Lighthouses of Mexico: Gulf Coast

This page includes the lighthouses of the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, which face east on the Gulf of Mexico. Lighthouses of the Yucatán Peninsula (Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo) are on a separate page.

Although this region is close to the U.S., it is mostly terra incognita for American lighthouse fans. That's too bad, because some of Mexico's most historic lighthouses are located on this coast. While the U.S. Coast Guard is rapidly pulling out of the lighthouse business, in Mexico lighthouses still play an important role in coastal navigation, and new towers are still being built from time to time.

Some of the lighthouses of Mexico are known only from listings of navigational aids. More information is needed for all of them, and photos are needed for most of them. If you can add to our online knowledge, please let me know.

Mexican lighthouses are managed by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, the cabinet agency that also manages the country's airports and seaports. Many of the larger light stations are staffed by resident civilian keepers.

The word for a lighthouse is faro in Spanish; smaller lighthouses are sometimes called balizas (beacons). Cabo is a cape, isla is an island, and bahía is a bay.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CF numbers are from the Mexican Cuaderno de Faros (Handbook of Lighthouses). Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. NGA Light List numbers are from NGA Publication 110.

General sources
Lighthouses of Tamaulipas
Five rare photos formerly posted by the Capitanía de Puerto de Tampico.
Online List of Lights - Mexico
Photos posted by Alexander Trabas. Most of these photos were taken by Capts. Peter Mosselberger or Theo Hinrichs, better known as Capt. Peter and Capt. Theo.
Farosmex - Lighthouses of Mexico
A large portfolio of photos of Mexican lighthouses posted on Photobucket.com.
Lighthouses in Mexico
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Cuaderno de Faros
The Mexican light list can be downloaded in two volumes, Atlantic and Pacific.

Faro Benito Juarez
Faro Benito Juárez, Veracruz, February 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Alejandro Linares Garcia

Lighthouses of Tamaulipas

Matamoros Lighthouses
Río Bravo (Matamoros) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 6 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and four ribs; lantern roof is red. 300 mm lens mounted on a short mast; no lantern. Farosmex has a closeup photo, and the contractor has a photo of the new lighthouse. A 2009 photo, a more distant view across the U.S. border, Beto Vazquez's photo, and Google's satellite view all show the original lighthouse. Located in Matamoros on the south side of the entrance to the Río Grande, which is called the Río Bravo del Norte in Mexico. There is little or no navigation through the entrance, so the light is primarily a marker for the international border. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-037; CF-28-145; Admiralty J4229.5; NGA 15203.
Canal de Chávez
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (38 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. 300 mm lens mounted on a short mast; no lantern. A distant view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. "Canal" suggests that the light is supposed to mark a channel through the barrier beach, but the satellite images show no inlet in this area. Located on the beach 25 km (15 mi) south of the Río Bravo. Site open by not easy to reach, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-177; CF-28-140; Admiralty J4229.55; NGA 15203.2.
* El Mezquital (2)
2011(?). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 26 m (85 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and four ribs; lantern roof is red. Farosmex has an excellent photo, and Bing has a satellite view. A contractor's photo shows an early stage of construction of the tower. We also have a photo of the original lighthouse, a skeletal tower reinforced with concrete legs. El Mezquital is a small port and naval station at the northern end of the Laguna Madre; it is connected to the sea by a short canal through the barrier beach. Located about 135 km (84 mi) south of the Río Bravo. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-031; CF-28-135; Admiralty J4230; NGA 15203.1.

San Fernando Lighthouses
* La Carbonera
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (38 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. 300 mm lens mounted on a small lantern painted with red and white horizontal bands. Farosmex has a closeup photo, a view from the Laguna Madre is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of La Carbonera, a fishing village on the Laguna Madre about 60 km (38 mi) south of El Mezquital. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-178; CF-28-130; Admiralty J4230.4; NGA 15206.
Punta Piedra (Punta de Piedra) (2)
2009. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lantern roof appears to be black. Farosmex has an excellent photo, the contractor has a photo of the completed lighthouse, a view from the lagoon is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This new lighthouse replaced a light on a short post. Located at the end of a sandbar at Punta de Piedra, a village on the west side of the Laguna Madre at the end of highway 20. Accessible only by boat, but easily seen from the village waterfront. Site open, tower closed. CF-28-130.1; Admiralty J4230.5; NGA 15207.

