Visit Punta del Este Lighthouse (Faro de Punta del Este) to see an architectural landmark and learn about local maritime history. Admire aerial views of the town’s attractive coastline and glistening port. Punta del Este Lighthouse is one of the area’s oldest buildings. It stands on a peninsula that marks the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Rio de la Plata.
The lighthouse was built in 1860 using various materials, notably including volcanic soil brought from Rome. Today, as it has done for over 150 years, it serves to navigate sailors passing between the ocean and river.
Stand at the base of the lighthouse to appreciate its simple yet solid design. Topping the structure is an outdoor viewing platform and a light, which has a reach of 8.8 nautical miles (16 kilometers). At night, watch as the light emits two flashes at intervals of eight seconds.
Inside, a 150-step staircase leads to the viewing area. It offers unrivaled views of Punta del Este’s beaches and port, home to a varied collection of old fishing trawlers and luxury yachts. Spot Isla Gorriti to the west and Isla de Lobos to the southeast. Have your camera ready to snap perfect shots of the entire town.
The lighthouse allows visitors inside only on the Día del Patrimonio, an annual celebration of Uruguayan heritage. This takes place over two days in October. Inquire at the town’s tourist information centers for full details.
Punta del Este Lighthouse is about a 25-minute walk from Punta del Este Bus Terminal. Free parking is available on the streets that surround the landmark. While here, visit the quaint blue-painted Candelaria Church. Decorating the church’s interiors are religious artworks, icons and a mosaic tile floor.