El Cotillo Lighthouse and its beaches

Fuerteventura has unique enclaves where the purest and most unspoilt beauty intertwines with the coastal towns. We have a good example of this in Punta de la Ballena, near the fishing village of El Cotillo, north of Fuerteventura.

The El Cotillo Lighthouse was built here more than 120 years ago. For a long time this space has become a particularly iconic place, the star of many travel postcards.

Approaching and visiting this part of the island is quite an experience. Its surroundings,  dotted with small coves, is a meeting point for caravans, surfers and lovers of the sea.

Beaches around the Tostón lighthouse.

Caleta del Río, Caleta de la Aduana and Caleta del Marrajo, are the best known beaches near the tip of Tostón.

These beaches full of volcanic nooks and crannies draw unique landscapes that will surely be engraved on your retina.

Despite the fact that the beaches on both sides of the lighthouse are close to each other, they have their singularities. In Caleta del río  and Caleta de la Aduana, to the left of the lighthouse, strong waves and a steep shore predominate. While the main attraction of Caleta del Marrajo, located on the right, are its calm and transparent waters.

Los Charcos is what almost all of us call Caleta del Marrajo. It is made up of three consecutive coves, separated by natural stone walls that have been generating pools. Its waters are crystal clear and its fine white sand contrasts with the black volcanic stone.

Here the wind blows constantly and the water temperature is pleasant at any time of the year, ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
In the sands there are several circular corralitos made with stones, used to be sheltered from the wind.
If you go to Los Charcos, you will possibly spend hours barefoot walking along the shore, or giving a well-deserved use of neoprene, but you will surely enjoy the sun, pure air and nature.

The only architectural element that we find in this place is the Tostón lighthouse.

The Tostón lighthouse

The Tostón lighthouse is located about 5 kilometers north of the town of El Cotillo. This lighthouse, together with the Pechiguera lighthouse, in Lanzarote, and the Martiño lighthouse on the islet of Lobos, guide the ships that cross the Bocaina. It was built at the end of the 19th century. It currently has three towers of different heights and a large room that houses a forgotten Museum of Traditional Fishing.

Each of its towers was built at a different time, the lowest being the oldest, and the highest being the most modern.

This singularity (that of having 3 towers) responds to the seafarers’ demand for having a light to guide them on windy storms nights.  The marine currents of the strait that separates Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, are very intense and have caused the stranding of several ships.

The waves are so strong that when the waves broke on the rocks near the lighthouse, they reached such a height that they covered the powerful flashlight. For this reason, higher and higher towers have had to be built.

The tip of the Tostón is surrounded by reefs that form the anchorage of the same name under its shelter. Currently in the coves near the lighthouse it is impossible to imagine moored boats. However, this area was once one of the most important ports in Fuerteventura. Ships came and went from here from everywhere. Commercial activity was so intense that a customs post was built. This building gave its name to the cove in front of the lighthouse, called Caleta de la Aduana.

By the way, the place name “Tostón” is also related to trade. The tostón was an ancient currency. In the 17th century, women’s shoes cost approximately 1 tostón, and thick-soled men’s shoes 2 tostones. That coin disappeared in the last third of the 18th century.


Frequently asked questions about the El Cotillo lighthouse beaches:


>Can you camp on Los Charcos beach?

Although in the past people used to camp on the beaches surrounding the El Cotillo lighthouse, this is not the case today. The municipality of La Oliva allows camping during certain times of the year on four of its beaches, which are: Caleta Beatriz, Punta Blanca and Mararía or María Díaz, located between Majanicho and the lighthouse. You can also camp in La Caleta.

Can you practice nudism on the beaches near the Tostón lighthouse?

Yes, both on Los Charcos beach and on the others, near the lighthouse, you can practice nudism without any problem.

Is bathing on the beaches near the Tostón lighthouse dangerous?

The waters of Los Charcos beach are shallow, ideal to be with children. However, in Caleta de la Aduana  and Caleta del río,  the currents are more intense and open to the ocean. Take extreme precautions if you go with minors.

Is there a lifeguard service on the beaches of Tostón?

No, there is no lifeguard and surveillance service on the beaches near the El Cotillo lighthouse. However, it is an area of ​​easy access and where it is not uncommon to see Civil Guard patrols.

Are there guaguas (buses) that go to the Tostón lighthouse?

Despite the fact that the Faro del Tostón and the surrounding beaches are highly visited, public transport does not reach here. If you want to enjoy this enclave you will have to do it on your own.

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