Lighthouses of Western Colombia

The mainland of Colombia has two coastlines, one facing northwest on the Caribbean and another facing west on the Pacific. This page includes the lighthouses of the Pacific Coast; there's a separate page for the North Coast lighthouses and another for the Caribbean territory of San Andrés and Providencia.

Most of Colombia's Pacific lighthouses are in relatively inaccessible locations, and only limited information is available about them. Additional information would be welcome.

Aids to navigation in Colombia are owned by the Autoridad Marítima Colombia and maintained by the Dirección General Marítima (DIMAR). The Spanish word for a lighthouse is faro. In Colombia, this word is used for the larger light towers, while a smaller light is called a baliza (beacon).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. DIMAR numbers are from DIMAR's Lista de Luces de la República de Colombia. Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals and U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 111.

General Sources
Derrotero de las costas and áreas insulares de Colombia
An informative site posted by DIMAR's oceanographic and hydrographic center (Centro de Investigaciones Oceanográficas e Hidrográficas, or CIOH).
Online List of Lights - Vol. G - Colombia
Photos by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Colombia
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Colombia
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Lista de Luces
Official Colombian light list, available for download in pdf format.

Parque Colpuertos Light
Parque Colpuertos Light, Buenaventura, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Felipe Lozano

Nariño Department (Tumaco Area) Lighthouses
Boca Manglares
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Endangered: the tower is undermined and has a lean of at least 25°. Camilo Monroy has a 2007 photo, and a 2009 photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located at the mouth of the Manglares estuary, about 1.5 km (1 mi) southwest of the Cabo Manglares lighthouse. Site open, tower closed.
Cabo Manglares
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 36.5 m (120 ft) round concrete (?) tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Julio Poveda has a photo, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located on a low but prominent cape about 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Tumaco and a similar distance northwest of the Ecuadorian border. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-005; DIMAR-P021; Admiralty G3122; NGA 0232.
Tumaco
Date unknown (station established 1922). Active; focal plane 92 m (305 ft); flash every 10 s, alternating red and white. 11 m (36 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery; a platform carrying communications gear has built over the top of the lantern. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Anthony Tice has contributed two photos including the one at right, and a view from the harbor is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. The lighthouse is located on a Colombian naval base. Located on an island sheltering the harbor of Tumaco on Colombia's southernmost coast. Site and tower closed (military reservation), but the lighthouse can be seen distantly from the main gate of the base. ARLHS COL-054; DIMAR-P020; Admiralty G3124; NGA 0220.
Pasa Caballos
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 36 m (118 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located at the entrance to the Río Patía, about 80 km (50 mi) north of Tumaco. Site status unknown. DIMAR-P019; Admiralty G3126; NGA 0216.
Faro de Tumaco
Tumaco Light, Tumaco, September 2007
photo copyright Anthony Tice; used by permission

Cauca Department Lighthouses
Bocana Guapi (Río Guapi, Farillo Guapi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available; Google's satellite view shows the station, but the location of the light is unclear. Located on the east side of the entrance to the Río Guapi, about 15 km (9 mi) north of the town of Guapi. Accessible only by boat. DIMAR-P018; Admiralty G3130; NGA 0213.
Timbiqui
Date unknown (2008?). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 25 s. 18 m (59 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on the Isla Bubuey, on the north side of the Bahía de Timbiqui. Site status unknown. DIMAR-P017; Admiralty G3130.5; NGA 0214.
Isla Gorgonilla
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 103 m (338 ft); white flash every 15 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Camilo Sarmiento has a photo of the island; the tower, seen at high magnification, appears to be black in its upper half, white below. Google has a distant satellite view of the location. Located at the highest point, near the northeastern end, of Isla Gorgonilla, a smaller island off the southwestern tip of Isla Gorgona. DIMAR-P013; Admiralty G3128; NGA 0212.
Punta Coll (Isla Gorgona)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); one long (2 s) white flash every 8 s. 19 m (62 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Gorgona is an island about 50 km (30 mi) off the Colombian coast halfway between Buenaventura and Tumaco. Formerly the site of a political prison, the island is now a national park with facilities for ecotourism. Located at the northern tip of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-063; DIMAR-P015; Admiralty G3129; NGA 0210.

