Lighthouses of Belize

Belize is a small country located at the base of the Yucat√°n Peninsula and bordered to the north by Mexico and to the west and south by Guatemala. The coast of the country faces east on the Gulf of Honduras, the westernmost extension of the Caribbean Sea. Fringed by coral reefs and with a steady onshore trade wind, the coast is quite hazardous for mariners.

Settled by British pirates, privateers, and other seamen as early as the 1630s, Belize is the only English-speaking country of Central America. Long known as British Honduras, it took the Mayan name Belize in 1973 and became independent in 1981. Belize City is the capital and principal port.

Aids to navigation in Belize are presumably maintained by Belize Ports, Ltd.

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 Light List numbers are from NGA Publication 110.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Belize
Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.


English Caye Light, June 2005
photo copyright Lewis Melton, Let's Go Sailing; used by permission

Lighthouses
Mauger Caye
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery and an enlcosed watch room. Entire lighthouse is white. Steve Melki's photo is at right, and Google has a distant satellite view of the cay. Mauger Caye is the northernmost islet of the Turneffe Cays, an extensive reef system 75 km (47 mi) long and about 30 km (19 mi) east of Belize City. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BLZ-007; Admiralty J5940; NGA 16280.
* Fort George (Baron Bliss)
Recent (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 5 s. 15 m (50 ft) strongly-tapered concrete pillar, with a gallery but no lantern. Tower painted white with a broad red band at the base; gallery red. Donna McCraw has a good closeup photo, Trabas has Douglas Cameron's view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. This light was built as a memorial to Henry E.E.V. Bliss, an English financier and self-styled baron who was a major benefactor of Belize. Bliss's tomb is adjacent to the base of the tower. Located on a point of land at the harbor entrance in Belize City. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BLZ-014; Admiralty J5954; NGA 16368.
English Caye (Eastern Channel Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. Lewis Melton's excellent photo appears in reduced size above, a closeup of the tower and another closeup of the lantern are available, Paul Huber has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The light station includes the Belize pilot station, with several buildings and a pier for the pilot boats. Located on a small island about 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Belize Harbour. Accessible only by boat, but visible from all ships entering the harbor. Site and tower closed. ARLHS BLZ-012; Admiralty J5943.1; NGA 16308.
** Sandbore Caye (3)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A 2008 photo and several additional photos are available (click on Photos, then select Lighthouse Reef; the Sandbore Caye photos start about 2/3 of the way down the photo page). Google has a satellite view of the station. Several web sites mention that the station is staffed and the keepers allow visitors to climb the tower. Located about 50 km (30 mi) east of Belize City on a small cay at the northern end of Lighthouse Reef, a coral atoll famous as a diving site. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS BLZ-010; Admiralty J5934; NGA 16288.
Mauger Caye Light
Mauger Caye Light, July 2010
Creative Commons photo by Steve Melki
#Half Moon Caye (3)
1931 (station established 1820). Collapsed in 2010, this was formerly a 24 m (79 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with enclosed base and upper portion, built on the brick foundation of the 1848 lighthouse. A photo is at right, another photo is available, as well as a closeup of the rusted watch room, and Fabrizio Rizzo has a view from the modern tower. The tower was reported to be "falling to pieces" and "dangerous to climb"; it looked very dangerous in a 2008 photo. In 2006, the Belize Audubon Society contacted the World Lighthouse Society for assistance in planning a restoration of the lighthouse, but no work had been done. The lighthouse collapsed during Tropical Storm Matthew in late September 2010. Located on Half Moon Caye at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef, a coral atoll famous as a diving site. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Half Moon Caye National Monument. ARLHS BLZ-017.
** Half Moon Caye (4)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (80 ft); four white flashes every 15 s. 24 m (79 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A photo is at right, and Scott Schmidt has a good photo of both the old and new lighthouses. Located adjacent to the site of the historic lighthouse. Site open, and visitors often climb the tower. Site manager: Half Moon Caye National Monument. ARLHS BLZ-013; Admiralty J5936; NGA 16292.
Bugle Caye (3)
Date unknown (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 10 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Small white keeper's house, probably staffed. Fiona MacFarlane has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small cay off the coast about 130 km (80 mi) south of Belize City. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS BLZ-002; Admiralty J5968; NGA 16384.
Half Moon Caye Lighthouse
Old and new Half Moon Caye lighthouses, April 2005
anonymous Creative Commons photo
East Snake Caye (1)
1915. Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) concrete tower. No photo available. According to SouthernBelize.com, "East Snake Caye was first known as Lighthouse Caye ... A lighthouse was built on the island to help fishermen navigate their way after sunset. Today, two lighthouses are located on the caye. A new lighthouse was recently constructed beside the old one." Located on a small cay, the easternmost of a group of four, about 8 km (5 mi) off the southern coast of Belize. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS BLZ-005.
East Snake Caye (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available. Located next to the historic lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. Admiralty J5972; NGA 16392.
Hunting Caye
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); one long white flash every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. Fiona MacFarlane has a 2009 photo, and Trabas has a distant view by Capt. Theo Hinrichs. NGA's listing of the tower height as 75 ft appears to be a typo. Hunting Caye is at the southern end of the Sapodilla Cayes, about 65 km (40 mi) east of Punta Gorda; this is the southeasternmost point of Belizean territory. According to SouthernBelize.com, this is a staffed station and there is also a small military outpost on the cay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS BLZ-015; Admiralty J5974; NGA 16396.
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