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Arecibo Observatory

This gigantic radio telescope has contributed to scientific discoveries since the 1960s, and has appeared in many movies and television shows.

The Arecibo Observatory is the world’s largest radio telescope and one of Puerto Rico’s most well-known attractions. It has featured in many Hollywood blockbusters, including the James Bond movie GoldenEye and Contact, starring Jodie Foster. 

During the past 50 years, the Arecibo Observatory has played a crucial role for researchers in the fields of radio astronomy, radar astronomy and aeronomy. Today, this icon is on the list of American Historic Place and attracts visitors from around the world wanting to learn about the scientific practices. 

Start off  at the visitors center, where the in-depth exhibit  guides you through the history of the observatory. There are lots of details to satisfy the science enthusiasts, however even novices will have their interest held. There’s an interesting twenty-minute film explaining many of the discoveries made by this gigantic telescope, and then you can join a free guided tour.

Walking through the observatory, you’ll appreciate the scale of the world’s largest radio telescope. At over 1000 feet (300 meters) in diameter, it’s a sight to behold. The location in the middle of the jungle makes for a great photograph. Ask your tour guide to point out the specific parts of the observatory that served as backdrops for movies and TV shows. After a few hours here, you’ll walk away with an appreciation of  this unique research facility as well as the role that astronomers play in the 21st century.

The Arecibo Observatory is located approximately 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Arecibo on the north coast of Puerto Rico. The observatory can be reached by car and parking is available on site. There is no public transportationation that services the facility, however it’s possible to catch a taxi from Arecibo. The observatory is closed Mondays and Tuesday for most of the year, and there are extended operating times during peak periods. There is a small admission fee.

Popular Activities at Arecibo Observatory

Get the most out of your time at Arecibo Observatory. Here's a list of some of the top activities:

Taken you forever to visit this celebrated attraction? Then you can't possibly leave without trying out a Camuy Caves, Arecibo Observatory & Shopping.

Peruse our Arecibo things to do page to discover even more activities while you're here.


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Arecibo Observatory

See all 328 Properties near Arecibo Observatory
Casa De Campo Rio Arriba ¥12,120
Casa De Campo Rio Arriba

Casa De Campo Rio Arriba

Carr #10Km 70 Int 621, Arecibo
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Arecibo, this country house is within 16 mi (25 km) of Arecibo Lighthouse, Arecibo Observatory, and La Poza Beach. Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana and Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve are also within 16 mi (25 km).

    Utuado City Inn Hotels
    Utuado City Inn Hotels

    Utuado City Inn Hotels

    Calle Doctor Cueto #137, Utuado
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Utuado, this apartment building is 6.2 mi (10 km) from Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana and 7.6 mi (12.3 km) from Parque Ceremonial Indigena Caguana. Rio Camuy Cave Park and Parque Acuatico are also within 20 mi (32 km).

      Utuado Lodging - Downtown
      Utuado Lodging - Downtown

      Utuado Lodging - Downtown

      87 Calle Dr. Cueto, Utuado, Utuado
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Utuado, this apartment building is within 12 mi (20 km) of Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana, Parque Ceremonial Indigena Caguana, and Cueva Ventana. La Piedra Escrita and Parque Acuatico are also within 20 mi (32 km).

        Arecibo Inn ¥8,062
        Arecibo Inn

        Arecibo Inn

        Road #2 km 67.2, Barrio Santana, Arecibo
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the beach, this hotel is 5.5 mi (8.9 km) from Arecibo Lighthouse and 11.5 mi (18.6 km) from Cueva Ventana. Arecibo Observatory is 16.4 mi (26.4 km) away.

          Parador El Buen Café ¥11,593
          Parador El Buen Café

          Parador El Buen Café

          #381, Carr. 2, Km. 84.0 Bo. Carrizales, Hatillo
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Hatillo, this hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve, Arecibo Lighthouse, and La Poza Beach. Cueva Ventana is 12.4 mi (19.9 km) away.

            Vacation Rentals at Salitre ¥7,781
            Vacation Rentals at Salitre

            Vacation Rentals at Salitre

            Carretera PR-681 Km 3.8, Islote, Arecibo
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Nestled on the beach, this Arecibo guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of La Poza Beach and Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve. Cave of the Indian and Arecibo Lighthouse are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              The Hill Inn at 681 Ocean Drive ¥12,541
              The Hill Inn at 681 Ocean Drive

              The Hill Inn at 681 Ocean Drive

              Bo. Jarealito Calle 1 #139, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Arecibo, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of La Poza Beach and Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve. Arecibo Lighthouse is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) away.

                Ocean Front Suites by City Inn Hotels ¥25,188
                Ocean Front Suites by City Inn Hotels

                Ocean Front Suites by City Inn Hotels

                Carretera 681 Km. 3, Arecibo
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the beach, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of La Poza Beach and Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve. Arecibo Lighthouse is 1.2 mi (2 km) away.