Soto la Marina Lighthouse
* La Pesca
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 16 m (52 ft) cylindrical concrete tower with four large ribs, lantern and gallery. 375 mm lens. Tower painted white with blue trim, lantern red. A photo is at right, Farosmex has a closeup photo, a 2007 photo and a distant view from the beach are available, and Google has a satellite view. La Pesca is a small fishing port and beach resort. The lighthouse marks the southern entrance to the Laguna Madre. Accessible by road from Soto la Marina and Ciudad Victoria. Site open; tower closed. ARLHS MEX-034; CF-28-110; Admiralty J4231; NGA 15208.
La Pesca Light
La Pesca Light, La Pesca, May 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Ricastro; permission requested

Aldama Lighthouses
[Punta Jerez (1)]
1904. Inactive since the early 1990s and destroyed in 2000. This lighthouse, a round French cast iron tower with ribs or buttresses, collapsed during Hurricane Keith in October 2000. Lighthouse Explorer has a small photo by Hector de Luna Espinosa, and Airphotona.com has a 1991 aerial photo of the station. Ruins of the keeper's houses survive, as seen in Google's satellite view. Punta Jerez, about 70 km (45 mi) north of Tampico, is not a cape but only a subtle bend in the barrier beach. The light station is located on the beach. Accessible only by boat. Site open.
Punta Jerez (2)
Early 1990s (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) cylindrical concrete tower with four buttresses, lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white; the gallery is blue. Two modern keeper's cottages. Javier Garcia Govea has a photo, Farosmex has a photo, a 2009 distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. The new light station is located on the mainland, about 650 m (0.4 mi) west of the original location. Accessible by 4WD. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-058; CF-28-100; Admiralty J4232; NGA 15212.
Canal de Chavarria (Barra Morón) (1) (?)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2012. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white with blue trim. Farosmex has a photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. In 2012 this lighthouse was replaced by a light on a post (focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s); it's not clear if the original lighthouse survives. Located on the north side of a dredged lagoon entrance at Barra Morón. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-28-098; Admiralty J4232.5; NGA 15213.

Altamira Lighthouses
* Altamira
1985. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 6 s. 37 m (120 ft) octagonal building, with a 3-story base, a central tower, and a lantern structure several stories in height. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo (also seen at right), Farosmex has a photo, César Orta also has a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. The lighthouse includes the headquarters and traffic control center for the port of Altamira. Altamira is a new port constructed on the north side of the Tampico metropolitan area. Site open, tower status unknown. Located on the north side of the harbor entrance. Site manager: Puerto de Altamira. ARLHS MEX-097; CF-28-025; Admiralty J4233; NGA 15214.
Altamira Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 36 m (118 ft) square skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. NGA lists the middle light of this range as the rear light. Located in an oil tank farm about 500 m (0.4 mi) west of the end of the dredged harbor of Altamira. Site and tower closed. CF-28-035.2; Admiralty J4233.42.
Faro de Altamira
Altamira Light, Altamira
photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger; used by permission

