Lighthouses of Mexico: South Coast

This page lists of lighthouses of the south coast of Mexico in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Colima, Guerrero, and Michoacán. This coast includes the famous resorts of Acapulco and the Costa Alegre, the major port of Manzanillo, and many smaller ports.

There are very few tall lighthouses along this coast. Tall towers aren't needed, because in most places the coastline is high, and navigational lights can be mounted high on the bluffs and headlands.

Tourism is a major industry on much of this coast, but only a few of the lighthouses are tourist attractions. As a result, photos and visitor information are rather scarce on the Internet. If you have information on any of the lighthouses of Mexico, or photos you would be willing to share, please let me know.

Mexico is a federal republic comprised of 31 states, and the lighthouses are listed below by state. 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.

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 G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 111.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Mexico Pacific
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. The photos from Huatulco and Acapulco are by Rainer Arndt and those from Manzanillo are by Capt. Peter Mosselberger.
Farosmex - Lighthouses of Mexico
A large portfolio of photos of Mexican lighthouses posted on Photobucket.com.
Lighthouses in Mexico
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Mexico
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
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.


Puerto Escondido Light, Puerto Escondido, November 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by David Cabrera

Chiapas Lighthouses
* El Gancho Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 3 s. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Farosmex has a closeup, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the south side of El Gancho, a town about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of the Guatamala border. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-090; Admiralty G3404; NGA 15350.
* El Gancho Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 24 m (79 ft) square white concrete skeletal tower with lantern, gallery, and a large central cylinder. Farosmex has a closeup, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) east northeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-095; Admiralty G3404.1; NGA 15351.
* Puerto Chiapas (Puerto Madero) Muelle de Pesca Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, carrying a slatted daymark and mounted on a square concrete base. Google has a street view and a satellite view. The front light is on a 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower 250 m (820 ft) west. The name of this port, part of the municipality of Tapachula, was changed from Puerto Madero to Puerto Chiapas in 2005. Located east of the fishing harbor area of Puerto Chiapas. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-075; Admiralty G3424.81; NGA 15342.
* Puerto Chiapas (Puerto Madero) Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 21 m (69 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, apparently mounted on a square concrete base. Google has a street view and a satellite view. The front light is on a 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower 250 m (820 ft) southwest. Located northeast of the harbor area of Puerto Chiapas. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-110; Admiralty G3424.41; NGA 15340.
* Puerto Chiapas (Puerto Madero) Muelle Fiscal Range Front (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 3 s. 19 m (62 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, apparently mounted on a square concrete base. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a 10 m (33 ft) tower. Located north of the main harbor area of Puerto Chiapas. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-045; Admiralty G3424.6; NGA 15345.
* Puerto Chiapas (Puerto Madero) Muelle Fiscal Range Rear (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 24 m (79 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, apparently mounted on a square concrete base. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a 16 m (52 ft) tower. Located 270 m (885 ft) north of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-045.1; Admiralty G3424.61; NGA 15346.
* Puerto Chiapas (Puerto Madero, Faro San Benito)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 5 s. 22 m (74 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lantern painted white with a red roof. Farosmex has a closeup, Bob Swanson has a 2010 photo, H. Schroeder has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance of Puerto Chiapas. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-045; CF-07-025; Admiralty G3422; NGA 15320.
Barra San Juan (Acapetahua)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 12 m (39 ft) round white cylindrical tower topped by a short skeletal tower. The Cuaderno has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located behind the beach about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Puerto Arista. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-099; CF-07-015; Admiralty G3425; NGA 15316.
Santa Cruz (Pijijiapan, Palo Blanco)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower topped by a square skeletal tower with a slatted daymark painted white. Isaac Ruiz has a collection of photos, Alejando Orozco also has a photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located behind the beach at Pijijiapan. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-132; CF-07-010; Admiralty G3426; NGA 15312.
* Puerto Arista
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 22 m (74 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, three galleries, and four buttresses, adjoining a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; lantern painted white with a red roof. Howard Pine has contributed the photo at right, Wikimedia has several photos, a 2007 photo is available, Farosmex has a closeup, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The three galleries record two successive extensions of the tower. The buttresses were added with the last extension; Alex Kano has an undated photo of the previous version. The keeper's house now houses a Navy post, due to increased drug smuggling along the coast. In older and quieter times the keeper also served as the town mailman. Located on the main street in Puerto Arista. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-042; CF-07-005.1; Admiralty G3428; NGA 15308.


