Lighthouses of Mexico: South Coast

This page lists of lighthouses of the south coast of Mexico in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero. This coast includes the famous resort city of Acapulco 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.

Mexican lighthouses are managed by the merchant marine directorate (Dirección General de Marina Mercante) within 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 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.
Lighthouses in Mexico
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Mexico
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas und der Karibik 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

Eastern Chiapas (Tapachula Area) 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. 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-07-090.1; 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. 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) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12.5 m (41 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, carrying a red and white slatted daymark. Lightphotos.net has a photo of the two range lights and Google has a satellite view. The name of this port, part of the municipality of Tapachula, was changed from Puerto Madero to Puerto Chiapas in 2005 when the port was upgraded to handle bulk cargo and cruise ships. Located on the east side of the entrance to the harbor of Puerto Chiapas. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-105; Admiralty G3424.3; NGA 15331.
* Puerto Chiapas (Puerto Madero) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, carrying a red and white slatted daymark. Lightphotos.net has a photo of the two range lights and Google has a satellite view. Located 74 m (243 ft) northeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-110; Admiralty G3424.31; NGA 15331.1.
* 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. Located east of the fishing harbor area of Puerto Chiapas. Site open, tower closed. CF-07-070.1; 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. 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 formerly listed 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 formerly listed 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. Francisco Andrade has a 2017 photo (also seen at right), Bob Swanson has a 2010 photo, Lightphotos.net has Robert English's photo, 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 G3424; NGA 15324.

Puerto Chiapas Light, Puerto Chiapas, September 2017
Google Maps photo by Francisco Andrade

Western Chiapas (Tonalá Area) Lighthouses
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 Bing 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. The Cuaderno has a small photo and Bing has a 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. Alejandro Linares Garcia's photo is at right, Wikimedia has additional photos, 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. 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. Puerto Arista is a beach resort in the municipality of Tonalá; despite its name it has no significant port facilities. Located on the main street in Puerto Arista. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MEX-042; CF-07-005.1; Admiralty G3428; NGA 15308.
[Paredón]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete post. Google has a street view but the small light is inconspicuous in Bing's satellite view. Paredón, on the Bahía Mar Muerto (Dead Sea Lagoon), is the largest fishing port of Chiapas, known for its shrimp. Located just north of the foot of the Avenida Pescadores in Paredón. Site status unknown. CF-07-005; Admiralty G3428.5; NGA 15306.


Puerto Arista Light, Puerto Arista, December 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Alejandro Linares Garcia

Oaxaca Lighthouses

Istmo Region (Salina Cruz Area) Lighthouses
Note: This section of the coastline faces the Gulf of Tehuantepec, which is not so much a gulf as a broad bight of the Pacific Ocean. East of Salina Cruz the coastline is low with barrier islands fronting large lagoons, the Bahía Mar Muerto in the east and the Laguna Inferior and Laguna Superior to the west.
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 (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (55 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse is white with one red horizontal band. Sergio Colin has a 2017 photo, Antonio Mirandismo has a more distant view, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was 10 m (33 ft) tall. 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. 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 view from the sea is available and Google has a closeup street view and 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: API Salina Cruz. CF-20-060.1; Admiralty G3431.7; NGA 15290.5.
* Salina Cruz Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower painted white and carrying a triangular red slatted daymark, mounted on a square concrete equipment shelter. Google has a street view and a satellite view. The Cuaderno says the focal plane is 2.5 m and NGA says it is 74 m, but the front light cannot be higher than the rear light. Located on heights above the harbor of Salina Cruz. Site open, tower closed. Operator: API Salina Cruz. CF-20-075; Admiralty G3435; NGA 15284.
Salina Cruz Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower painted white and carrying a triangular red slatted daymark, mounted on a square concrete equipment shelter. No photo available and the light is hard to see in Google's satellite view. Located 280 m (306 yd) north northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. Operator: API Salina Cruz. CF-20-080; Admiralty G3435.1; NGA 15288.
* 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 by Maru Velázquez is at right, Trabas has Hendrik Martin Porath's photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse appears to have been refurbished and repainted recently. Salina Cruz is the only major port of Oaxaca; it was first developed in the 1890s as the southern terminus of a railroad crossing the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from the Gulf of Mexico. 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: API Salina Cruz. ARLHS MEX-039; CF-20-060; Admiralty G3432; NGA 15272.
Faro de Salina Cruz
Salina Cruz Light, Salina Cruz, August 2007
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Maru Velázquez; used by permission
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, Ian Cameron Smith has a very distant view from the sea, and Bing 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.

Costa Region Lighthouses
* 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, Lightphotos.net has a photo by Robert English, a 2009 closeup and another good photo are available, also a 2007 closeup, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Oaxaca's best known lighthouse. Huatulco is about halfway between Puerto Ángel and Salina Cruz on the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The lighthouse stands above a famous 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.
Boca Vieja
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) square unpainted rubblestone tower. Oliver Martinez has a street view from the base of the tower and Google has a satellite view. Located on a flat-topped rock about 25 km (15 mi) east of Puerto Ángel. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CF-20-054.
Puerto Ángel (Punta Azuca)
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. Thomas Aleto has a panoramic view, a view from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. This historic light station appears to be well preserved. It is probably staffed. The fishing village of Puerto Ángel is at the southernmost point of Oaxaca, at the western end of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Located atop a promontory southwest of the village. Site status unknown. ARLHS MEX-119; CF-20-030; Admiralty G3444; NGA 15256.
Punta Zicatela
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower painted with red and white vertical stripes. Ramon Perez has a 2018 photo and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a headland at the southeastern edge of Puerto Escondido. Site status unknown. CF-20-025; Admiralty G3445.5; NGA 15253.
Huatulco Light
Huatulco Light, Santa María Huatulco, December 2009
photo copyright Leigh Honeybourne; used by permission
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. David Cabrera's 2009 photo, part of a much larger view, is at the top of this page, Trabas has Hendrik Martin Porath's photo, G. Sanial has a 2008 photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Puerto Escondido is a very popular beach resort. Located at the edge of the cliffs at the western entrance to the harbor. Site status unknown; it's not clear if there is any public access to the lighthouse. ARLHS MEX-044; CF-20-020; Admiralty G3446; NGA 15252.
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. Enrique Villaseñor Estrada has a 2018 closeup, a 2008 photo and another photo are available, there's a distant street view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. A 2016 street view shows visitors climbing the lighthouse, but the tower was then in poor condition; the 2018 photo shows that it has restored. Located on a headland on the west side of the entrance to the Lagunas de Chacahua. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower may be open. Site manager: Lagunas de Chacahua National Park. CF-20-010; Admiralty G3448; NGA 15244.

Guerrero Lighthouses

Eastern Guerrero (Acapulco Area) 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. A closeup and a view from the sea are available, and Google has a 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. Luis Castañon has a street view, Sadok Gómez has a street view from atop the tower, 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, he has another closeup, Lightphotos.net has Robert English's distant view, 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 this 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 Navy personnel may allow visitors 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 Google 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
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Tommie Head; used by permission

Western Guerrero (Zihuatenejo Area) Lighthouse
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. A good photo is available (halfway down the page), 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.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

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

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Posted 2003. Checked and revised September 8, 2019. Lighthouses: 32. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.