Lighthouses of Brazil: Bahia

Brazil, the largest country in South America and fifth largest in the world, has a lengthy coastline, a large number of lighthouses, and a distinguished lighthouse history. This page covers lighthouses of the state of Bahia on Brazil's northeastern coast. Bahia is Brazil's fifth largest state, and it includes the longest coastline of any of the states. This tropical coastline faces across the South Atlantic Ocean towards Africa. The largest port in Bahia by far is the capital, Salvador (São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos); Ilhéus is another important port.

Until recently, photos of Brazilian lighthouses were scarce on the Internet. Although this has improved greatly, photos are still needed for several sites.

The Portuguese word for a lighthouse is farol, plural faróis. In Brazilian use, the word farol generally applies to all light towers, regardless of whether they are enclosed structures or not. The word farolete is sometimes used for smaller towers.

Active lighthouses in Brazil are owned by the navy (Marinha do Brasil) and maintained by the Centro de Sinalização Náutica e Reparos Almirante Moraes Rego (CAMR) in the Diretoria de Hidrografia e Navegacão (DHN). Many of the larger lighthouses are staffed by resident keepers or by rotating crews of naval personnel. Only a small number of Brazilian lighthouses are open to the public.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. BR numbers are from the official Brazilian Lista de Faroís. Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 110.

General Sources
Faroís Brasileiros
This page on the web site of the navy's aids to navigation center (CAMR) has links to photos of many of the lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - Brazil
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Bahia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Lista de faróis do Brasil
Index to articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia.
Leuchttürme Südamerikas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Lista de Faróis
Official Brazilian light list available for download.

Santo Antônio da Barra Light
Santo Antônio da Barra Light, Salvador, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Albert Cesario

Northern Bahia (Coconut Coast) Lighthouses
Mangue Seco
1996. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted white. Cesar Lima has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Mangue Seco is a small fishing village and beach resort located at the end of a sandy peninsula at the northern border of Bahia. Site status unknown. BR-1440; Admiralty G0234.2; NGA 18012.
Itariri
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); white flash every 10 s, with every 6th flash omitted. 30 m (98 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. A distant view is available, Cássio Góes has a view from the top of the tower, and Google has a satellite view. Located at Barra do Itariri about 135 km (85 mi) north of Salvador. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-224; BR-1441; Admiralty G0234.5; NGA 18013.
Subaúma
1992. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white flash every 10 s. 41 m (135 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. César Lethier has a photo, Railson da Luz has a fine view from the beach, João Eduardo Penna de Carvalho has a panoramic view, and Google has a satellite view. Located just off the beach at Subaúma, about 30 km (19 mi) southwest of Barra do Itariri. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-243; BR-1442; Admiralty G0235; NGA 18014.
* Garcia d'Avila (Praia do Forte) (3)
1971 (station established 1916). Active; focal plane 92 ft; two white flashes every 12 s. 82 ft round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery; entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at right, David Vignoni has a photo, Patricia Ribeiro has a closeup photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The area was named for the Castelo Garcia d'Avila, a 16th century fortified house; more recently it has become popular as a seaside resort known as Praia do Forte (Fort Beach). A sea turtle refuge and conservation center called Projeto Tamar is located next to the lighthouse. The original lighthouse and its successor (built in the 1930s) were removed due to beach erosion. Located on the beach at Praia do Forte, about 50 miles northeast of Salvador. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-037; BR-1444; Admiralty G0236; NGA 18016.
Camaçari
Date unknown. Active (privately maintained?); focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) round concrete tower, painted white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a pier in Camaçari, an industrial port about 25 miles northeast of Salvador. Site status unknown. Site manager: Cetrel, SA. ARLHS BRA-125; BR-1446; Admiralty G0236.2; NGA 18018.
Farol de Garcia d'Avila
Garcia d'Avila Light, January 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by npstr (no longer online)

