Lighthouses of Argentina: Santa Cruz

Argentina has a lengthy coastline, extending from the warm waters of the Río de la Plata to the edge of the icy Antarctic ocean. This page includes lighthouses of Santa Cruz Province, which includes the southernmost part of the region known as Patagonia. Santa Cruz Province ends at the Strait of Magellan; beyond is the island of Tierra del Fuego, which is divided between Argentina and Chile.

Active lighthouses in Argentina are owned by the Argentine Navy and managed by the Navy's Servicio de Hidrografía Naval (SHN). The Spanish word for a lighthouse is faro; smaller lighthouses are often called balizas (beacons).

Interest in lighthouses seems to be fairly high in Argentina. In the past, there hasn't been much concern about preservation, since the great majority of the lighthouses are being maintained by the Navy. However, in recent years there has been increasing concern about the preservation of several of the country's most historic lighthouses, especially those in the far south.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 110, except for lights of the Beagle Channel, which are from Publication 111. The official Argentine light list, Faros y Señales Marítimas, is not available online.

General Sources
Lista de Faros Argentinos
Official SHN lighthouse site, with data and small photos. Unfortunately, it is not possible to link directly to the pages for individual lighthouses.
Faros de Argentina
Index to lighthouse articles and photos in the Spanish Wikipedia.
Faros del Mar - Faros Argentinos
Photos and brief historical accounts for Argentine lighthouses.
Lighthouses in Argentina
The ARLHS listing of Argentine lights; the society has photos for most of them.
Faros Argentina
Photos by Carlos María Silvano.
Online List of Lights - Argentina
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Faros Argentina
Photos posted on Flickr.com by Carlos María Silvano.
World of Lighthouses - Argentina
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Faros de Santa Cruz
A very useful blog by Ruben Russo on the lighthouses of Santa Cruz Province.
Lighthouses in Argentina
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Leuchttürme Südamerikas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.


Cabo Virgenes Light, Strait of Magellan, October 2005
Flickr photo
copyright Paul Cookson; used by permission

