Lighthouses of Honduras

Honduras is a nation of Central America, located between Guatemala and Nicaragua. The country's coast faces north on the Gulf of Honduras, the westernmost embayment of the Caribbean Sea. In the south of Honduras there is also a short coast on the Gulf of Fonseca, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. All the known lighthouses, however, are on the Caribbean coast.

Puerto Cortés, in the northwest, is the largest port of Honduras. Aids to navigation in the country are maintained by the Empresa Nacional Portuaria (ENP), the national ports company.

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).

Note: The lighthouses of two remote Caribbean islands, Serranilla and Bajo Nuevo, are listed on the San Andres and Providencia page. Honduras gave up its claim to these islands in a 1986 agreement in return for Colombia's recognition of Honduran claims to certain islands closer to the mainland. (Serranilla and Bajo Nuevo have been claimed by various other countries including Jamaica, Nicaragua, and the U.S.)

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
Online List of Lights - Honduras
Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
World of Lighthouses - Honduras
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Faro de Puerto Cortés
Punta Caballos Light, Puerto Cortés
photo copyright Capt. Theo Hinrichs; used by permission

Cortés Department Lighthouse
Puerto Cortés (Punta Caballos) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs (also seen above). and Bing has a satellite view. Michel Forand's postcard view on Lighthouse Explorer shows the 1898 lighthouse, a spidery skeletal tower; Huelse has the same postcard view. Located at the western end of the peninsula sheltering the harbor of Puerto Cortés, about 8 km (5 mi) northwest of the city. Site status unknown. ARLHS HON-003; Admiralty J5994; NGA 16428.

Atlántida Department Lighthouses
Punta Sal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 84 m (275 ft); four white flashes every 30 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of sharp cape about 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Tela. Site status unknown. Admiralty J5997; NGA 16432.
Punta Izopo (Punta Obispo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Tito Gonza has an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of sharp cape about 15 km (9 mi) northeast of Tela. Site status unknown. Admiralty J5999; NGA 16440.

Islas de la Bahía Department Lighthouses
Note: The Islas de la Bahía (Bay Islands) are a group of islands off the north coast of Honduras. The major islands, from west to east, are Útila, Roatán, and Guanaja; the Cayos Cochino are a group of smaller islands between the major islands and the coast. The Bay Islands were a British colony from 1643 until 1860, when Britain ceded sovereignty to Honduras. Today the islands are very popular vacation destinations.
Isla de Útila (Puerto Este) (2)
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane unknown; continuous white light. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square concrete mast, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A March 2007 photo is available, Daniel Turcotte has a more distant view taken in February 2008, and Google has a satellite view. This tower replaced an earlier light on a "wooden building," as still listed by NGA. Both photos show the light to be severely damaged, probably by one of the hurricanes that have struck the Honduran coast. We need information on the current status of the lighthouse. Located on a reef at the entrance to the principal harbor of Útila, near the eastern end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J6003; NGA 16448.
Isla de Roatán
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 8 s. Described by NGA as a "red and white metal tower." No photo available. An aerial photo of the west end of Roatán shows the Punta Oeste light in the foreground and two red-and-white communications towers on the heights in the distance; there's a good chance one of these towers carries the light. The tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view of the location. Located on heights above the harbor of Half Moon Bay, about 5 km (3 mi) north northeast of the Punta Oeste light. Site status unknown. ARLHS HON-008; Admiralty J6007; NGA 16460.
* Isla de Roatán Punta Oeste
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Paul Nicholson's photo is at right, Karen Morris has another photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the western end of the island, about 150 km (90 mi) north of the mainland. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J6008.1; NGA 16461.
Oakridge Harbour
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 7 m (23 ft); white flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) square concrete post with gallery, mounted on a square concrete pier. A photo is available (second photo on the page), and Google has a satellite view. Visitors describe this as an "old lighthouse," suggesting that it might not be active. Located in the entrance to Oakridge Harbour on the south side of Roatán. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J6009.2.
Black Rock Point (Isla Guanaja) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 9 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. The Admiralty does not provide any description for this light, but it is probably the light seen in Kathleen Currie's 2009 photo. Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. NGA lists an older light that had a focal plane of 61 m (200 ft). Located at the northeastern tip of the island. Site and tower open. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS HON-006; Admiralty J6010.5; NGA 16477.
Faro de Roatan
Punta Oeste Light, Isla de Roatán, Honduras, January 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Paul Nicholson (no longer online)
* Cochino Grande
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 157 m (516 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Sibling of Isla de Roatán. Peter Leupold has a closeup photo, and a tiny photo is available (bottom row of photos), but Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. The second photographer reports that the lighthouse "doesn't work." The lighthouse is said to have been built in Germany. Located on Cochino Grande in the Cayos Cochinos off La Ceiba on the north central coast of the country. Site and tower open. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS HON-007; Admiralty J6009.6; NGA 16473.

Colón Department Lighthouse
Punta Caxinas (Cabo de Honduras)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 7 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a long, west-pointing peninsula sheltering the Bahía de Trujillo near Puerto Castilla. A visitor to the area reports it is closed to the public. Site and tower closed. Admiralty J6009.7; NGA 16457.

Gracias a Dios Department Lighthouses
#Cabo Camarón
Date unknown. Collapsed in 2011. This was a 22 m (72 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Eblin Tejeda has a closeup photo (misidentified as Cabo Gracias a Dios), a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Eblin's photo showed the light almost in the water and clearly endangered. Sure enough, an April 2010 photo shows the tower in the surf and about to fall. On 25 February 2012, Tejada added a comment to his photo that the lighthouse ya no existe (no longer exists), that it fue derribado por las fuertes oleadas (was destroyed by the heavy waves). Tropical Storm Harvey made a direct hit on this coast in August 2011. The cape is a bulge in the coast about 65 km (40 mi) east of Limón. Site status unknown. ARLHS HON-001; Admiralty J6012; NGA 16478.
Punta Patuca
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 18 m (56 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a cape about 35 km (22 mi) east southeast of Cabo Camaron. Site status unknown. ARLHS HON-009; Admiralty J6013; NGA 16479.
Cabo Falso
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) steel post with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Cabo Falso is so called because it is easily mistaken for Cabo Gracias a Dios, the prominent cape at the Nicaraguan border. Located on the cape, about 30 km (20 mi) northwest of Cabo Gracias a Dios. Site status unknown. Admiralty J6014; NGA 16483.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: San Andres and Providencia | South: Nicaragua | West: Guatemala Caribbean

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Posted May 19, 2004. Checked and revised September 17, 2013. Lighthouses: 13. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.