Ciudad Madero Lighthouses
Note: Ciudad Madero, Altamira, and Tampico are adjoining municipalities, part of the same urban area.
* Tampico Escollera Norte (North Breakwater)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, painted white, topped by a square pyramidal skeletal tower. A 2009 photo is available, Benjamin Espinosa has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater at the entrance to the Río Pánuco and Tampico's traditional harbor. Accessible by walking the breakwater. Site open, tower closed. CF-28-005; Admiralty J4240; NGA 15232.
* Tampico (Faro de la Barra, Ciudad Madero) (2)
1883 (station established 1865). Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); three white flashes every 6 s. 40 m (131 ft) hexagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at right, Arturo Cordova has a photo, Luis Angel Torres has a nighttime photo, Farosmex has a closeup, Huelse has posted a postcard image, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was designed by U.S. engineers and prefabricated in Pittsburgh. It is the only surviving example of its design. The U.S. Library of Congress has a historic photo of the lighthouse, taken before 1897. Locally the lighthouse is also called el Faro de Madero, the name of the seaside city adjacent to Tampico, or el Faro de la Barra, the same name used at Tuxpan (see below) and many other places in Latin America. Located in an industrial area on the north side of the entrance to the Río Pánuco, about 1200 m (3/4 mi) from the open Gulf of Mexico. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-033; CF-28-010; Admiralty J4236; NGA 15220.
Tergosa Range Front
Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16.5 m (54 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This range guides vessels on the Río Pánuco on the west side of Tampico. Located in an industrial area on the east side of the confluence of the Río Tamesí with the Río Pánuco. Site status unknown. CF-028-615.3.1.
Tergosa Range Rear
Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 22 m (72 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located in an industrial area on the east side of the confluence of the Río Tamesí with the Río Pánuco, about 180 m (600 ft) west northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. CF-028-615.3.
Faro de Tampico
Tampico (Ciudad Madero) Light, Tampico, September 2006
Panoramio photo copyright delfin azul; permission requested

Lighthouses of Veracruz

Huasteca Alta Region Lighthouses
Tampico Escollera Sur (South Breakwater) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) square white concrete skeletal tower. Admiralty J4250; NGA 15276. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater at the entrance to the Río Pánuco at Tampico (the south side of the river is in Veracruz state). Accessible only by boat (the south breakwater is not walkable). Site and tower closed. CF-28-655; Admiralty J4241; NGA 15236.
Arrecife Blanquilla
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 6 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted orange and mounted on a square concrete pier. The Cuaderno de Faros has a tiny photo, but the light is not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view. Not to be confused with the two Arrecife Blanquilla lights on the Veracruz Reefs. Located on a reef 12 km (7.5 mi) northeast of the Isla de Lobos lighthouse (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-480; Admiralty J4249; NGA 15280.
Isla de Lobos (3)
Date unknown (station established 1895). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. This lighthouse appears to be a sibling of El Palmar, Yucatán. Radio Club Satélite has a photo of the current lighthouse, Farosmex has a closeup, another photo and a view from the sea are available, and Lighthouse Digest has a historic photo of the 1899 cast iron lighthouse. Google has a very distant satellite view. The lighthouse guides vessels around Cabo Rojo, a very prominent cape in northern Veracruz. The island is located about 15 km (9 mi) southeast of the cape. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-035; CF-30-465.1; Admiralty J4250; NGA 15276.

Huasteca Baja Region (Tuxpan Municipality) Lighthouses
Arrecife Tanguijo (Tanhuijo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 10.5 m (35 ft) round concrete tower mounted on a large square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is orange. A photo probably shows this light (it may show Arrecife Tuxpan instead), and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a reef about 25 km (15 mi) north of the Tuxpan entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-001; CF-30-450; Admiralty J4253; NGA 15288.
Arrecife Tuxpan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower mounted on a large square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is orange. A photo and a very distant view (click on the photo for magnification) are available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a reef about 13 km (8 mi) northeast of the Tuxpan entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-445; Admiralty J4254; NGA 15292.
* La Barra (Tuxpan, Túxpam) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1895). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); four white flashes every 7 s. 22 m (72 ft) concrete block tower with lantern and double gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's cottage. Lighthouse painted white; the lantern roof is red. Farosmex has a closeup photo, John Todd Jr. has a photo (second photo on the page), another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Lighthouse Explorer has a historic photo of the second (1930s) lighthouse. Kate Messer has an account of a 1998 visit in which she was able to climb the old tower but found it to be in poor condition. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Río Túxpan in Barra Norte. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-136; CF-30-375; Admiralty J4255; NGA 15304.
* Tuxpan North Bank Range 1 Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 16 m (52 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower also carries an orange daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The front light is on a shorter skeletal tower. Located on the Carretera Barra Norte about 3 km (2 mi) west of the harbor entrance. Site status unknown, but the tower is easy to see from the street. CF-30-405.1; Admiralty J4259.1; NGA 15312.
Tuxpan Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16.5 m square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower also carries an orange daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the Río Túxpan in La Moderna. Site status unknown. CF-30-400; Admiralty J4258; NGA 15305.
Tuxpan Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 22.5 m (73 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower also carries an orange daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located 270 m (885 ft) west southwest of the front light. Site status unknown. CF-30-400.1; Admiralty J4258.1; NGA 15306.