Valle de Cauca Department (Buenaventura Area) Lighthouses
Bocana Río Naya
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Located on the north side of the mouth of the Río Naya, which is the border between the departments of Cauca and Valle de Cauca. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-066; DIMAR-P014; Admiralty G3131.5; NGA 0215.5.
Punta Soldado
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 47 m (154 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The tower also carries a radar antenna, and there is a small observation or control room about 2/3 the way up the tower. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo (also seen at right), and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on the south side of the entrance to the harbor of Buenaventura. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-065; DIMAR-P011; Admiralty G3132; NGA 0200.
** Parque Colpuertos (Buenaventura)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); yellow flash every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) cylindrical tower, painted white with a red band at the base; lantern painted red. Felipe Lozano's photo is at the top of his page, Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo also showing the red lantern, Juan Esteban Arias Arévalo has a 2008 photo, Wikimedia has Shaun McRae's 2005 photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is located in a public park on the waterfront in Buenaventura, Colombia's principal port on the Pacific. Site open, and the photo shows visitors on the gallery. ARLHS COL-056; DIMAR-P012; Admiralty G3133.03; NGA 0203.3.
* La Pilota (Directional Light)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 5 s, visible only along the line of approach to the port. 30 m (98 ft) water tower with a large round tank; the light is centered atop the tank. The tank is painted a silver color with a red top. Google has a satellite view. Located at Calle 4 and Carrera 13 in Buenaventura. Site open, tower closed. DIMAR-P101; Admiralty G3133; NGA 0202.
Las Delicias Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); two green flashes every 5 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square wood skeletal tower, painted red with a white horizontal band. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Google has a satellite view. Capt. Peter also has a photo of the front light, on a small tower 60 m (200 ft) south. Located on the north bank of the Buenaventura estuary, across from the city's waterfront. Site status unknown. DIMAR-P079; Admiralty G3133.51; NGA 0208.
Isla Palmas (Isla la Palma)
Date unknown (station established 1922). Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 39 m (128 ft) square skeletal tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo taken from the gallery is available, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the station. Located on an island at the northern entrance to the Bahía de Buenaventura. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-058; DIMAR-P010; Admiralty G3136; NGA 0188.

Punta Soldado Light, Buenaventura
photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger
used by permission
Punta Charambirá
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); one long (1.2 s ) white flash every 12 s. 36 m (118 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available; Google has a very distant satellite view of the station. Located on a low cape about 130 km (80 mi) northwest of Buenaventura. ARLHS COL-062; DIMAR-P008; Admiralty G3140; NGA 0184.
Isla de Malpelo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 258 m (846 ft); white flash every 15 s. 13 m (43 ft) skeletal tower, painted orange. Malpelo is an isolated island about 380 km (235 mi) off Colombia's Pacific coast. The Colombian military maintains a small outpost on the island, which rises abruptly from the sea. The outpost can be seen in a U.S. NOAA photo and a Google satellite view, but the light tower is not seen. Special permission would be required to visit the island, which is protected as a natural park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Note: NGA lists the tower height as 13 ft, but this is apparently a typo. Site and tower closed. DIMAR-P009; Admiralty G3142; NGA 0186.

Chocó Department Lighthouses
Pizarro (2)
2010 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 18 m (72 ft) round tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A view from the sea is available, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located at Pizarro, at small port in southern Chocó. Site status unknown. DIMAR-P007; Admiralty G3143; NGA 0183.
Cabo Corrientes
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 189 m (620 ft); white flash every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) tower, presumably skeletal, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google's satellite view of the cape is obscured by clouds. Located on a prominent cape roughly midway between Punta Ardita and Buenaventura. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS COL-015; DIMAR-P006; Admiralty G3145; NGA 0182.
Nuquí
2007. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); two white flashes, separated by 3 s, every 20 s. 28 m (92 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The light is probably on the shorter of the two towers seen in the distance of a view from the sea, but Google's satellite view has no detail in the area. Located on a promontory sheltering the bay of Nuquí. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-059; DIMAR-P005; Admiralty G3147; NGA 0181.
San Francisco Solano (Punta Solano)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white light, 2 s on, 10 s off. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located on a sharp promontory sheltering the Bahía Solano. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-064; DIMAR-P003; Admiralty G3150; NGA 0176.
Mutis
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 6 s; this is a leading light visible only along the line of approach to the port. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located northeast of the town of Mutis (Bahía Solano). Site status unknown. DIMAR-P004; Admiralty G3152; NGA 0180.
Cabo Marzo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); white flash every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and clouds block Google's satellite view of the area. Located on a prominent cape about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of the Panamanian border. Site status unknown. ARLHS COL-057; DIMAR-P002; Admiralty G3153; NGA 0174.
Punta Ardita
2003. Active; focal plane 170 m (558 ft); two white flashes every 25 s. 30 m (98 ft) tower, presumably skeletal, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. In northwestern Colombia the Baudó mountains rise very steeply from the Pacific coast, and this lighthouse stands on the northernmost major promontory. Located about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of the Panamanian border. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS COL-060; DIMAR-P001; Admiralty G3153.2; NGA 0172.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Colombia Caribbean | South: Ecuador | West: Panamá

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Posted February 13, 2004. Checked and revised July 21, 2014. Lighthouses: 23. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.