Isla de Lobos

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For Isla de Lobos, an island north of Fuerteventura, Spain, see Lobos Island.
Isla de Lobos
Isla de Lobos vista desde su cara N, frente a Punta del Este, en Uruguay.jpg
North side of the island.
Isla de Lobos - Gorriti UY.PNG
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 35°03′01″S 54°52′27″W / 35.05028°S 54.87417°W / -35.05028; -54.87417
Total islands 2
Area 0.435 km2 (0.168 sq mi)
Highest elevation 26 m (85 ft)
Department Maldonado
Part of Coastal Islands National Park
Administered by Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries

The Isla de Lobos is a small island located about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) southeast of Punta del Este (Uruguay). An islet lies east of the island.


The island is an outcropping of rocks that is a continuation of the Cuchilla Grande, in an area of Atlantic Ocean immediately at the mouth (outer limit) of the estuary of Río de la Plata. Administratively it belongs to the jurisdiction of the province of Maldonado, although it constitutes a natural reserve. Somewhat to the northwest is the smaller Gorriti Island which is the second most southern place in Uruguay.


It was discovered by Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís in 1516 and named "San Sebastian de Cádiz", later in 1527 was visited by the Venetian navigator Sebastián Cabot in his expedition to Río de la Plata and Paraná. In 1528 Diego Garcia Moguer sailed for the region and named the "Island of the Snapper." In 1599 the island was visited by Laurens Bicker.[1]

In 1858 the Uruguayan government erected a lighthouse on the island, and rebuilt in 1907. With its height of 59 meters above sea level it is one of the highest lighthouses in the world. From the balcony outside, which is accessed upon authorization by 240 steps there is a wonderful panoramic view of the island and the coast of Punta del Este.


Isla de Lobos is a nature reserve because it has the largest colony of sea lions in the western hemisphere: in 2001 there were 180,000 sea lions of the species called "two hairs" and 6,500 of the species known as the "wig".

It is part of the "Coastal Islands National Park" administered by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries.


  • Enrique Páez, A. de Bonis: 1999. Impacto en cachorros de lobo fino sudamericano durante el derrame de petróleo en Isla de Lobos., Editorial: Jornadas de Zoología del Uruguay, Montevideo 1999. (In Spanish)


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