Travel – Bahamas Has Two Dozen Lighthouses!

Travel – Bahamas Has Two Dozen Lighthouses!

Iconic lighthouses lead the way to The Bahamas from the Caribeean News Now 

Map of Bahamas
NASSAU, Bahamas — Sailors prized them. Pirates hated them. Today they are romantic symbols of adventure, travel and solitude. Lighthouses still stand watch throughout The Islands of The Bahamas and The Bahamas Lighthouse Preservation Society safeguards three of the world’s few remaining kerosene-burning, hand-wound lighthouses.

Built in 1863, the famed Hope Town Lighthouse on Elbow Cay, Abaco still guides boats and ships today. Boating remains a way of life in the Abacos and throughout The Bahamas and the lighthouses are treasured even if modern captains navigate by satellite. 

The Dixon Hill lighthouse on San Salvador and Southwest Point lighthouse on Inagua have also escaped automation and still must be hand wound every two hours by keepers who have tended their flames since the mid-1830s. You can explore these lighthouses and their proud tradition via a video at Visit the Bahamas.

There are still two dozen active lighthouses in The Bahamas and many others that have been decommissioned; there are even a few faux lighthouses. Several are easily accessible and can be explored by visitors in search of their own seafaring tale or just a bird’s eye view of the island.

Hog Island Light 
Originally built in 1817 and situated on popular Paradise Island just off Nassau, New Providence, Hog Island is the oldest lighthouse in The Bahamas and is also the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. 

Pinder’s Point Lighthouse 
Overlooking bustling Freeport Harbor, this red-and-white candy-striped icon was restored, relit, and reactivated in 2009. Grand Bahama also has two often-photographed “faux” lighthouses — Lucaya and High Rock.

Hope Town Lighthouse 
In operation since 1863, Abaco’s red-and-white striped lighthouse is still hand-wound and accessible by ferry from Marsh Harbour where it is surrounded by Bahamian style buildings.

Also on Abaco, this British-style lighthouse is painted white on the lower third and red on the upper two-thirds and is home to the work of the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization.

San Salvador Lighthouse (Dixon Hill) 
Established in the mid-1800s and built in 1887, Dixon Hill is a very popular Bahamas lighthouse facility to visit because it is still occupied and operated by lighthouse keepers who refuel the 400,000 candle powered lighthouse by hand every 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Andros Lighthouse 
Built back in the early-1890s, this Andros landmark was made famous in the Blake Alphonso Higgs (known as Blind Blake) song, “Run Come See Jerusalem,” which told the story of a 1929 hurricane when more than 20 islanders drowned near the lighthouse.

Eleuthera Point 
The long island of Eleuthera has several lighthouses and this early-1900s version is a classic. The island also has several other active lighthouses, including North Palmetto Point, which is available as a vacation rental.

Southwest Point 
Great Inagua’s classic all-white lighthouse near Matthew Town is popular with visitors who want to see the hand-cranked light and visit with local lighthouse keepers.

Gun Cay 
Bimini’s famed 1836 lighthouse is alive and well, thanks to continued restoration. The island also features the recently reactivated Great Isaac Light, site of a late-1960s mystery when two lighthouse keepers went missing—and were never found.

Great Stirrup Cay 
Built in 1863 in the sparsely populated Berry Islands, this historic lighthouse has become a popular spot for cruise ship passengers.

The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone from Nassau and Paradise Island to Grand Bahama to The Abaco Islands, The Exuma Islands, Harbour Island, Long Island and others. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with preclearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar at par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for VisittheBahamas on the web on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. To purchase one-of-a-kind items from The Bahamas, visit www.eshopbahamas.com.

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.


  1. I founded the Bahamas Lighthouse Preservation Society in 1995 to save the last lighthouses in the world that were kerosene-fired and hand-wound. I know of only 11 actual lighthouses in the Bahamas. All others are faux or private nav-aids. I have lived in Abaco since 1954 and have cruised or visited almost all the islands. Of course, there are other nav-aids, blinkers, etc. The Bahamas only real lighthouses are, Elbow Reef at Hope Town, Dixon Hill at San Salvador, Great Inagua (those 3 are manned) Great Isaac, Great Stirrup, Gun Cay, Hole-in-the-Wall, Bird Rock, Castle Island, Cay Lobos and Hog Island. Cay Sal was de-commissioned, abandoned & crumbled many years ago. They were all government built and manned at the times they were built – my definition of a true lighthouse. I have visited all except Great Isaac.
    Sincerely, David B. Gale, Founder and President, BLPS.

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