One of the more surprising things I discovered in Boquete is the existence of a lighthouse on the highway just south of the town. I wondered why anyone would build one there, because we are about a two-hour drive from the Pacific Ocean to the south, and further than that from the Caribbean Sea to the north – and the lighthouse is more than 2,000 feet above sea level.
I asked several people why it was there, and the story I got was that building it was an attempt to achieve a Guinness world record for the lighthouse situated at the highest point above sea level. If that is true, they fell woefully short in their attempt, as the lighthouse with the highest elevation is on the Oberalp Pass in Switzerland, at 6,712 feet (2,046 meters) above sea level. But kudos for giving it a shot!
On the grounds of the Boquete lighthouse (called El Faro in Spanish), there is a playground for children, a tricycle track for the younger ones, and people can climb up into the lighthouse and look through binoculars at the surrounding countryside. It seems to be geared toward hosting birthday parties and such for kids. I think it would be pretty cool to have a birthday party there! You can see more information on their website. I haven’t been to the top of the lighthouse (stairs are the bane of my existence!), but I can imagine the close-up views of Volcan Barú would be stunning!
El Faro is special to me, because it’s a landmark that puts me on notice that I’m approaching Boquete when I’ve been traveling. It is located just outside the checkpoint going into town (visible at the pedestrian overpass in the background of the photo above), which marks the “official” entrance to Boquete. I always look for it, and it always makes me smile when I see it in the distance, because I know I’ll soon be home.