Totonaca Region Lighthouses
** Barra de Cazones
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) white concrete tower with four ribs, lantern and gallery. Lantern roof painted red. Alejandro Linares Garcia's photo is at right, a 2009 photo is available, Farosmex has a photo of the station, another photo is available (almost 3/4 of the way down the page), there is also a distant view (about 4/5 of the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Barra de Cazones is a fishing port about 35 km (22 mi) southeast of Tuxpan. Site open, tower apparently open. ARLHS MEX-021; CF-30-365; Admiralty J4259.5; NGA 15332.
Faro de Cazones
Cazones Light, Barra de Cazones, March 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Alejandro Linares Garcia
* Tecolutla (2)
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 23 m (74 ft) "2-stage" masonry tower with lantern and two galleries: a cylindrical extension rises above the gallery of a conical lower section. The lighthouse, painted white with blue trim, is floodlit at night. Alejandro Linares Garcia's photo is at right, Vicky Ponce has a photo, Farosmex has a similar photo, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the Avenida Hidalgo in the center of Tecolutla, a small coastal town at the mouth of the Río Tecolutla about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Túxpan. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-066; CF-30-350; Admiralty J4260; NGA 15336.

Nautla Region Lighthouses
* Río Nautla (3)
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 6 s. 22 m (72 ft) concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red. A keeper's house is nearby. The lighthouse was repainted between Sybil Lopez's March 2007 photo and Jaime Santos's 2008 photo. Farosmex has a photo, Arturo Hugo has a 2009 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Nautla is on the coast roughly halfway between Cabo Rojo and Veracruz. Located on the south side of the Río Nautla entrance; accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-065; CF-30-345; Admiralty J 4262; NGA 15348.
* Punta Delgada (2)
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); three white flashes every 25 s. 22 m (72 ft) cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse is unpainted concrete; lantern roof painted red. 1-story keeper's houses and other light station buildings. Manolo Arrubarrena has a photo, Farosmex has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland about 100 km (60 mi) southeast of Nautla. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-179; CF-30-340; Admiralty J4266; NGA 15352.

