cameron's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the pier, at the southeastern corner of Île Royale. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRG-003; Admiralty J6895; NGA 17520.
* [Kourou (Tour Dreyfus)]
Date unknown. Inactive (daybeacon). Tripod with a red trapezoidal daymark mounted atop a 12 m (39 ft) round stone tower with gallery. Tower painted white. Gaetano Cerrone has a closeup photo, Olivier Mondet has another closeup, Wikimedia has many photos, Lightphotos.net has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. This tower was built as a signal tower for communications between the mainland and the Îles du Salut, including Devil's Island. The tower is named informally for Alfred Dreyfus, the French Army officer famously imprisoned on Devil's Island from 1895 to 1899. Located on the Pointe des Roches, the promontory on the west side of the entrance to the Kourou River in Kourou. Site open, tower status unknown.
L'Enfant Perdu (3)
1934 (station established 1863). Reactivated (inactive 1968-1989); focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower topped by a lantern and gallery mounted on a short skeletal tower. An abandoned keeper's house stands next to the lighthouse. A photo is at right, and Patrick Balta has also posted a photo. Klaus Huelse has a historic postcard view of the first lighthouse on the reef. It was replaced by a metal tower in 1919 (Huelse also has a postcard view of that tower) and then by the current tower in 1934. The lighthouse was deactivated in favor of a buoy in 1968. After many protests from mariners, the tower was reactivated with an automated, solar-powered lamp in 1989. Located on a rocky islet about 11 km (7 mi) north of Cayenne. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRG-001; Admiralty J6901; NGA 17428.
* Fort Cépérou (2)
1905(?) (station established 1850). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); three flashes every 15 s, in a 2+1 pattern, white or red depending on direction. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post light mounted on a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Post painted red, equipment shelter white. A photo (almost halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. This light replaced a 12 m (39 ft) wood skeletal tower. Located on a hill in front of Fort Cépérou, overlooking the harbor of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRG-004; Admiralty J6902; NGA 17436.
Cheval Blanc
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); quick-flashing red light. 15 m (49 ft) triangular skeletal mast mounted on a square concrete pier. Tower painted white with a red top. Pierre Basson has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the Cayenne River channel, about 1.6 km (1 mi) southwest of Fort Cépérou. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J6904; NGA 17440.

L'Enfant Perdu Light
L'Enfant Perdu Light, Cayenne, April 2012
Flickr photo copyright Terres de Guyane; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: Southeast: Northern Brazil | West: Suriname

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted July 7, 2003. Checked and revised March 7, 2014. Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.