Deseado Department Lighthouses
* Olivia (2)
Date unknown (station established 1945). Inactive since 2014 at least. Approx. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower carrying a black and white slatted daymark. Small workshed at base of the tower. Google has a street view and a satellite view. ARLHS has a photo of the original lighthouse, a shorter concrete skeletal tower; it may have been at a different location. Located on the waterfront in Caleta Olivia, on the Golfo San Jorge. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-050; ex-Admiralty G1128; ex-NGA 19864.
Mazarredo
1945. Inactive since 1950. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal unpainted concrete skeletal tower. Russo has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located in a remote area on the southwest coast of the Golfo San Jorge. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS ARG-046.
Monte Loayza
1946. Inactive since 1992. 12.5 m (41 ft) square cylindrical concrete skeletal tower with lantern, gallery, and enclosed lower portion. Russo has a photo, ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The area surrounding the lighthouse is a nature reserve, the Parque Provincial Monte Loayza. Located in a barren and remote area on the south coast of the Golfo San Jorge, about 135 km (85 mi) northwest of Puerto Deseado. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-048.
* Cabo Blanco
1917. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); five long (1.5 s) white flashes every 40 s. 27 m (88 ft) round red brick tower with lantern and gallery, unpainted; lantern and gallery painted black. Jorge Porchile's photo is at right, Douglas Fernandes has a 2007 photo, Barbara Macia has a 2008 distant view, ARLHS has an aerial view, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. This is a staffed station with a 1-story station building and several communications towers. The area surrounding the lighthouse is a nature reserve, the Reserva Natural Cabo Blanco. Located on a rocky headland at the end of provincial route 91 about 90 km (55 mi) north of Puerto Deseado; 4WD recommended. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-001; Admiralty G1134; NGA 19912.
Punta Guzmán
1928. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower. Tower painted black; slatted daymark painted with an orange triangle. ARLHS has a photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Lantern removed by 1971. Located in a remote area about 15 km (10 mi) south of Cabo Blanco. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-039; Admiralty G1136; NGA 19916.
Faro Cabo Blanco
Cabo Blanco Light, Puerto Deseado, June 2011
Panoramio photo
copyright Jorge Porchile; permission requested
* Beauvoir (Puerto Deseado)
1980. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Light mounted in the 28 m (92 ft) tower of the church of Nuestra Señora de la Guardia, the one tall structure on the skyline of Puerto Deseado. ARLHS has a photo, Russo has a photo, Michael Texis has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The light is named for the priest José María Beauvoir, who explored the region and studied the native Patagonian cultures and languages between 1881 and 1924. Located in downtown Puerto Deseado. Site and church open; it is not known if the tower is open for climbing. ARLHS ARG-020; Admiralty G1139; NGA 19920.
* [Estación (Puerto Deseado Outer Range Front) (2)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); quick-flashing white light. 19 m (62 ft) steel post; the top of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted black with an orange vertical stripe. Google has a street view and a satellite view. NGA lists a truncated skeletal tower for this light. Located on the north side of the harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1140; NGA 19924.
* [Alonso (Puerto Deseado Outer Range Rear)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); red light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 23 m (75 ft) steel post; the top of the tower carries daymark panels colored black with an orange vertical stripe. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the waterfront 852 m (0.53 mi) west northwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1140.1; NGA 19928.
Roca Magallanes (Puerto Deseado Inner Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 2 s. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped red fiberglass tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky shoal in the Río Deseado southwest of the city's waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1146; NGA 19932.
Las Barrancas (Puerto Deseado Inner Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16.5 m (54 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) "truncated pyramidal tower," painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the northern tip of the Isla del Rey, a large island on the south side of the Río Deseado, 1.23 km (3/4 mi) west of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1146.1; NGA 19936.
Isla Pingüino
1903. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); two white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 15 s. 22 m (72 ft) 2-stage round tower, with lantern and gallery, in two sections; the upper half is cast iron the lower half is masonry. Lower half painted white, upper half red with a white horizontal band; lantern painted red. 1-story brick keeper's quarters, abandoned since at least 1983, now in ruins. A photo is at right, Rodrigo Pinedo has a 2009 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This historic lighthouse is in poor condition and is clearly endangered. The island is a nature reserve, the Parque interjurisdiccional marino Isla Pingüino, protecting a large colony of Magellanic penguins. Andreas Kaufer has a photo of penguins near the lighthouse. Located on an island off Cabo Mírador, about 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Puerto Deseado. Accessible only by boat or helicopter. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-010; Admiralty G1152; NGA 19940.
Punta Medanosa
1949. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); two white flashes, separated by 3 s, every 11 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal concrete skeletal tower, painted white, with black and white slatted daymark. Lantern removed. Russo has a photo, Lotfi Si Saber has a 2018 photo, ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The surrounding area is a nature preserve, the Área de Vida Silvestre Punta Medanosa, known for its colonies of Magellanic penguins. Located on a rocky point off the end of provincial route 85 about 35 miles south of Puerto Deseado. Accessible by 4WD (local guidance recommended). Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-054; Admiralty G1154; NGA 19948.
Faro de la Isla Pingüino
Isla Pingüino Light, April 2008
Panoramio photo copyright El Guanaco Volado
used by permission
Cabo Guardián
1928 (rebuilt 1975). Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); flash every 7.5 s, alternating red and white. 36 m (118 ft) square pyramidal steel tower with lantern and gallery; enclosed inside is the original skeletal tower. Entire lighthouse painted black. Russo has a photo, ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent and steep headland about 160 km (100 mi) southwest of Puerto Deseado. There does not appear to be any road access to the site. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-027; Admiralty G1156; NGA 19952.
Campana (Punta Mercedes) (2)
1975 (station established 1928). Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two flashes, white and then red, every 16 s. 26 m (85 ft) square pyramidal steel tower, painted black. 1-story keeper's quarters, abandoned. Ruins of the original skeletal tower lie next to the present tower. ARLHS has a closeup, Russo has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on Punta Mercedes, a remote headland about 175 km (110 mi) southwest of Puerto Deseado. There is no road access to the site. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-033; Admiralty G1158; NGA 19956.

