Lighthouses of Brazil

Lighthouses of Brazil

A friend of mine from the Coast Guard, Abe VanOeveren, now retired, loves to travel to Brazil. Knowing I was running this site he asked if I wanted photos of the lighthouses he comes across in his travels. My answer was a definite YES!

So, below are photos sent to me by Abe. I am appending his comments as he wrote them as I myself know nothing about the lighthouses, so I will leave it to my expert. He says:

Hi John, Last email you mentioned lights in pictures. I’m not sure if you have a place on your website for pictures of lights from other parts of the world. In my travels in Brazil I’m always on the lookout for lights big and small and sometimes it is surprising what shows up. They are not all grand structures like estevan or Father Point flying buttresses but there are some beauties on the Brazilian coast . . .I’ll send some pictures of lights in Brazil, but the files are big (3mb) and take forever to upload (also to download). Abe


– photo © A. VanOeveren


– photo © A. VanOeveren

This one is in Manaus; Brazil, on the shore of the Amazon river. It is attached to the Alfandega (customs house), and generally off limits to the public. I had to ask for permission to go into the walled compound to get close to it. Light probably has been shrouded for years, so its  hard to tell what kind of lens is inside.

– photo © A. VanOeveren

 In Brazil a lighthouse is called a farol. This one is in Belem, near the mouth of the Amazon River. It is in a park called Mangal das Garcas. There is an elevator that takes visitors to the observation platform but you cannot go up into the lantern room. The stairs on the outside of the tower are closed to foot traffic, so you  must go up and down in the elevator. This is a park and  you have to pay a small admission to enter and another small fee to go up into the light. Great views of the river, the city of Belem and the park. 

Brazil Nordeste 2013 291
– photo © A. VanOeveren


- photo © A. VanOeveren
– photo © A. VanOeveren

Farol Preguiçasthe lens at Preguiças Not sure if you have  seen this one or not. It may be on my Flickr photostream. It is located near the mouth of the Preguiças River, which flows out to sea near Barreirinhas, a town near the city of São Luis in Maranhão, in northeastern Brazil. You have to go to Barreirinhas, (Bah hay reen yas) to take the boat trip that takes about an hour and a half to get out to the coast. In the small fishing town of Mandacaru you will find this lighthouse, Farol Preguiças. Reminds me of Estevan. It has buttresses, but not flying. You can climb up inside to the observation platform just below the lantern room. There is a lovely fresnel lens inside. The tower was built in 1940, but the lighthouse is celebrating its 100th birthday, so this must be a replacement for a previous tower. There is evidence of winding machinery below the lantern room, but it is blocked with a piece of wood, so they must have an electric motor now to turn the light. I believe it is still functioning, but it was not illuminated during the day. The town has no cars. Only quads can navigate streets made entirely of sand. 

Brazil Nordeste 2013 511
– photo © A. VanOeveren

This lighthouse is in Natal in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. It was a grab shot  as we  were racing along the highway between a suburb and the center of the city. It is along the Via Costera, (coast road), in the Parque das Dunas. In fact there are a lot of dunes along the coast here, some preserved in parks, but most open to hundreds of dune buggies that take people on tours of the coast north and south of the city. I don’t know what this  lighthouse is called.  (I found it on a Google Search and it is called Mae Luiza lighthouse – retlkpr) 

Brazil Spring 2013 774
– photo © A. VanOeveren

This one is in Salvador, in the state of Bahia. It was closed the day we wanted to visit, but we will be back there next Spring so may have a closer look. (It is known as Farol da Barra lighthouse, Morro do Cristo Hill, Farol da Barra Beach, Salvador, Brazil – retlkpr)

– photo © A. VanOeveren

 I think you have enough pictures of the light they call Farol de Barra in Salvador but you may not have the beautiful lens in the lantern room. Origin was F. Barbier & Cie. Paris 1889. I think this one is even bigger than Pachena. It flashes both red and white. Electrified about 1937, but the old winding gear is still visible. Must have a good bearing. You can move it with a finger. And didn’t Carmanah also have a French lens by Barbier, Benard and Turenne? Maybe Triple too although it was much smaller. 

– photo © A. VanOeveren

This lighthouse is located on a height of land on Ilha do Mel (Honey Island) off the coast of southern Brazil, coordinates 25 degrees 32 minutes South / 48 degrees 17.0 minutes West. It was build in 1890 on the orders of Dom Pedro 2, head cheese of the country at that time. Engineering was done by Zozimo Barroso, who has a bronze statue erected in his honor at the far end of Leblon Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The tower is steel and originated in Glasgow, built by P & W Maclellan. It has an ornate steel spiral staircase, but could not get inside to access the lantern room. It would likely have had a fresnel lens at one time but now just has a winky blink. Probably only on at night. It is not visible from the village of Encantadas where we are staying, a 5.7 kilometre hike away over headlands and deserted ocean beaches.

There are two birds perched on the tower. One on the finial on top and the other on the side of the lantern room drying his wings. They are likely the local vulture (Urubu) or cormorants, it’s hard to tell from here. The stick and angled down lead are lightning protection. There used to be a keepers house made of brick just inside the concrete wall but it now flattened on its side and not much good for living in.

There is another light at the end of the island where we are staying. It is a short squat square tower, white with a red stripe. Light is two seconds on, two or three seconds off. Marks a busy deep see channel, with bulkers and containers in a steady stream making for the open ocean or the port of Paranaguá in the Brazilian state of Paraná.



I was expecting something more but this is the lighthouse on a hill overlooking the remote seaside village of Jericoacoara in the state of Ceará. It is very windy here day after day but also very warm. A destination for kite surfers and wind surfers.


Abe’s Flickr Photostream shows some more photos of his Brazilian lighthouses, plus:

I have some more lights for you. It’s a short list and it comes from a book I have about the area of Brazil in the northeast called the Potiguar. Principal city in this area is Natal, and these lights are to the north and south of this city.
I’m not sure if you would be able to find pictures of them on the internet. Maybe, maybe not, as I have not looked for them online.

Farol do Calcanhar on Praia (beach) do Ponta do Calcanhar. A lovely black and white banded tower, tapered with buttresses.
Farol Santo Alberto on Praia da Caiçara. A straight octagonal tower, black and white checkerboard pattern, winky blink light on top.
Farol de Natal on Praia de Mãe Luíza. I sent you a grab shot of this one a few days ago.
Farol Ponta do Mel on Praia de Ponta do Mel. An eiffeling exposed lattice steel tower with central solid core staircase. Fairly ugly.
Farol São Roque on Praia das Gameleiras. Straight post and beam construction, red and white.
Farol de Areia (sand) Branca on Praia de Upanema. Post with a round platform and a red blinker.
Farol de Galinhos on Praia de Galinhos (chickens). Stubby red and white banded concrete tower with an offset shorty tower on top.
Farol da Ponta Bacupari on Praia de Baía Formosa. A pretty vertical octagonal tower alternate black and white banding. White blinker.

Something for you, the readers, to research, and I will sort out later. I promised Abe I would get this online so here it is. More photos or information are always appreciated.


While making a search on Flickr I found these other sites that have more photos of Brazilian lighthouses for you to enjoy.

Flickr Search  Brazil lighthouse   Flickr   Photo Sharing


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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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