Salvador Area Lighthouses
* Itapuã (Itapoã)
Date unknown (station established 1873). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 6 s. 21 m (69 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a concrete base and connected to shore by an arched concrete bridge. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern and gallery are red. Leandro Mundim's photo is at right, Dôra Araújo has a good photo, Luiz Augusto Pizzato has a good photo, Wikimedia has several good photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Note: there is another Farol Itapuã in Rio Grande do Sul (see Southern Brazil). Located at the surf line on the beach at Ponta Itapuã, about 20 km (13 mi) east northeast of the Farol de Barra (next entry). Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-058; BR-1460; Admiralty G0238; NGA 18024.
*** Santo Antônio da Barra ("Farol da Barra") (2)
1839 (station established 1698). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white light on 5 s, off 5 s, except every third showing is red rather than white. 22 m (72 ft) round tapered tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. The lighthouse is built atop the Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra, a historic fortification dating from the sixteenth century. Albert Cesario's photo is at the top of this page, a fine 2007 photo and a 2008 closeup are available, a page for the lighthouse has many photos, Wikimedia has many photos, Trabas has a closeup by Thomas Philipp, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. A light was displayed from the fort as early as 1698, leading to a claim that this is the oldest light station in the Americas (there are other claimants). One of Brazil's best known lighthouses and one of Bahia's best known attractions. In 1998 the fort and lighthouse were restored and converted to a maritime museum, the Museu Náutico da Bahia; there is also a coffee shop. Located on the Ponta de Santo Antônio marking the northern entrance to the Bahia Todos os Santos, the harbor of Salvador, Bahia's state capital and Brazil's colonial capital. Site open; museum open Sundays; in 2011 the tower was also opened to visitors. ARLHS BRA-096; BR-1472; Admiralty G0242; NGA 18028.
Salvador South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) hexagonal pyramdal concrete tower, painted red. Trabas has a photo by Thomas Philipp, Paulo Yuji Takarada has an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater, about 6 km (3.5 mi) north of the Farol da Barra. Site and tower closed. BR-1488; Admiralty G0246; NGA 18036.
Itapuã Light
Itapuã Light, Salvador, December 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Leandro Mundim
Salvador North Breakwater South End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); green flash every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) hexagonal pyramdal concrete tower, painted green. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the south end of a detached breakwater, just north of the south breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. BR-1492; Admiralty G0247; NGA 18040.
Salvador North Breakwater North End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) hexagonal pyramdal concrete tower, painted red. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the north end of the detached breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. BR-1496; Admiralty G0247.2; NGA 18044.
* Monte Serrat
1935. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round strongly conical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Raquel Alençar Vieira has a closeup photo, Wikimedia has several photos, Trabas has a view from the harbor by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located near the historic Forte Monte Serrat on a promontory on the east side of the Bahia Todos os Santos, about 10 km (6 mi) north of the Farol da Barra. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-156; BR-1500; Admiralty G0249; NGA 18048.
Caboto
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. Trabas has Captain Peter Mosselberger's photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory near the northeastern corner of the Bahia Todos os Santos, about 25 km (15 mi) north of the Farol da Barra. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-019; BR-1612; Admiralty G0254; NGA 18060.
Mar Grande
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); white flash every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef on the west side of the entrance to the Bahia Todos os Santos. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. BR-1772; Admiralty G0244; NGA 18032.

Ilha de Tinharé Lighthouse
* Morro de São Paulo ("Farol do Morro")
1885. Active; focal plane 89 m (292 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 26 m (85 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Fresnel lens in use. A photo is at right, Afonso Oliva has a closeup, Wikimedia has photos, a hotel has posted a photo (click on "The Lighthouse"), Leonardo Vianna has a good view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is built uphill from the ruins of a fort built in 1630. Located at the northeastern tip of the Ilha de Tinharé, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest of Salvador; the island, a popular resort, is accessible by ferry from Valença or Salvador. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-157; BR-1776; Admiralty G0274; NGA 18148.

Itacaré Area Lighthouses
Quiepe
Date unknown (station established 1909). Active (?); light characteristics unknown. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. An aerial photo is available, and lighthouse can be seen just barely (right of center) in a distant view of the island by Paulo Figueiredo, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. The Ilha de Quiepe lies in the entrance to the bay of Camamu, about 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Salvador. The island is privately owned. This light is not on the most recent Brazilian light list. Located on the north coast of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty G0278.
* Ponta do Mutá
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. Luiz Damião Araújo has a photo, an aerial view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the tip of the long Maraú peninsula, marking the south side of the entrance to the bay of Camamu. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-177; BR-1782; Admiralty G0279; NGA 18154.
Morro de São Paulo
Morro de São Paulo Light, Cairu, February 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by andresumida
* Morro de Taipus
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 76 m (249 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A.C. Costa has a photo, Admilson Reis has a distant view, and Luiz Felipe da Silva de Castro has a view from the bay of Camamu, but Google's satellite view has no detail in this area. Located on the high ridge of the Maraú peninsula, about 9 km (5.5 mi) south of Ponta do Mutá. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. BR-1783; Admiralty G0280; NGA 18155.
Contas (Ilhota de Contas) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1929). Active; focal plane 18 m (60 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower, painted white. No lantern. Auro Queiroz has a photo, and Wikimedia has a photo by Andres Umida, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Located on a small island at the mouth of the Rio Contas in Itacaré. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-028; BR-1784; Admiralty G0282; NGA 18156.

Ilhéus Area Lighthouses
Ilhéu Grande
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 4 m (13 ft) square white concrete equipment shelter; the light is on a short mast centered atop the building. Claudio Cardeal has a distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located atop a small island about 3 km (2 mi) northeast of Ilhéus. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. BR-1788; Admiralty G0286; NGA 18164.
* Ilhéus (Morro de Pernambuco)
Date unknown (station established 1916). Active (?); focal plane 35 m (115 ft); one long (1.3 s) white flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, painted white. A small photo and an aerial view are available, Wikimedia has a grainy photo, and Google has a satellite view. Better photos of this lighthouse are needed! Located on a bluff on the south side of the harbor entrance at Ilhéus. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-054; BR-1808; Admiralty G0288; NGA 18160.
* Comandatuba (Hotel Transamérica)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 40 m (131 ft) square cylindrical white concrete tower, a part of the Hotel Transamérica. A small photo and an aerial photo are available, Júlio de Oliveira has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the Ilha de Comandatuba, a barrier beach about 65 km (40 mi) south of Ilheus. The island, site of several resorts, is accessible by ferry from the mainland. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Hotéis Transamérica Ilha Comandatuba. ARLHS BRA-026; BR-1810; Admiralty G0290.5; NGA 18170.

