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Luis A. Ferre Science Park: An Eclectic Collection

Posted on Mar 8th, 2009 by • Updated on Oct 15th, 2013

Oct 2013- Currently the park is closed for restoration. I will post when it has reopened. Should be sometime in Summer, 2014. The Art Museum inside the park is open (and free) to visit during restoration.

Luis A Ferre Science Park in Bayamon

I had read a number of things about the Luis A. Ferré Science Park (Parque de las Ciencias Luís A. Ferré in Spanish) on-line and in magazines. I had driven past it numerous times, each time thinking "I really should stop in there and check it out". Well, we finally took the time the other day to spend some time at the "park".

Being into science, I figured that this museum would be interesting and something that I would enjoy. As it turns out, it is a complex of "museums" about all sorts of things — but not really science!

Into the Park

Upon arrival, you pay the admission fee, walk about 3 feet and hand another employee your still-warm tickets and get a map of the park in exchange.

Rockets at the Luis A Ferre Science Park

When we went, they did point out that a number of exhibits were closed for renovation. So, unfortunately, we missed some of the exhibits I would have liked to see — the Planetarium, the Art Museum (which is now open 9/12) and the Aerospace Museum. Hopefully they will be finished with the renovations soon. Note- May 2012- the Art Museum is open Tuesday- Saturday 9am – 4pm. Free admission.

Our first stop was the Health Pavilion. This was the only place where the information was bi-lingual. There was a Dengue mosquito exhibit, but the rest of the displays were in sad disrepair.

Next, we went to the Telephone Museum. This was pretty cool — lots of original phones, telegraphs and switch boards.

Then onto the Marine Ecosystem Museum, which had a number of mounted fish and about 10 fake aquarium dioramas showing how pollution affects the marine animals.

Then to the Zoo, which was pretty sad — a few monkeys, a hippo, some featherless ostriches, a jaguar. All behind so many bars & fences that it was hard to see them.

Transportation Museum at the Luis A Ferre Science Park

We walked up to the large cross and the Observation Tower. That was a difficult/steep climb! But there were some good views (but mostly of the towns).

Then on to some museums that I guess you must have to be Puerto Rican to understand. One was all about Pacheco (a local comedian) and another was Toritos City (I am still wondering what this one was all about!).

There is also a Transportation Museum — mainly antique cars. Probably 50 different cars starting from 1918 or so. Also, an old train locomotive, old bicycle, gas pumps and a small airplane.

El Hombre de Puerto Ferro

The Archaeology Museum has a large collection of Taíno Indian tools & pottery. In addition, they have on display a fragmented human skeleton discovered at the Puerto Ferro site on the island of Vieques (off the east coast of Puerto Rico) in 1990. Radiocarbon dating of the burial site indicates that the male skeleton is 4000 years old. The skeleton, popularly known as El Hombre de Puerto Ferro, is believed to be one of a pre-ceramic and pre-agricultural people who lived here long before the Taíno Indians.

The Museum of Natural Science is Dr Ventura Barnes’ collection of mounted animals from many of his African safaris during the 1960′s. Probably close to 100 animal heads looking at you, along with many African souvenirs. Even furniture made from elephants tusks and feet. I thought it would have been more educational and PC to have some information how this is really frowned upon now, that we should be protecting these animals, and about saving endangered species.

Natural History Museum

Outside of the Aerospace Museum they have a couple rockets, an Army helicopter and an Air Force fighter jet. I believe they are authentic US rockets that were used in the space program. What I don’t understand is why they were sitting in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. There wasn’t much information available on these.

There is also a Television Studio where they film soap operas. That was not open to the public.

Everything seemed incongruous — a huge cross, rockets, a small zoo, a telephone exhibit, an archaeological exhibit, antique cars, a donated collection of African safari trophies, a film studio … I did enjoy my time there, but at the end of the day my overall impression was "I just don’t get it".

Almost everything in the science park is in Spanish. But don’t worry, you won’t miss much as most stuff is not labeled anyway! Just look at it and enjoy.

The Details

The admission fee is $3.00 for kids under 12, $5.00 for adults, and $2.50 for seniors. The Planetarium is an additional $2.00 for kids and $3.00 for adults. Parking is $1.00.

Observation Tower at the Luis A Ferre Science Park

The park is open Wednesday through Friday from 9:00am until 4:00pm, Saturday & Sunday from 10:00am until 6:00pm. They are closed Monday, Tuesday and holidays. The ticket office closes 2 hours before the park closes.

Allow about 2 to 4 hours.

