Isla Lobos de Afuera Light, Perú

Thanks to Alessandro Catenazzi for these very rare photos of the lighthouses on Isla Lobos de Afuera, located in the Pacific about 80 km (50 miles) off the city of Chilayo in northern Peru. This isolated island is a wildlife sanctuary known especially for its seabirds, some of which can be seen roosting on the right side of the photo. Dr.Catenazzi is a biologist from Florida International University in Miami, who was visiting the island with a team of scientists to study its wildlife.

The active lighthouse is an 18 meter (60 ft) square concrete tower built in 1906. This is one of at least eight lighthouses of this design, most of them found in the northern half of Peru. There are more accessible examples of the class at Máncora, Paita, and Salaverry on the mainland. The lighthouse is tended by a crew of Peruvian marines, who made room in their crew quarters for the visiting scientists. Dr. Catenazzi had the opportunity to climb the tower with crew members who were maintaining the light.

Photo copyright 2005 Alessandro Catenazzi; all rights reserved. Used by permission.

The second photo shows what's left of an earlier lighthouse on the island. This appears to be the stump of a late nineteenth century cast iron lighthouse. We do not know when it was built. The lantern was probably removed and transferred to the new lighthouse in 1906, leaving the old faro to be a convenient roosting place for the island's many birds.

Photo copyright 2005 Alessandro Catenazzi; all rights reserved. Used by permission

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Posted January 10, 2005; second photo added January 28, 2005; checked and revised July 5, 2017. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.