LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 75
Pag. 12 - 13
By: Lugares File
Photos: Soledad Gil, Federico Quintana and File Photos
5 SOUTHERN LIGHTHOUSES
These old-fashioned structures with hotels or tea-houses built onto their base, they are usually the focal point of the port, beach or city they serve. Here you have a range, going from Polonio to Ushuaia that will help you "see in the dark".
Its white lighthouse, erected next to the ruins of a coastal building, the yellow street lamps and the cobblestones of this colonial settlement are the classic postcard photos of this "city on the opposite shore".
This is a very old lighthouse (1857) and one of the highest, at 34 meters. It can be ascended, and you will have a unique view of the river and the whole town.
As this is the easternmost point of the Uruguayan Atlantic coastline, this lighthouse is a critical checkpoint for navigators of that country. However, the usefulness of its beams is not restricted to the sea: overland arrivals to this tiny beach resort also use it as a guide, since it is the only building possessing electric light in the area. It was built in 1881 and is almost 40 meters tall. The rock at its base is also home to a considerably large colony of single and double furred sea lions.
This lighthouse had also remained forgotten at the most southerly point of the American continent until the Fenton family, owners of Estancia Monte Dinero, decided to build a teahouse there. At last, one can admire the view surrounding this beautiful metal lighthouse built in 1904. A real refuge from the relentless wind that blows in this region, and a highly recommended stop on the way to the neighboring penguin rookery of Point Dungeness.
Improperly called the End-of-the-World Lighthouse (the true one is San Juan de Salvamento on De los Estados Island), it owes its name to the islet of Les Eclaireurs, thus named by the French expedition of
La Romanche, who sailed the Beagle Channel between1882 and 1883, on the frigate Luis Fernando Martial. The lighthouse was built in 1918. It is 11 meters tall and its illumination system is by solar panels.
If it weren't for the inn built at its foot, the lighthouse of this end of Valdes Peninsula would be totally isolated. And this is the particular feature that delights the guests who stay in its 30 rooms, in addition to being able to interact with the sea lions, take walks along the arid plateau, and listen to the pounding of the waves, without even a telephone bell to break the silence.
The lighthouse was inaugurated in 1905. It is 14 meters high, has a watchman's cabin and a dwelling house. At night there are guided tours with background baroque music.