Veracruz Harbor Lighthouses
Veracruz Northeast Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) octagonal pyramidal concrete tower, covered with red ceramic tile. Trabas has Capt. Theo's closeup photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the northeast side of the harbor. Site status unknown. CF-30-300; Admiralty J4284; NGA 15384.
Faro de TecolutlaTecolutla Light, Tecolutla, March 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Alejandro Linares Garcia
* Veracruz (1) (San Juan de Ulúa)
1796. Inactive since about 1890. Approx. 18 m (60 ft) ruined cylindrical masonry tower; lantern removed. A good photo is available, Carlos Eduardo Aguirre González has a second photo, Lighthouse Explorer has Michel Forand's historic postcard view of the lighthouse when it was in service, Huelse has a second postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This was the first lighthouse on Mexico's Gulf coast, created by placing a lantern and optics prefabricated in London atop the existing Torre de San Pedro del Castillo. The historic lens is on display at the Museo Histórico Naval in Mexico City. Located on a seaward corner of the star-shaped Fuerte de San Juan de Ulúa, the historic fortress that guarded Veracruz from early in the 16th century. The site is one of the principal tourist attractions of the city. Site open, tower closed as far as is known. Owner/site manager: Government of Mexico(?). ARLHS MEX-148.
* Veracruz Inner Harbor Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 37 m (121 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower; the top of the tower carries a square daymark painted with red and yellow diagonal bands. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront near the Fiscal Piers. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-325.4; Admiralty J4286.31; NGA 15395.
* Veracruz (2) (Convento de San Francisco, Faro Benito Juárez)
1872. Inactive since 1910. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) square masonry clock tower at one corner of the 2-story Convento de San Francisco, a 17th century convent and church. Alejandro Linares Garcia's photo is at the top of this page, Philo Nordlund has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. It was in this building that Benito Juárez promulgated laws reforming the Mexican constitution in the late 1850s. Still recognized as having been a lighthouse, the tower is now called the Faro Benito Juárez. The building is now a historical museum. Located at the foot of the Calle Benito Juárez y Morelos in downtown Veracruz. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: City of Veracruz(?). ARLHS MEX-144.
Hotel Hawaii (Veracruz Entrance Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. Light mounted atop the 10-story Hotel Hawaii. Trabas has Capt. Theo Hinrichs's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the Paseo El Malecón on the Veracruz waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-081; CF-30-325.2; Admiralty J4286.1; NGA 15392.1.
* Veracruz (3) (Faro Venustiano Carranza)
1910. Inactive since 1952, but a decorative light is displayed. 23 m (75 ft) (?) square cylindrical tower rising from the 2-story Museo Venustiano Carranza. A photo is at right, Arturo Jimenez has a good photo, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. For many years this building was the headquarters of the Dirección General de Faros, the Mexican lighthouse administration. The light was called the Faro Benito Juárez, the name now used for the older Convento de San Francisco tower. The building is now a museum honoring Venustiano Carranza, the hero of Mexico's 1917 revolution, and it is called the Faro Venustiano Carranza. After 1952 the light was moved atop the Banco de México (now the Pemex building) next door. In 1964 it was moved to the top of the Hotel Diligencias, and in the early 1990s it was moved again to the top of the Hotel Hawaii. The general navigation light was finally discontinued in or about 2002, but the rear light of the entrance range remains on the hotel (see next entry). Located on the waterfront (the Malecón) in downtown Veracruz. It is open daily except Mondays (free). Site manager: Museo Venustiano Carranza. ARLHS MEX-149; ex-Admiralty J4298; ex-NGA 15404.
Muro de Pescadores (Veracruz Entrance Range Front)
Date unknown. Actve; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 3 s. 24 m (79 ft) concrete post light with gallery rising from a round 2-story concrete base. The concrete is a pale yellow color. Trabas has Capt. Theo Hinrichs's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The rear light of the range is mounted on the top of the Hotel Hawaii (see above). Located at the end of the south inner breakwater of Veracruz. Accessible by walking the breakwater, which is popular with fishermen. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-325.1; Admiralty J4286; NGA 15392.
Veracruz Southeast Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) octagonal pyramidal concrete tower, painted green. Trabas has Capt. Theo's closeup photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the southeast side of the harbor. Site status unknown. CF-30-305; Admiralty J4282; NGA 15388.
Faro Venustiano Carranza
Faro Venustiano Carranza, Veracruz, April 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Gengiskanhg