You can call 787-740-6868 or 787-740-6869 for more information.

Directions from the San Juan area: Drive westbound (oeste) on Expressway 22. Take Exit 13, turn left toward Road 167 (go underneath the expressway) and in about one mile you will see the rockets on your right. The drive should take about 20 minutes.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

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7 comments
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  1. I just found this article while trying to figure out what the deal with the place is myself. We went there today we were the only ones in the entire park, other than the many people who seem to work there, but generally ignored us. About an hour later we ran into a small school group that seemed to just be playing on the playground. It was pretty creepy, though fascinating once we got used to it.

    As of January 2010, the aerospace museums was open again, and bilingual! It was largely a mish-mash of frames posters from things like Sky and Telescope magazine, rocket models, space mission patches. There were also such exhbits as “Space as Topic in World Philately” (stamp collecting) and some random models from Star Trek.

    The Art Museum was also open, and with some pretty good art, but lacked signs in English.

    The flight simulator and planetarium were closed, as were some other buildings that I skipped. And the coffee shop was closed, which we’d been counting on to get food at, so I’d recommend anyone considering going plan accordingly.

    Oh, and in Toritos City each building is related to a Puerto Rican television personality/show.

  2. This has been on my “to do” list for a while, but never quite have gotten to do it. It’s still on my “to do” list, but after reading this article it has moved down in priority. My uncle mentioned something positive about the view from the tower, which caught my attention.

    After reading A’s explanation of Toritos City, I imagine there is a building related to Iris Chacon.

    Last time I drove within viewing distance of the park was after going to the Bacardi factory, followed by a full length ride on the Tren Urbano. What a bunch of Jibaros we are, riding on the train just for the ride. :-)

    NOTE to editor: One day I hope to discover and recommend something that’s new to you. Everytime I think of something that might qualify, I eventually end up running into a great write-up on it. I thought this place was going to qualify, but I was searching for Parque de Siencia. The search box at the top of the webpage is a great, GREAT, and much appreciated part of your site. Thank you for it, and for this entire website.

  3. Hi!!! I just wanted to say that this park is currently closed because is under construction. There are lots of areas that are going to be remodeled and many others that are new. I heard its gonna be pretty nice!!! The new “Parque de las Ciencias” will be open next year… Maybe by Summer.

  4. Hi I have been to this park in 2001 and it was very exciting, fundamentally developed for all ages..I revisited in 2007 and again in 2012 but like everyone else stated its in the process of renovating. However, based on the changes that i did see its going to be even more awesome. They said it shhould be open by April 2013 the latest..cnt wait.

  5. Hello, I’m going to be visiting Puerto Rico on holiday between 23 and 26 February and am very keen to get to see the old steam locomotice in the Transportation Museum at the Science Park. Does anyone know if it is likely to be open by then of if there is anyone I can ask in advance for permission to visit? I’d be really grateful if anyone can help me.

  6. I don’t think the park will be open. You can contact the Bayamon tourism office and see if they can help- (787) 798-8085.

  7. I’m from Bayamon and I want to say that this park was magnificent in its heyday, one of my favorite places to go with my family. I especially liked the Planetarium, Ciudad Torito and the lake with the pedal boats (like the one in the Jardin Botanico in Caguas). Unfortunately, they have been remodeling for quite some time now and they always push back the reopening date.

    The “zoo” has always been kind of depressing but it had a “celebrity chimp” called Mono Yuyo that everyone came to visit. He died a couple of years ago.

    Just to clarify, Ciudad Torito is a tribute to comedian Jose Miguel Agrelot aka Don Cholito (the namesake of the Concert Hall in Hato Rey — Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot or Choliseo). Torito was supposed to be a mischievous kid but played by the very adult-like Don Cholito and he used to get in trouble in school. One example where he appeared was el Colegio de la Alegria, a television show (or rather sketch) from the sixties or seventies. He’s not a comedian from my generation but thanks to this attraction at the Parque De Las Ciencias, kids that grew up in the nineties, like me, got to know and appreciate Don Cholito.

    One thing that made me laugh in your article was that the park is, in fact, random and not science-centered at all. I had never thought about this, believe it or not. I think it started out like a science park and then they lost focus and started adding random attractions to bring more people in.

    I predict great things for this park when it reopens because not only are people nostalgic about it, but also, they have now built a hotel, casino, art museum, and a shopping mall around it. Plus, there’s the tower with the cross where people can (and used to) celebrate proms, quiceañeros (coming of age party/sweet 15, i guess) and marriage receptions. I hope this park makes a great comeback when the time comes.

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