Jose Ignacio Light

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay | C.1877

Photo Credit: Edward Peter

The Jose Ignacio Lighthouse was inaugurated in 1877 with the aim of avoiding shipwrecks in the area. The company Costa y Cia was in charge of operating the light until in 1907 when the contract ended and responsibility went to the State. At that time the only way to access the place was on horseback, in carriages, or by sea.

In 1907 the surveyor Eugenio Saiz Martinez established the first official plot of land in the area; however, it was not until the late 1920s that the first houses and the first grocery story were built.

A road was built linking the town with Route 9 in 1954, and the first bus service to San Carlos began to operate. Argentine vacationers began arriving in the 1960s and over time the town has become the place chosen by many celebrities to build their holiday homes, which also led to the establishment of exclusive restaurants.

There are several versions about the origin of the town’s name, one is that it comes from an old resident of the area, called Jose Ignacio Sylveira. Another version is that it refers to a group of the Jesuit Missions. In 1763, Virrey Cevallos stayed in the area and he called it “Jose Ignacio”.

The Lighthouse of Jose Ignacio is a symbol of the area, it was built on the most rocky end of the peninsula with a focal height of 32.5 meters and a geographical range of 16.5 miles.

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