Veracruz Reefs Lighthouses

Note: The Veracruz Reefs (Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano) are 17 coral reefs fringing the approach to the harbor of Veracruz. The reefs are very popular sites for scuba diving.
La Galleguilla
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower mounted on a round concrete pier. Trabas has a photo by Capt. Theo Hinrichs, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the south end of the Galleguilla reef, about 4 km (2.5 mi) north of the Veracruz harbor entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-290; Admiralty J4271; NGA 15356.
Arrecife Blanquilla Nord
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); four red flashes every 16 s. 14 m (46 ft) two-stage tower, with a round post light mounted atop an octagonal pyramidal concrete tower. Lighthouse red with narrow white horizontal bands. Trabas has Capt. Theo's photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the northwestern end of the reef, about 4 km (2.5 mi) northeast of the Veracruz harbor entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-280; Admiralty J4270; NGA 15360.
Arrecife Blanquilla Sud
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two red flashes every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red with narrow white horizontal bands. Trabas has Capt. Theo's photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the southern end of the reef. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-275; Admiralty J4270.2; NGA 15364.
Anegada de Adentro
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three green flashes every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted green. Trabas has Capt. Theo's photo, and Google has a satellite view. The Anegada de Adentro is an outer reef located about 12 km (7.5 mi) east northeast of the harbor entrance. Located at the northwestern end of the reef. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-285; Admiralty J4272; NGA 15368.
Isla Verde
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 8 m (26 ft) hexagonal pyramidal concrete tower, mounted on a hexagonal concrete base. Lighthouse covered with red ceramic tile. Mario Malpica Patrón has a photo, a view from the sea is available, Trabas has Capt. Theo's closeup, and Google has a satellite view. This light is close to the approach channel for large ships. Located on an islet at the southern end of the reef, about 7 km (4.5 mi) east of the harbor entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-270; Admiralty J4274; NGA 15372.
Isla de Sacrificios (2)
1964? (station established 1894). Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 15 s; tower also carries shorter range hazard lights showing two flashes of white, red, or green depending on the direction of approach. 39 m (128 ft) cylindrical concrete (?) tower with double gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Lantern replaced by a square skeletal tower to elevate the light. Trabas has Capt. Theo's photo (also seen at right), Laura Fern has a second photo, Farosmex has a view from the water, GulfBase.org has a page with an aerial photo, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was a 9 m (30 ft) cast iron tower; Huelse has posted a postcard image, and Lighthouse Explorer has Michel Forand's historic photo. The present lighthouse is one of Mexico's tallest. The lighthouse is on a small island southeast of the harbor of Veracruz; the island is famous as the place where the conquistador Hernan Cortéz landed in 1519. Site and tower closed. ARLHS MEX-145; CF-30-240; Admiralty J4278; NGA 15380.
Isla de Sacrificios
Isla de Sacrificios Light, Veracruz Reefs
photo copyright Capt. Theo Hinrichs; used by permission

Antón Lizardo Reef Lighthouses
Note: These reefs lie off the cape of Antón Lizardo, southeast of Veracruz.
Anegada de Afuera
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the northwestern point of a large reef, about 7 km (4.2 mi) northwest of the Arrecife Santiaguillo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-225; Admiralty J4319; NGA 15440.
Arrecife Santiaguillo (2)
1934 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two flashes, alternating red and white, every 10 s. 32 m (105 ft) cylindrical tower, attached to a 1-story concrete keeper's house. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Laura Elena Rosado's photo is at right, Alfonso Treviño Acosta has a second photo, Farosmex has a photo, Luis M. Sosa has a closeup of the base of the lighthouse, and Google has a distant satellite view. This isolated island is off the coast about 30 km (20 mi) east southeast of Veracruz. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-076; CF-30-235; Admiralty J4318; NGA 15436.
Arrecife Blanca
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete tower mounted on a concrete base. Trabas has Capt. Theo's distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 3 km (1.8 mi) north northwest of Antón Lizardo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-220; Admiralty J4310; NGA 15408.
Isla de Enmedio (2)
Date unknown (station established 1893). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); three flashes, alternating white, red, and green, every 12 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white; the name "Isla de Enmedio" is written in black on the gallery. Keeper's house. Staffed light station. Javier Lopez has a 2008 closeup, Gabriel Gaytán-Ariza has a photo, Farosmex has a distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view of the island. The reef is off the coast about 5 km (3 mi) north of Antón Lizardo and 30 km (20 mi) southeast of Veracruz. Located on an island at the north end of the Salmedina reef. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the keeper. ARLHS MEX-032; CF-30-230; Admiralty J4314; NGA 15420.
Arrecife El Rizo (2)
Date unknown (station established 1900). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical concrete skeletal tower with gallery. the lighthouse is covered with red tiles. C.W. Bash has collected a small photo (MX 22 on the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located near the southeast end of a barely-exposed reef about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the Isla de Enmedio. Accessible only by boat. Site open; if you can get there, the tower can be climbed. CF-30-195; Admiralty J4316; NGA 15424.
Faro de Santiaguillo
Arrecife Santiaguillo Light, Antón Lizardo Reefs, April 2007
Flickr photo copyright Laura Elena Rosado
used by permission
Arrecife Cabezo Norte
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramial concrete tower on a square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. The Cabezo reef is the largest of the Antón Lizardo reefs; it is elliptical with a length of about 5.5 km (3.5 mi). Located at the northwest end of the reef about 10 km (6 mi) east of the Isla de Enmedio. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-205; Admiralty J4317; NGA 15428.
Arrecife Cabezo Sur
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) post rising from a square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available, and the light is not seen in Google's distant satellite view. Located at the southeast end of the reef. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-30-200; Admiralty J4317.2; NGA 15432.

