El FaroJanuary 8, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C
This morning, rather than go for my usual jog along the Malecon, I decided to visit one of Mazatlan's top tourist attractions, El Faro.
This lighthouse is located at the peak of Cerro del Creston on the southernmost tip of Mazatlan's peninsula and is located three kilometers from our Airbnb. Piece of cake, right? Only six kms there and back. WRONG!
Once you reach the entrance to the park, there is a steep 900 meter climb along a partially paved path, with several switchbacks, before you arrive at the 325 step staircase that takes you to the top.
With a height of 157 meters, it is the highest natural lighthouse in the Americas, and one of the highest operating lighthouses in the world.
The first use of the Isla de Creston as a lighted marine signal was in 1828. The installation was very modest, consisting of only a small stone structure on which fires, fueled by whale oil and wood, or coconut chips, were lit. This provided little visibility to ships at night, particularly in bad weather.
El Faro became the answer to the problem. First lit over the Pacific Ocean in 1879, the lighthouse's original lamp was constructed in Paris. It was made of an oil lamp surrounded by mirrors, and a Fresnel lens to focus the light.
In 1905, the lamp was converted to hydrogen gas, and was made to be able to revolve in a full circle. The final update of the light source came in 1933, when it was converted to electricity, which is what is still there today. In order to emit its powerful light, El Faro uses a 1,000 watt bulb, which is focused by a Fresnel lens.
But the real attraction here is the 360 degree view of the city below. One can see the cruise ship port, the Malecon from the southern tip to the northern tip, the cathedral, all set on a backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains.
Needless to say, the hike down was much easier than going up, but I still had one more obstacle before I could have my shower: forty two more steps leading up to our apartment.Read more