Porto Seguro Area Lighthouses
* Belmonte (2)
1901 (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 6 s. 34 m (112 ft) octagonal pyramidal cast iron skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, enclosed watchroom, and gallery, incorporating 2-story keeper's quarters. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is at right, Eduardo Athayde has a fine closeup, another photo is available (third photo on the page), and Google has a satellite view. The origina lighthouse was moved once to escape beach erosion and was abandoned when it was threatened a second time. The present lighthouse was prefabricated in France. Located in the town of Belmonte, about 70 km (45 mi) north of Porto Seguro. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-012; BR-1812; Admiralty G0294; NGA 18172.
Farol de Belmonte
Belmonte Light, Belmonte
public domain photo from free2use-it.com
* Araripe
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white light, 2 s on, 8 s off. 40 m (131 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted white with narrow black horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff above the coastal highway (BR 367) about 30 km (19 mi) north of Porto Seguro. Site status unknown, but the lighthouse should be visible from nearby. ARLHS BRA-248; BR-1813; Admiralty G0294; NGA 18174.
* Porto Seguro
1907. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); flash every 10 s, two white flashes followed by one red flash. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower with gallery, painted white. Silvio and Ana Paula have an excellent photo, Wikimedia also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff above the coastal highway (BR 367) about 1.5 km (1 mi) north of Porto Seguro, marking the entrance to the protected channel behind a reef that fringes the coast. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-084; BR-1816; Admiralty G0296; NGA 18176.
* Corumbau (Ponta Corumbau)
1923. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, painted white. Marcelo Santos Miranda has a photo, Walter Kauss also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the tip of a sharp promontory about 13 km (8 mi) south of Caraiva. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-130; BR-1820; Admiralty G0298; NGA 18180.

Alcobaça and Mucuri Area Lighthouses
* Barreiras do Prado
1955. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Marcelo Santos Miranda has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff about 3 km (2 mi) north of Prado. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-119; Admiralty G0299; BR-1824; NGA 18184.
* Alcobaça
Date unknown (station established 1934). Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 15 s. 24 m (79 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower, painted white with one horizontal red band. A photo is at right, Alberto Alves has a 2012 photo, Wikimedia has several photos, another photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located just off the beach (Praia do Farol) in Alcobaça. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS BRA-003; BR-1828; Admiralty G0300; NGA 18188.


Alcobaça Light, Alcobaça, December 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Andrevruas

Ponta da Baleia
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. (The satellite view suggests that the skeletal tower may have been replaced by a concrete tower.) Located on a prominent cape about 15 km (9 mi) east of Caraveles. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-169; BR-1836; Admiralty G0302; NGA 18196.
Abrolhos (Ilha de Santa Barbará)
1861. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 6 s. 22 m (72 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and double gallery, painted with narrow black and white horizontal bands; lantern painted black. Original meso-radial Fresnel lens in use. Amanda Ercília's photo is at right, another photo and a view from the sea are available, but the islands are little more than a blur in Google's satellite view. The lighthouse was prefabricated in France. The lens is one of only two meso-radial lenses known to have been produced; these lenses are larger than 1st order but smaller than the great hyper-radial lenses. The lighthouse was originally centered in an octagonal 1-story keeper's house; a historic photo (third row of photos on the page) is available. The Arquipélago de Abrolhos is a group of five rocky islands about 65 km (40 mi) off the south coast of Bahia. Except for the light station, the islands are included in the Parque Nacional Marinho de Abrolhos. The light station is staffed by the navy and also provides housing for park rangers and visiting researchers. Located at the highest point of Santa Barbará, the largest island of the group. Site and tower closed; the lighthouse can be seen from many ecotours of the area. ARLHS BRA-001; BR-1848; Admiralty G0306; NGA 18200.
Ponta Catoeiro
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 1 km (0.6 mi) southwest of the point of the cape, east of Nova Viçosa. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-173; BR-1840; Admiralty G0304; NGA List 18204.
Coroa Vermelha
1937. Active; focal plane 16.5 m (53 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted red. A closeup photo is available, Heros Tavares Rodrigues has a photo, Romulo Mello has another photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the Ilha de Coroa Vermelha, an island off the coast near Nova Viçosa. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-029; BR-1844; Admiralty G0308; NGA List 18208.
Farol de Abrolhos
Abrolhos Light, Ilha de Santa Barbará, February 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Amanda Ercília
Mucuri
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located in Mucuri, the southernmost city of Bahia. Site status unknown. ARLHS BRA-066; BR-1850; Admiralty G0310; NGA List 18210.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northeastern Brazil | South: Southeastern Brazil

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Posted February 16, 2004. Checked and revised April 7, 2014. Lighthouses: 32. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.