Lighthouses of Chile: Pacific Islands
Chile administers three groups of small islands in the
eastern South Pacific Ocean, including several of the most remote and least well
known islands of the world. These islands are known officially as the Islas Esporádicas (Sporadic Islands) or as Insular Chile. This pages lists the lighthouses built on
those islands. The only inhabited islands are Easter Island (Isla de Pascua), the easternmost inhabited island of Polynesia, and Isla Robinson Crusoe in the Juan Fernández Islands.
There are no traditional lighthouses on these islands, but there are some interesting minor aids to navigation. This page includes several of these lightbeacons.
The Spanish word for a lighthouse is faro. Lighthouses
in Chile are owned and operated by the Chilean Navy.
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 111.
- General Sources
- Online List of Lights - Chile
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- Lighthouses in Chile
- Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
- World of Lighthouses - Chile
- Photos by various photographers available from Lighthouses.net.
Sala y Gómez Light, January 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Government of Chile
Easter Island Lightbeacons
- Note: Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui in Polynesian or Isla de Pascua in Spanish) is an isolated volcanic island 3510 km (2180 mi) west of the coast of central Chile. The island is triangular in shape, 24.6 km (15.3 mi) long by 12.3 km (7.6 mi) wide. Settled a thousand years ago by a Polynesian people, it had a population of 7750 in 2017. Tourists are attracted to the island to see the moai, its famous stone statues. The island is accessible by air from Chile, Peru, or Tahiti. It is administered as Isla de Pascua Province within the Valparaíso Region.
- * [Hánga Roa]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); red flash every 5 s. 3.5 m (11 ft) fiberglass post with daymark panels, colored white with a red horizontal band. Trabas has Thomas Philipp's closeup photo, Lightphotos.net has a photo. and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at Hánga Roa, the principal settlement on the island, near the west end. Site open, tower closed. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1992; NGA 1152.5.
- * [La Pérouse]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); white flash every 5 s. 3.5 m (11 ft) fiberglass post with daymark panels, colored white with a red horizontal band. Trabas has Carlos María Silvano's photo, Lightphotos.net has a photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at a tiny settlement on the north coast of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1994; NGA 1153.
- * [Hotuiti]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); white flash every 10 s. 3.5 m (11 ft) fiberglass post with daymark panels, colored white with a red horizontal band. Carlos María Silvano's photo is at right, Trabas has Erich Hartmann's closeup photo, Lightphotos.net has a photo that also shows 15 of the moai, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at a landing near the east end of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1994.5; NGA 1154.
- * [Vaihú]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); white
flash every 12 s. 5.5 m (18 ft) fiberglass post with daymark panels, colored white with a red horizontal band. Trabas has Michael Boucher's closeup photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. The light marks a beach suitable for landing small craft. Located on the southwest side of Easter Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1995; NGA 1155.
Hotuiti Light (with line of moai in left background), Easter Island, April 2013
photo copyright Carlos María Silvano; used by permission
Sala y Gómez Lightbeacon
- Note: Sala y Gómez (named for two Spanish sailors) is a tiny island 390 km (242 mi) east northeast of Easter Island. The islanders call it Motu Motiro Hiva, and that is also the name of the marine reserve created by Chile in 2010 to protect the island and its surrounding waters, which are administered as part of the Isla de Pascua Province.
- [Sala y Gómez (Salas y Gómez)]
- 1994. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 12 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass tower, colored white with one red horizontal band. Eduardo Sorensen's photo is at the top of this page, and Google has a satellite view. The light is at the southern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open with proper permits, tower closed. Admiralty G1990.
Archipiélago Juan Fernández Lightbeacon
- Note: The three Juan Fernández Islands are located about 600 km (375 mi) off the coast of central Chile. They are named for the Spanish navigator who discovered them in 1574. The Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was stranded on the largest island for four and a half years (1704-09), an adventure that may have inspired Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. In 1966 the island where Selkirk was stranded was renamed Isla Robinson Crusoe, and one of the other islands was named for Selkirk. Today Isla Robinson Crusoe has an airstrip and a permanent population of about 850. The islands are administered as part of Valparaíso Province.
- * [Punta San Carlos (2)]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20
ft); white flash every 12 s. 3.5 m (11 ft) fiberglass post with daymark panels, colored white with a red horizontal band. Trabas has Erich Hartmann's photo and Google has a distant satellite view. The earlier light is seen in the photo at right by Anibal Diaz and another 2009 photo by Marcelo Santander. Located on a promontory on the north side of the settlement on Isla Robinson Crusoe, marking the entrance to the Bahía Cumberland. Site open,
tower closed. ARLHS JFI-001; Admiralty G1855; NGA 1328.
Islas de los Desventurados Lightbeacon
- Note: The Islas de los Desventurados (Unfortunate Islands) are four small islands located 850 km (530 mi) off the coast of northern Chile. There is no permanent population but the Chilean Navy maintains an airfield and a base on one of the islands, the Isla San Félix. The islands are administered as part of Valparaíso Province.
- [Isla San Félix]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 195 m (640 ft); flash every 12
s. 4 m (13 ft) round fiberglass tower, painted
white with one red horizontal band. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Andres Pacheco has an aerial view of the island; the light is just barely visible atop the peak at right. Located
on the peak at the western tip of the island.
Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1937; NGA 1129.
Punta San Carlos Light, Isla Robinson Crusoe, January 2009
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Anibal Diaz; permission requested
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining page: East: Central Chile
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Posted October 5, 2012. Checked and revised July 9, 2019. Lighthouses: 0. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.