Lighthouses of Guatemala: Pacific Coast

Guatemala is the northwesternmost country of Central America, bordering Mexico. The country has a coastline about 250 km (150 mi) long facing south on the Pacific Ocean and a short coastline facing northeast on the Gulf of Honduras, an arm of the Caribbean Sea. The principal ports include Puerto Quetzal (San José) on the Pacific and Puerto Barrios on the Gulf of Honduras. This page is for lights on the Pacfic coast, and there is a separate page for those of the Caribbean coast.

Aids to navigation in Guatemala are the responsibility of the national port authority, the Comisión Nacional Portuaria. The Spanish word for a lighthouse is faro. In Spanish-speaking America, this word is used generally for all navigational lights, large and small, although smaller lights are also called balizas (beacons).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals for Caribbean lights and from volume G for Pacific lights. Light List numbers are from NGA Publication 110 for Caribbean lights and from Publication 111 for Pacific lights.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Guatemala Pacific
Photos by Capt. Peter Mosselberger posted by Alexander Trabas.
World of Lighthouses - Guatemala
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Central American Lighthouses
Photos by Larry Myhre.

Puerto Quetzal Range Front Light
Entrance Range Front Light, Puerto Quetzal, May 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Escuintla Department Lighthouses
Puerto Quetzal (Giratorio, San José)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 28 m (92 ft) triangular skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The shadow of the tower is seen in Bing's satellite view. NGA lists this as an aviation light, but there is no airport nearby; the light appears to function as the landfall light for the port. Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala's principal port on the Pacific; its dredged harbor has replaced the open roads of nearby San José. The port serves both commercial traffic and cruise ships. Located just to the east of the harbor entrance. Site status unknown. Admiralty G3386.6; NGA 111-15363.5.
Puerto Quetzal Water Tank
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a round water tank. Tower and tank painted red. Google has a satellite view. Located a short distance northwest of the harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty G3387.
Puerto Quetzal Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); quick-flashing white light. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The front of the tower carries a rectangular daymark, red with a white vertical stripe. Myhre's photo is at the top of this page, and Bing has a satellite view. Located in a picnic area on the west side of the harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G3385; NGA 111-15361.
Puerto Quetzal Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted red. The tower carries a long rectangular daymark, red with a white vertical stripe. Myhre has a 2012 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south shore of the harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G3385.1; NGA 111-15361.5.

San Marcos Department Lighthouses
* Ocos Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story equipment building. Lighthouses painted with vertical blue and white stripes (the color pattern of the Guatemalan flag); lantern painted red. Anton Jensen has a view from the rear light, Panza Rayada has a view from the sea, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This range marks Guatemala's border with Mexico. Located about 200 m (220 yd) southeast of the Mexican border at Los Faros (The Lighthouses), about 5 km (3 mi) west of Ocos. Site open, tower status unknown. Admiralty G3397; NGA 111-15354.
* Ocos Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 24 m (79 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story equipment building. A reduced version of Anton Jensen's photo is at right,and Google has a street view. The lighthouse is noticeably taller than the front light in a Google satellite view. Located about 350 m (380 yd) northeast of the front light. Site open, tower status unknown. Admiralty G3397.5; NGA 111-15354.5.
Ocos Range Rear Light
Ocos Range Rear Light, May 2007
Panoramio photo copyright
Anton Jensen; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • San José (1890-?). This light was displayed from the cupola of Government House. ARLHS GUL-002.

Adjoining pages: North: Guatemala: Caribbean | Southeast: El Salvador | Northeast: Mexico South Coast

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Posted October 31, 2008. Checked and revised July 15, 2016. Lighthouses: 6. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.