In the Caribbean, Puerto Rico’s location has long been considered an important spot strategically. As an island that has been under both Spanish and U.S. rule, lighthouses were established throughout the archipelago as guides for major maritime routes. When visiting Puerto Rico, make sure to stop by the following six lighthouses, all listed in the National Register of Historic Places and found along beautiful coastlines.
Culebrita is a small island near Culebra, another island that is part of the Puerto Rico archipelago. The lighthouse at Culebrita was built in the 1880s when Puerto Rico was under Spanish rule, in order to provide additional security to its neighbor Culebra. Used until 1975 by the United States Navy, since then the Culebrita Lighthouse has not been in use. Nevertheless, a trip to this landmark makes for an adventure and a blast from the past.
Located in the southeastern town of Maunabo, the Punta Tuna Lighthouse overlooks part of the Punta Tuna Reserve, which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Built in 1890, notable features of the lighthouse include a lightkeeper’s house and an octagonal tower. There is also a beautiful beach on site, and while the water isn’t suitable for swimming, visitors can enjoy views of sea turtles that nest there.
In the western town of Rincón, which is known as a prime surfing town, is the Punta Higuero Lighthouse. Built in 1982, this lighthouse is still in use, and from its location it guides ships in the Isla de Mona Passage, where the Isla de Mona is located. Close to the lighthouse, visitors can sometimes see whales, too.
The design of this lighthouse in Cabo Rojo, on Puerto Rico’s southwest coast, is similar to other lighthouses found on the island. The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse, which dates back to 1881, is called Faro Los Morrillosin Spanish and is still in use. Like the Punta Higuero Lighthouse, it helps ships through the Isla de Mona Passage. What is most stunning of all are the views from where the lighthouse is located, atop limestone cliffs.
In northwestern Puerto Rico, what’s left of the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse consists of ruins, which make for beautiful pictures. It was constructed when Puerto Rico was under Spanish rule, like most of the other must-visit lighthouses. Before falling into ruin as the result of an earthquake, the lighthouse had a tower and house for the lightkeeper. A beach and a golf club are nearby that visitors may enjoy.
El Morro Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Puerto Rico and a notable architectural landmark. Several lighthouses have been built at the castle, because the previous one had been damaged or destroyed for one reason or another. The lighthouse is a standout feature of El Morro, and it isn’t always part of the castle’s tours, so visitors that get to see the structure up close have a great opportunity – seize it!