Puerto Arista Light, Puerto Arista
Contributed photo copyright Mario Calderon,
courtesy of
Howard Pine; used by permission


Eastern Oaxaca Lighthouses
La Soledad
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical tower with gallery, white with red bands. Entire lighthouse is white. The Cuaderno has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located just off the barrier beach about 30 km (19 mi) west of Paredón. Best accessed by boat across the lagoon. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-115; CF-20-110; Admiralty G3429; NGA 15304.
La Chichi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. The Cuaderno has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located just off the barrier beach about 35 km (22 mi) east of the entrance to the Laguna Inferior. Best accessed by boat across the lagoon. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-114; CF-20-105; Admiralty G3430; NGA 15300.
San Dionisio del Mar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (55 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. The lighthouse is white with one red horizontal band. Fernando Estudillo has a 2009 photo (the lighthouse was then all white), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the point of a spit projecting into the Laguna Inferior about 10 km (6 mi) south of San Dionisio del Mar. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-130; CF-20-100; Admiralty G3431.5; NGA 15296.
San Francisco del Mar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted with red and yellow spiral bands. The Cuaderno has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse guides vessels toward the entrance to the Laguna Inferior, a large lagoon. Located on a long sand spit about 40 km (25 mi) east of Salina Cruz. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-073; CF-20-095; Admiralty G3431; NGA 15292.
* [Punta La Ventosa (Punta Cortés, Faro de Cortés)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) square cylindrical rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted; the small lantern is red. A good 2010 photo is available, Leoncio Salinas Romero has a photo, a view from the sea is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This new light stands next to a smaller stone beacon (the original Faro de Cortés) said to have been built in the 16th century. The rubblestone design of the new light matches that of the old. The lighthouse is named for the explorer and conqueror Hernán Cortés, who arrived here in 1527. Located on a promontory about 800 m (1/2 mi) south of La Ventosa and 5 km (3 mi) east of Salina Cruz. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Administración Portuaria Integral de Salina Cruz (APISA). CF-20-060.1; Admiralty G3431.7.
* Morro de Salinas (Salina Cruz)
1896. Active; focal plane 83 m (272 ft); white flash every 8 s. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal masonry tower with 1-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red; the tower also carries the logo of the local port authority. A photo is at right, a nice view is available, Leoncio Salinas Romero has a distant view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. the lighthouse appears to have been refurbished and repainted recently. Located atop a bluff (morro) on the west side of the harbor of Salina Cruz. Accessible by road, but parking is limited. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Administración Portuaria Integral de Salina Cruz (APISA). ARLHS MEX-039; CF-20-060; Admiralty G3432; NGA 15272.
Faro de Salina Cruz
Salina Cruz Light, Salina Cruz, August 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Kena; used by permission