Papaloapan Region Lighthouse
Alvarado
1930. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 8 m (26 ft) square concrete post light centered on a square 1-story concrete base, adjacent to a keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted red. Farosmex has a closeup photo, the light is barely visible in a photo taken from across the estuary, and a Google satellite view shows the lighthouse. The lighthouse marks the east side of the entrance to the Laguna de Alvarado, about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Veracruz. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-098; CF-30-170; Admiralty J4324; NGA 15444.

Los Tuxtlas Region Lighthouse
Punta Roca Partida (2)
Date unknown (station established 1909). Active; focal plane unknown (the published figure, 15 m, cannot be correct); four white flashes every 16 s. 13 m (43 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the front end of a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Farosmex has a photo, Anwar Vazquez has a nice view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland at Punta Roca Partida. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-068; CF-30-165; Admiralty J4330; NGA 15456.

Olmeca Region Lighthouses
Punta Zapotitlán
Date unknown (probably 1920s). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 6 s. 28 m (92 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is available, Abraham Levy has another photo, and Google has a fine satellite view. Punta Zapotitlán is a prominent headland jutting into the Bay of Campeche about 150 km (90 mi) east southeast of Veracruz. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-063; CF-30-160; Admiralty J4332; NGA 15460.
* Coatzacoalcos West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) tower with gallery but no lantern, painted with horizontal red and white bands. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, a closeup photo is available, Samuel Rocha has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Accessible by walking the breakwater in Coatzacoalcos. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-181; CF-30-020; Admiralty J4337; NGA 15480.
Coatzacoalcos East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) tower with gallery but no lantern, painted with horizontal red and white bands. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. By international custom, this lighthouse should be green and white rather than red and white. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-182; CF-30-025; Admiralty J4338; NGA 15476.
Coatzacoalcos Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 3 s. 33 m (108 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with orange and white horizontal bands. A photo doesn't show the colored bands. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Google has a good satellite view. Located on the east side of the dredged entrance channel, about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of the breakwater lights. Site status unknown. CF-30-030; Admiralty J4339; NGA 15468.
Coatzacoalcos Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 2 s. Skeletal tower mounted atop a building. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Google has a good satellite view. Located 290 m (317 yd) south southeast of the front light. Site status unknown. CF-30-030.1; Admiralty J4339.1; NGA 15472.
**** Cerro del Gavilan (Coatzacoalcos, Museo del Faro) (2)
Date unknown (recent). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); two white flashes every 18 s. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal concrete tower, crowned by a large observation platform and lantern. The lighthouse has been repainted in a red and white checkerboard pattern, as seen in Capt. Peter Mosselberger's photo at right. Trabas has Capt. Theo's photo, the port authority has a photo showing the former all-white daymark, Mario Sepülveda has a good photo, Farosmex has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is adjacent to the city museum, which is called the Museo del Faro. Located on a hill southeast of the harbor entrance in the city of Coatzacoalcos; Site and tower open. ARLHS MEX-026; CF-30-010; Admiralty J4336; NGA 15464.
Tonalá
1908. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is available, Victor Anguiana has a closeup, Amando Cupil Jiménez has a more distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance to the Río Tonalá, which forms the border between Veracruz and Tabasco states. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-134; CF-30-005; Admiralty J4348; NGA 15492.
Faro de Coatzacoalcos
Museo del Faro, Coatzacoalcos, February 2012
contributed photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger
used by permission

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Posted December 2004. Checked and revised August 18, 2013. Lighthouses: 57. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.