Punta Higuero Lighthouse in Rincon
Since the implementation of skeletal towers that house unmanned flashing lights, none of the original lighthouses in Puerto Rico perform the duties they were built to do anymore. This is the case of the historical Punta Higuero Lighthouse in Rincon. Rincon is a spectacular town that is known for its wonderful, tropical beaches, breathtaking nature and for surfing. Put all these features together and you get the perfect holiday and tourist destination.
The Punta Higuero Lighthouse is situated on Point Jiguero. It was constructed in 1892 and stands at a height of twenty-one meters. Its focal plane is twenty-seven meters and is still fitted with its gallery, lens and lantern. The 26 000 candle power rotating beacon of the lighthouse is still in working condition. In 1918, a massive tsunami hit the coast of Puerto Rico with such force that it uprooted palm trees and wiped out railway lines that were located 4.9 meters above the sea level. Extensive damage was done to the Punta Higuero Lighthouse and it was restored in 1922. The lighthouse was automated in 1933 and has been guiding ships safely through the Mona Passage ever since.
Surrounding the lighthouse is El Faro Park. It is a recreational center that is littered with gift shops, surf shops and food vendors. The tower of the lighthouse is closed to the public but inside the lighthouse building visitors will find their first attraction for the day, the museum. Here guests are able to discover the history and stories of the lives of mariners and their ships. Artifacts from shipwrecks are also on display, documenting the rise and fall of many shipping vessels.
The beaches at the Punta Higuero Lighthouse have also become very popular surfing destinations. The 1968 Surfing World Championships were held here and since then, surfers from all over the globe have named this site as one their favorite surfing locations. Surfers can look forward to staggering waves that are approximately between fifteen to twenty-five feet in winter. The lighthouse grounds are a perfect lookout point, as from here visitors will also be able to see Desecheo Island and the National Wildlife Refuge. Whale watchers also converge on the lighthouse for the yearly migration of the humpback whales that come through the Mona Passage during the months of January, February and March.
The Punta Higuero Lighthouse is not only a memorial to Puerto Rican maritime history, but is a favorite tourist destination that is filled with attractions, beauty and plenty of action from the seas.