Magallanes Department (Puerto San Julián Area) Lighthouses
Cabo Dañoso
1947. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); four white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 45 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern is red. A 2009 photo is available, and Bing has a good satellite view. Located on the point of the cape about 65 km (40 mi) northeast of Puerto San Julián. There does not appear to be any road access to the site. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-025; Admiralty G1160; NGA 19960.
* Cabo Curioso
1922. Active; focal plane 92 m (302 ft); three long (1.5 s) flashes, separated by 9 s, every 45 s. 23 m (75 ft) square pyramidal concrete skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a broad black band in the center; lantern is black. 1-story enclosed workroom in the base of the tower. A photo is at right, Christian Legare has a 2011 closeup photo, and Google has a good satellite view. This unusual and historic lighthouse is located about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of Puerto San Julián, marking the entrance to the harbor of the city. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-024; Admiralty G1162; NGA 19964.
* #Justicia Alta (Puerto San Julián Fourth Range Rear) (1)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 2.5 s on, 2.5 s off. This was a 21 m (69 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, mounted on four concrete piles. The tower has been replaced by a triangular skeletal mast. Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This range guides vessels approaching Puerto San Julián through a winding estuary, the Bahía San Julián. Located on the west side of the San Julián estuary on the south side of Puerto San Julián. Site status unknown, but it must be possible to view the tower (if it still stands) from nearby. Admiralty G1178.1; NGA 19996.
* Caldera Alta (Puerto San Julián Fifth Range Rear) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); red flash every 3 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. Lighthouse painted black. At the top, the tower carries a slatted daymark painted yellow. A 2011 photo is available, and the shadow of the tower is seen in a Google satellite view. A 2007 photo shows a different tower (or perhaps the original tower was truncated). This range guides vessels departing Puerto San Julián. Located on a hillside east of the Bahía San Julián, about 7 km (4 mi) northeast of Puerto San Julián. Accessible by 4WD. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1184.1; NGA 20004.
Faro Cabo Curioso
Cabo Curioso Light, April 2012
Flickr photo copyright fitob1; used by permission

Corpen Aike Department (Puerto Santa Cruz Area) Lighthouses
Cabo San Francisco de Paula
1917. Active; focal plane 86 m (282 ft); two white flashes, separated by 6 s, every 15 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) octagonal cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery; there is a small square equipment room enclosed within the base of the tower. Entire lighthouse painted black. ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the "cape," a barely noticeable bend in the coastline about halfway between Puerto San Julián and Puerto Santa Cruz. There is a road to the light, but the site is quite remote. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-060; Admiralty G1196; NGA 20016.
Puerto Santa Cruz Canal Sur Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); quick-flashing white light. 8.5 m (28 ft) round barbell-shaped fiberglass tower colored with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Río Santa Cruz. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1208; NGA 20032.
Puerto Santa Cruz Canal Sur Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located 2.12 km (1.3 mi) north of the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1208.1; NGA 20036.
Puerto Santa Cruz Entrada Baja (Entrance Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); quick-flashing white light. 26 m (85 ft) square skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the entrance to the Río Santa Cruz. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1210; NGA 20024.
Santa Cruz (Entrance Range Rear)
1923. Active; focal plane 157 m (515 ft); four long (1.5 s) white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 60 s. 12 m (39 ft) slender round cylindrical metal (cast iron?) tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a small workroom. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Guy wires steady the tower. ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 20 km (13 mi) southeast of Puerto Santa Cruz, on the south side of the entrance to the Río Santa Cruz. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-066; Admiralty G1210.1; NGA 20020.