Western Oaxaca Lighthouses
Morro Ayutla
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, rising from a 1-story keeper's house. Entire lighthouse is white. The Cuaderno has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Morro Ayutla is a promontory projecting from an otherwise featureless coast about 40 km (25 mi) east northeast of Huatulco. The light is in a remote area, perhaps accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-038; CF-20-055; Admiralty G3440; NGA 15264.
* Huatulco
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); three white flashes every 18 s. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with gallery and lantern. Lighthouse painted white with black gallery and one black band in the middle of the tower. Leigh Honeybourne's photo is at right, Trabas has Arndt's closeup photo, a 2009 closeup and another good photo are available, also a 2007 closeup, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Huatulco is about halfway between Puerto Ángel and Salina Cruz on the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Oaxaca's best known lighthouse stands above a frequently visited "blowhole" where the sea shoots upward through a narrow opening. Located on a rocky point at the southwestern entrance to the Bahía de Huatulco. Accessible by a paved road; parking provided but may be crowded. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-106; CF-20-045; Admiralty G3442; NGA 15260.
Puerto Ángel
1900. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. Farosmex has a closeup, Thomas Aleto has a panoramic view, a view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This historic light station appears to be well preserved. It is probably staffed. Puerto Ángel is at the southernmost point of Oaxaca, at the western end of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-119; CF-20-030; Admiralty G3444; NGA 15256.
Puerto Escondido
1936. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery and lantern; lantern roof is red. Farosmex has a closeup, David Cabrera's 2009 photo, part of a much larger view, is at the top of this page, G. Sanial has a 2008 photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the edge of the cliffs at the western entrance to the harbor. Site probably open but not so easy to find (local guidance may be needed); tower closed. ARLHS MEX-044; CF-20-020; Admiralty G3446; NGA 15252.
Huatulco Light
Huatulco Light, Santa María Huatulco, December 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Leigh Honeybourne; used by permission
Punta Galera (Chacahua)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) square concrete tower with gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands, attached to a 1-story keeper's cottage. Farosmex has a closeup, Danny Sokal has a closeup, a 2008 photo and another photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland on the west side of the entrance to the Lagunas de Chacahua. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Lagunas de Chacahua National Park. CF-20-010; Admiralty G3448; NGA 15244.

Guerrero Lighthouses
* Punta Maldonado
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (130 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. 1-story keeper's house. Farosmex has a closeup, another closeup and a view from the sea are available; Google has a street view, a second street view, and a satellite view. Punta Maldonado is the southernmost town of Guerrero, and the lighthouse stands on or close to the boundary between Guerrero and Oaxaca. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-060; CF-12-115; Admiralty G3452; NGA 15240.
* Punta Acamama
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Tower is white, lantern red. Farosmex has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. A contract to restore the lighthouse was awarded in 2006. Located on a headland at Playa Ventura, in eastern Guerrero, about 20 km (13 mi) southeast of Copala. Accessible by road. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS MEX-185; CF-12-110; Admiralty G3452.5; NGA 15236.
* Isla de la Roqueta (Acapulco) (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1858). Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with four large ribs. Entire lighthouse painted white. Tommie Head's photo is at right, Farosmex has a closeup, and Google has a good satellite view. Huelse has posted a postcard image of a square pyramidal tower, and Eduardo Vazquez has an image of an octagonal masonry tower. This is a historic and still-staffed naval light station, but we need information on its history. Despite the popularity of the Acapulco resort area, the lighthouse is not very well known. Located at the highest point of the island, at the southwestern entrance to the Bahía de Acapulco. Accessible by passenger ferry from Playa Caletilla and a hiking trail. Site and tower generally closed, although a Navy guard allowed Rogillio to photograph the lighthouse. ARLHS MEX-069; CF-12-050; Admiralty G3456; NGA 15208.
Punta Norte de la Roqueta (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 2 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white with two narrow black horizontal bands. The Cuaderno has a small photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the north point of the Isla de la Roqueta marking the entrance to the channel to the port of Acapulco. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-143; CF-12-055; Admiralty G3460; NGA 15204.
Faro de la Roqueta
Isla de la Roqueta Light, Acapulco, June 2005
Panoramio photo copyright Tommie Head; used by permission
Punta Garrobo (Zihuatenejo)
1939. Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 13 m (42 ft) square cylindrical white tower without lantern attached to a 2-story keeper's house. Farosmex has a photo, another good photo is available (halfway down the page), there's a view from the sea, and Google has a good satellite view. Located on the point, a very sharp promontory at the east side of the entrance to the Bahía de Zihuatenejo. Accessible by walking trails from the Playa las Gatas, a beach on the east side of the town; boats run frequently to Playa las Gatas from the pier downtown. Site open, tower status uncertain. ARLHS MEX-054; CF-12-020; Admiralty G3466; NGA 15180.

