El Faro Mazatlan

El Faro Mazatlan is the highest lighthouse in the world, perched at about 500 feet above sea level, and it’s one of the iconic images of the city of Mazatlan. Built in the late nineteenth century, the Mazatlan lighthouse offers a clear signal of the harbor’s entrance. The lighthouse itself is a relatively small building, but its history and the view from the top of the hill are worth the climb, so pack a picnic lunch and head for this unusual destination.

El Faro Mazatlan
El Faro Mazatlan

After learning that the Mazatlan lighthouse holds the title of highest in the world, visitors often start searching the coastline for a magnificently tall structure and after finding none, wonder where the lighthouse is. In fact, the ranking comes from the lighthouse’s high elevation atop a nearby hill. There are several ways to reach El Faro Mazatlan, including via taxi, the local bus line, and, of course, on your own two feet. Most vacationers choose the last option for the exhilarating experience of reaching the top, where the views of the city are breathtaking.

Built in Paris, France, and completed in 1879, the lighthouse originally had simply an oil-fueled lamp, several mirrors, and a Fresnel lens, which helped increase the lighthouse’s ability to illuminate the area. In the early years of El Faro Mazatlan, the light remained constant and stationary, which meant that distant mariners often mistook it for a star. In the early twentieth century, the lighthouse mechanism was renovated and adapted into a revolving lamp, so that the visual appearance of the moving light could correctly show the edge of the harbor to sailors at night. Today, the 1000-watt light bulb can be seen for more than 35 miles.

El Faro Lighthouse
El Faro Lighthouse

Visitors of all types venture up the hillside to reach El Faro Mazatlan, but it’s most popular among those who are interested in spending their vacation outdoors. The hike is a bit challenging, but it’s a beautiful walk, beginning from the end of the Malecon, which is the seaside promenade that runs along the city. In particularly, the Mazatlan lighthouse hill is popular among cliff divers and travelers who want to watch the spectacle. The locally famous divers leap off the high rocks into the water below, performing daring feats in exchange for tips from the onlooking tourists.

Visiting the Mazatlan lighthouse is a great option if you’re looking for things to do early in your vacation that can help you get a sense of the city. The view of Mazatlan’s coastline and beaches is second to none, and having an idea of the city’s layout will make you feel more at home immediately. Whether you plan to spend your vacation relaxing on the beaches, going deep sea fishing and scuba diving, or simply shopping and enjoying the local nightlife, starting out your vacation with a birds-eye view of Mazatlan is nothing short of spectacular.

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