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15 Facts About El Faro Lighthouse

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Your Official Travel Guide of Things to do in Mazatlan.

15 Facts About El Faro Lighthouse

Sophia Boccard

el faro mazatlan

Climbing to the top of the Cerro del Creston – a former island and home to one of the highest lighthouses in the world – is no easy feat. First, hike about 10 to 15 minutes, then climb hundreds of steps before reaching the top of the hill. However, once you make it to the top of the hill, you’ll experience unobstructed views of Mazatlan, especially on a clear day. Finding the entrance to start making your ascent is fairly simple, with large signs directing to the foot of the hill, past the fishing fleet shops. Read on to learn more about El Faro, and brush up on Mazatlan’s history.

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán.

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán.

1. Isla de Creston was once an island, and it wasn’t until 1930 that the construction of the breakwater was created to connect the mainland of Mazatlan to the island

2. The size of Isla del Creston is 321 meters (1053 ft.) wide and stands at 157 meters (515 ft.)

3. On November 21, 1820, Spain’s first national sovereign assembly, Cadiz Cortes, decreed the port of Mazatlan to be the first of its kind on Mexico’s Pacific coast

4. Each year more than 60 naval ships would dock in Mazatlan with no beacon of light guiding them to shore making their travels incredibly dangerous

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán.

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán.

5. 1828 marked the first time the people of Mazatlan began to utilize Cerro de Vigia’s tallest point as the site for a fires used as a navigational beacon made with wood and coal

6. The first lighthouse lamp was an oil-burning lamp that had mirrors and Fresnel lens to allow for an intensity of light

7. Because the lamp was stationary, many sailors would mistake the lighthouse’ original beacon as a star

el faro mazatlan

8. In 1905, a new rotating signal fueled by hydrogen gas continued to light the way for naval ships for several decades

9. Since 1933, an electric lamp has replaced the hydrogen gas lamp and continues shining bright to this day

10. 1,000-watt bulb produces light equivalent to 600,000 candles

11. Today’s beacon can be seen up to 30 nautical miles away

el faro view from top

12. The hike up Cerro de Vigia is half a mile, while the final ascent is more than 350 steps up

13. If you look at the hill from a far enough distance, it makes up the shape of a pyramid with its steep slopes

14. There are deep caverns located throughout the Cerro de Vigia, however, the treacherous currents make trespassing extremely dangerous

15. Legend has it that in the 16th Century, bloodthirsty English pirate Thomas Cavendich and the blond Dutch Spilbergen would situate themselves in Mazatlan’s bay – or perhaps on Cerro de Vigia – roaming the sea to plunder valuables on ships coming over from the Philippines

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán.

Donación de El Gran Orgullo de ser de Mazatlán.