Faro Recalada at Monte Hermoso

As I mentioned in a previous post discussing my South American lighthouse adventures, Daniel and I had been planning to travel to Monte Hermoso in springtime to visit the Faro Recalada a Bahía Blanca. In celebration of both my birthday and the arrival of warmer weather, we packed up the car and headed three hours south for a day trip.

Upon arrival in Monte Hermoso, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the Plaza Parque General San Martín, a wooded park in the center of town. We had originally planned to have lunch at Laguna Sauce Grande, a small lake just outside of Monte Hermoso, but we had a change of heart upon seeing the choppy, gray-green water and uninteresting shoreline. After our picnic under a stand of eucalyptus trees, we set off for high adventure (excuse the pun) at the lighthouse.

Faro Recalada a Bahía Blanca, Monte Hermoso, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr [Faro Recalada a Bahía Blanca]

The Faro Recalada is a landfall light—a lighthouse that can be identified at a great distance by a vessel approaching the coast from open sea—that signals the entrance of the nearby port of Bahía Blanca in southern Buenos Aires province.

The lighthouse was prefabricated in France by the same company responsible for building the Eiffel Tower. The cast iron panels, columns and struts were then shipped to Argentina, and the lighthouse was slowly erected over a period of two years. The Faro Recalada was inaugurated in 1906.

At 67 m (220 ft.), the Faro Recalada is the tallest lighthouse in Argentina, the tallest skeletal frame lighthouse in South America, and the sixth tallest overall in the world. In other words, you will be tired after climbing to the top.

Structural Framework of the Faro Recalada, Monte Hermoso, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr [The lighthouse's skeleton]

Subiendo El Faro Recalada | Climbing the Lighthouse by katiemetz, on Flickr [View from one of the windows as we climbed to the top]

Nightlight Nightlight II Nightlife III Nightlife IV

[Giant nightlight aka the lighthouse lens]

View of Monte Hermoso from the Faro Recalada by katiemetz, on Flickr[It was difficult to get a nice photo from the gallery because it has been enclosed with Plexiglas and thin metal bars. The bars happened to be bent in this spot, so this shot turned out better than the others.]

It was a tad breezy that day (and by a "tad," I mean there were gale-force winds). The sound of the wind buffeting the lighthouse was impressive. As we climbed higher and higher, the howl of the wind increased, and we could actually feel the lighthouse swaying, which was a bit unnerving. Fortunately, the 360º views were well worth it, although the pictures I took at the top don't really do the landscape justice.

Going Down by katiemetz, on Flickr[The tube containing the lighthouse's main staircase has a diameter of just 1.5 m (5 ft.). It's safe to say that the Faro Recalada was not designed with claustrophobes in mind!]

Faro Recalada a Bahía Blanca, Monte Hermoso, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr[View of the lighthouse from the dirt access road]

After climbing the lighthouse, we decided that the best course of action would be to grab an ice cream cone. I'm pretty sure I earned it after dragging myself up and down those 300-plus steps. We perused the offerings at Monte Hermoso's pedestrian mall, a collection of shops and a few restaurants just a stone's throw from the beach. I zeroed in on an heladería that looked promising, and we sat in the shade and enjoyed our ice cream from Helados Treiso.

Katie on the Boardwalk in Monte Hermoso by katiemetz, on Flickr Daniel on the Boardwalk in Monte Hermoso by katiemetz, on Flickr

[I thought a photo might be nice just to prove that I'm still alive and that a ghostwriter is not authoring this blog. That guy on the right is Daniel (yes, I do let him out of the house on occasion). I know it's hard to recognize him unless he's wearing his work clothes and half a can of paint, but I swear it's him.]

As a relaxing end to the day, we strolled along the boardwalk for a bit, soaked up some rays and took a few more shots of the town and the lighthouse in the distance.

On the Boardwalk by katiemetz, on Flickr [The sound of my footsteps on the wooden planks of the boardwalk brought back memories of summers at the beach in Ocean City and Wildwood in New Jersey.]

If you'd like to view additional photos of Monte Hermoso and the lighthouse, explore my set on Flickr.

Faro Recalada a Bahía Blanca
Monte Hermoso, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Open Monday through Friday, 9am-2pm and 3:30pm-6:30pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am-7pm
Admission: $3 pesos

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