Michoacán (Costa Alegre) Lighthouses
Lázaro Cárdenas Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The tower is seen on the left in a distant view by Ciro Corvino Lopez and in a second distant view (the tower on the right in these photos is an aerobeacon), and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the Río Balsas, the harbor of Lázaro Cárdenas, beside an on-ramp to the harbor bridge. Site and tower closed (the harbor area is a bonded warehouse district closed to the public). CF-16-045; Admiralty G3470.4; NGA 15160.5.
Lázaro Cárdenas Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the road approaching the harbor bridge, 310 m (0.2 mi) northwest of the front light. Site and tower closed. CF-16-045.2; Admiralty G3470.41; NGA 15161.
Lázaro Cárdenas
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 7 s. 36 m (118 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. A photo by Yaritza Salgutz is at right, Farosmex also has a closeup, a view from the sea and a view from the harbor are available, and Google has an excellent satellite view. Named for a former President of Mexico, Lázaro Cárdenas is a newly developed seaport in southernmost Michoacán. Located in an industrial area on the west side of the harbor entrance. Site and tower closed. ARLHS MEX-142; CF-16-020; Admiralty G3469; NGA 15160.
Caleta de Campos (Bufadero Bluff)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. 1-story keeper's house and other buildings. David Haggard has a closeup, Farosmex also has a closeup, a distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is accessible from the coastal road (hwy 200) in Caleta de Campos, about 50 km (30 mi) west of Playa Azul. Site status uncertain, but the lighthouse can be seen from nearby. ARLHS MEX-140; CF-16-015; Admiralty G3471; NGA 15156.
Punta San Telmo (Faro de Bucerias)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with keeper's house. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Farosmex has a closeup, Henri Willox has a photo, J. Ernesto Ortiz Raso has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. The beach east of the lighthouse is a well known turtle sanctuary. Located on a high bluff in western Michoacán, about 1.5 km (1 mi) off the coast road (hwy 200). Accessible from the beach via a long stairway. Site and tower open. ARLHS MEX-062; CF-16-010; Admiralty G3472; NGA 15152.
Lázaro Cárdenas Light
Lázaro Cárdenas Light, Lázaro Cárdenas, August 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Yaritza Salgutz; permission requested

Colima Lighthouses
** Punta Campos (Manzanillo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 109 m (358 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story keeper's house. Entire building painted white. Anibal Galindo's photo is at right, Farosmex has a photo, Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, Marco Antonio Cacho Emult has a photo, the tower is at the far right of another photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop the point south southeast of Manzanillo, marking the eastern entrance to the Bahía de Manzanillo. Accessible by road, although the access road is narrow and winding. Site open, tower possibly open by arrangement with the keeper. ARLHS MEX-052; CF-06-030; Admiralty G3476; NGA 15140.
*San Pedrito Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. The top of the tower carries a rectangular daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is the entrance range for Manzanillo's commercial harbor. NGA lists the focal plane as 14 m (46 ft), but it's clear from the photo that the tower was doubled in height by the addition of a pyramidal upper section. Located beside the Boulevard Miguel de la Madrid. Site open, tower closed. CF-06-055; Admiralty G3480.4; NGA 15132.
* San Pedrito Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white, mounted on a square concrete equipment room. The top of the tower carries a rectangular daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has Capt. Peter's photo, and Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. NGA lists the focal plane as 23 m (75 ft), but it's clear from the photo that the tower was doubled in height by the addition of a pyramidal upper section. Located on a bluff above the Calle Acambaro, 350 m (1/4 mi) east northeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CF-06-060; Admiralty G3480.41; NGA 15136.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Faro de Punta Campos
Punta Campos Light, Manzanillo, July 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Anibal Galindo
used by permission

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Acapulco has a prominent waterfront lighthouse, but it is not recognized as an aid to navigation. The lighthouse appears in Arndt's photo on Trabas's site. Google has a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: South: Guatemala Pacific | North: Northwest Coast

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Posted 2003. Checked and revised August 17, 2014. Lighthouses: 34. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.