Faro Paredón, Cuba

Thanks to Captain Hubert Hall, of Shipsearch (Marine), Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, for supplying these photos. We have additional photos, including some inside the lighthouse, by Tom Pohrt.

Capt. Hubert Hall has contributed these two excellent photos of the Faro Paredón on the north coast of Cuba. The lighthouse is located on the Cayo Paredón Grande, a small island off the northwestern tip of Cayo Coco in Ciego de Avila province. For ships bound southeast from Florida to the Caribbean, the Faro Paredón guards the entrance to the Old Bahama Channel, a narrow deep-water passage between Cuba and the Bahamas.

Built in 1859, the lighthouse is an outstanding example of mid-nineteenth century cast iron construction. The tower looks octagonal in these photos, but it is actually 16-sided. It is 131 feet tall, and displays three white flashes every 15 seconds.

Although it is still known as the Faro Paredón, the lighthouse has been named officially the Faro Diego Velázquez, after the Spanish explorer who first mapped the islands off Cuba's north coast in 1514.

The area is accessible to tourists from Cayo Coco, which is famous for its birdlife, especially flamingos.

 

Photos copyright 2003 Capt. Hubert Hall. Used by permission.

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Posted May 2, 2003. Checked and revised October 9, 2014. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.