Arecibo is a municipality of 88,000 people (2020) on the north coast of Puerto Rico, and was best known for its giant radio telescope, which collapsed in late 2020.
The limestone karst landscape along the Northern coast (Arecibo included) form some of the most distinctive Puerto Rican geographical features and make for scenic panoramas.
- San Juan: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
- Aguadilla: Rafael Hernández Airport
- Ponce: Mercedita Airport
Arecibo is about 80 km (an hour's drive) west of San Juan along PR-22.
- 1 Arecibo Pueblo (downtown Arecibo). See the historic Roman Catholic church, Spanish-style recreational plaza, and the municipal buildings surrounded by streets and shops.
You can drive around the pueblo or park your car and walk around the square and into the plaza. The Spanish law, which regulated life in Puerto Rico in the early 19th century, stated the plaza's purpose was for celebrations and festivities.
- Río Camuy Cave Park. Nestled in the forests south of Arecibo is the Rio Camuy Cave Park. This is one of the largest cave systems in the world. Bring your lunch with you as there is a wait, but it is well worth it. Wear shoes with grip because the cave is damp and slippery. Watch out for guano
- Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park. M-F and holidays 9AM - 6PM, Sa Su 10AM - 7PM. A cultural theme park in the surrounding area of the Arecibo Lighthouse. It has an innovative and unique concept that includes among other things five cultural representations of the Puerto Rico's history, which transports visitors through historical and cultural events from the Spanish Conquest of 1493 when this lighthouse was built to 1898 when the Spanish-American war occurred. In the restored lighthouse you will find original marine artifacts, and from the roof a breathtaking view of the Arecibo Town and the Atlantic Ocean, and if you are lucky, whale watching while in season. Adult 13-64 $12, child 2-12 or senior 65+ $10, parking $3..
- 2 Arecibo Observatory (approximately ten miles south of town), ☏ . Closed until further notice for repairs. On a mountainous and somewhat isolated (but fairly well signposted) road, the Arecibo Observatory is home to what was for over 50 years the world's largest radio telescope, operated by SRI International, USRA and UMET, under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The telescope collapsed in December 2020, but the observatory is open to visitors as of March 10, 2022.
- 1 Cambalache Forest Reserve, Carr. 682 San Luis Bo. Garrochales, ☏ , . Parts of the state forest are open to visitors for hiking, mountain biking, camping and bird-watching.
- 1 Plaza del Atlantico, 1400 Ave Miramar (PR 2), Barrio Hato Abajo. M-Thursday 10AM-7PM, F 10AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM. A retail center with stores like Big K-Mart, Anna's Linens, Capri and Radio Shack.
- 1 Salitre Meson Costero, Highway 681, Km 3.8, ☏ . Seaside restaurant with views of the lighthouse, specializing in fresh seafood cooked to order. Their menu includes red snapper, crab, octopus, mofongo, yuca and more. Indoor and outdoor seating. $15-30.
- 1 Mojitos Yavier, Carr #2 Km 113.0, Mesetas de Chimpire, Barrio Guerrero, Sector La Curva (On PR-2 near "the curve" (la curva on PR-112)), ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Thursday-Sunday 1PM to 10PM. Charming, family environment. Their mojitos are reportedly very good. They sell pizza as well.
- 2 Salpicon Bar & Restaurant, Rd #681 Km 13.7, ☏ . F 2PM to 10PM and Sa-Su Noon-10PM. Ocean views while enjoying a Piña Colada, also has an casual elegant dining room - The Fried Red Snapper is reported to be good. 10-25.
- 1 Parador El Buen Café, Road # 2, Kilometer 84, # 381, Hatillo (bordering municipality), email@example.com. Inn with free parking, pool, 24-hour service, has a restaurant on site. This is in Hatillo, adjacent and very close to Arecibo.
- Ponce lies southeast of Arecibo and is a two hour drive through the Cordillera Central, the mountain range that crosses Puerto Rico from east to west. That is not easy driving. An easier drive is 2 hours and 20 minutes long, via the western coast on PR-2 west then South, then east, to avoid driving through the mountain range.