Güer Aike Department Lighthouses
Río Coig
1948. Active; focal plane 78 m (256 ft); two long (1.1 s) white flashes every 25 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern is red. Sibling of Faro Cabo Dañoso. A photo by Pipo Lopez is at right, ARLHS has a photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Río Coig, east of Puerto Coig and about 175 km (110 mi) north of Río Gallegos. There does not appear to be any road access to the site. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-035; Admiralty G1222; NGA 20068.
* Cabo Buen Tiempo (Cape Fairweather)
1917. Active; focal plane 113 m (371 ft); four long (1.5 s) white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 45 s. 9 m (29 ft) octagonal cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery; there is a small square equipment room enclosed within the base of the tower. Entire lighthouse painted black. ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This light has the same design as the Cabo San Francisco de Paula Light (see above). Located on the cape at the end of provincial route 55 on the north side of the entrance to the Río Gallegos. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-022; Admiralty G1226; NGA 20072.
Isla Deseada (Río Gallegos Canal Norte Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 9 m (30 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) square tower, presumably on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located just off the south side of Isla Deseada, a small island in the mouth of the Río Gallegos. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1236.
Viento (Río Gallegos Canal Norte Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located atop a steep bluff on the north side of the estuary about 8 km (5 mi) west of the Isla Deseada light. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1235.8.
Rivera (Río Gallegos East Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light characteristic unknown. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The range guides vessels departing Río Gallegos. Located on the north side of the estuary about 8 km (5 mi) west of the mouth. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1243.1.
Faro Río Coig
Río Coig Light, Puerto Coig, February 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Pipo Lopez; used by permission
* Reducción (Río Gallegos West Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 11 m (36 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower painted black. Richard Barrio has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The capital of Santa Cruz Province, Río Gallegos has a population of about 100,000. The range guides vessels arriving in Río Gallegos. Located on the city's waterfront just west of the piers. Site appears open, tower closed. Admiralty G1242.
* Güer Aike (Río Gallegos West Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 30 m (98 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower painted black. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the Avenida Ramón Carrillo about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) west of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1242.1.
Petroleo (Puerto Gallegos Second Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light characteristic unknown. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The front light has not been located (it is not at the position given by the Admiralty). Located on heights about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) south southwest of Punta Loyola. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1231.1.
Punta Loyola Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This range guides eastbound (departing) vessels. Located at Punta Loyola, a promontory on the south side of the entrance to the estuary and the location of a terminal shipping iron ore. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1246.
Punta Loyola Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 30 m (98 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the east side of Punta Loyola. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1246.1.
Pozos (Puerto Gallegos First Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower carrying a red and white daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The front light is on a much shorter tower. Located on heights about 5 km (3 mi) south of Punta Loyola. Site status unknown. Admiralty G1230.1.
* Cabo Vírgenes
1904. Active; focal plane 69.5 m (228 ft); white flash every 5 s. 26 m (85 ft) hexagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern and gallery; Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Paul Cookson's photo is at the top of this page, Felicitas Molina has a good photo, Mario Edgardo Merino has a 2017 photo, and Google has a good satellite view. This historic lighthouse marks the eastern entrance to the Strait of Magellan, along with the Chilean lighthouse at Punta Dungeness (see the Southern Chile page) about 10 km (6 mi) to the southwest. This is an active naval station. Nearby is a penguin sanctuary with a visitor center. As of 2004 the lighthouse was in rather poor condition and there was concern about its preservation. However, it appears in recent photos that the lighthouse has been refurbished and repainted. Located near the end of provincial route 1 about 80 miles (unpaved) south of Río Gallegos. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ARG-032; Admiralty G1260; NGA 20152.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Río Negro and Chubut | East: Falkland Islands | South: Tierra del Fuego

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Posted December 2003. Checked and revised June 3, 2018. Lighthouses: 33. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.