Arecibo Radio Telescope & Observatory

Diverse and naturally beautiful, Puerto Rico offers fun for everyone. Whether you’re dreaming of basking on the beach, hiking through a tropical rain forest, or roaming through ancient buildings, you’ll find it here. Casinos, restaurants, museums, chic shops, pristine beaches and coral reefs are just the beginning. In Puerto Rico, you’ll never run out of things to do. And remember, no passport is required for US residents.

Arecibo Radio Telescope & Observatory

In the northwest mountains of the island, nestled among the karst-country hills, is the Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory, or Radio Telescope, the largest of its kind and one of the most important research facilities on the face of the earth.

The huge dish––more than a dozen football fields could fit inside––sits in a sinkhole and is forever aimed at the sky, tuned to detect the slightest sounds emitted by the farthest stars.

It is the place where planets outside our solar system were discovered and is the home base for NASA’s SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), which you may remember from the Jodie Foster movie, “Contact,” part of which was filmed here.

In the Visitors’ Center you will see how the colossal structure is used to study radio emissions from distant galaxies, quasars, pulsars and many other cosmic sources. The exhibits are interactive and contain extensive information on astronomy and atmospheric science.

It is the impressive size and magnitude of the tiled dish that leaves visitors breathless when they hike to the viewing platform and see it glimmering in the sun. Indeed, it is one of the only landmarks in Puerto Rico that can easily be seen from a jetliner passing by at 33,000 feet!


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