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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.
Get the most out of your visit to Arecibo Observatory. Here's a list of some of the most popular things to do:
Examine our Arecibo things to do page to learn about even more activities in the area.
Situated near the airport, this country house is 4.9 mi (7.9 km) from Cueva Ventana and within 12 mi (20 km) of Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana and Parque Ceremonial Indigena Caguana. Arecibo Lighthouse and Arecibo Observatory are also within 16 mi (25 km).
Situated in Utuado, this apartment building is 6.2 mi (10 km) from Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana and 10.6 mi (17.1 km) from Cueva Ventana. Parque Acuatico and Tres Picachos are also within 20 mi (32 km).
Situated in Utuado, this apartment building is 6.4 mi (10.4 km) from Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana and 10.8 mi (17.4 km) from Cueva Ventana. Parque Acuatico and Tres Picachos are also within 20 mi (32 km).
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 16.9 mi (27.1 km) away.
Located in the heart of Hatillo, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Playa Sardinera and within 9 mi (15 km) of Playa Peñón Brusi and Playa El Muelle. Playa Caza y Pesca and Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated in Arecibo, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of La Poza Beach, Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve, and Playa El Muelle. Playa Caza y Pesca and Arecibo Lighthouse are also within 15 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Arecibo guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of La Poza Beach, Playa Caza y Pesca, and Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve. Playa El Muelle and Arecibo Lighthouse are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated on the beach, this apartment building is steps from La Poza Beach and Playa Caza y Pesca. Cano Tiburones Nature Reserve and Playa El Muelle are also within 1 mi (2 km).