History of La Barra / José Ignacio

José Ignacio was the first Spanish settler dwelling on these shores. As expected, he had to become a fisherman in order to survive this brave sea that takes everything away when the strong winds blow. This place was named after him. Today, the district hardly seems inhabited in the winter and it is completely transformed in the summer when thousands of visitors arrive.

In spite of the passing of time and the coming of new technologies, the buildings located around the lighthouse co-exist harmonically with nature. The dunes and the large rocks remain in the same site, as if famous José was watching them.

The end of town gets deep into the ocean and gives shape to a delightful natural nook where the lighthouse built in 1877 may be observed. This construction has a light range of 9 miles. Its geographical range is 16.5 miles and its luminous intensity is represented by 1,550 lights which twinkle every 2 seconds. This enables sailors to find their position during dark nights.

Long after the days on which José Ignacio used to fish and wait for the orders given by the Spanish crown, it was not until 1917 that Eugenio Martínez carried out the first lot division in the area. He was a visionary who believed in this zone when nobody could foresee that this Uruguayan nook was going to become one of the places chosen by celebrities from all over the world to spend their vacations. If only José could see them today…