Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 14 Oct 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces.
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Effective 16 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-062.
🍔 In order to be admitted to a bunch of different places (restaurants, bars, theaters, tours, excursions, casinos, etc) you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Other types of businesses may, at their option, require this documention to access their facility.This applies to all people 12 (twelve) years old and older. Effective 23 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-063.
✈️ All domestic travelers arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older.If you are un-vaccinated and do not have negative results when you arrive to PR, you have 48 hours to produce those results. Otherwise you will be fined $300 per person. See the PR Government Travel Safe site for details, and to submit your contact tracing information

Look Beyond Our World at the Arecibo Observatory

12/2020 Update- The Observatory has collapsed. It is totally gone, CLOSED for now. They will start cleaning it up and once that is safely done, they hope to expand the visitors center and other offerings there.

Arecibo Radio Telescope

The Arecibo Observatory is the home of one of the world’s largest radio telescope, which is used to study the ionosphere and nearby planets as they pass overhead. Since it’s opening in 1963, this radio telescope has been in continuous operation and has made many significant scientific discoveries. And during your trip to Puerto Rico, you can view this huge scientific instrument up close and personal.

This is not a must see trip for everyone. This is not a beautiful garden, nor amusing tour. This is a learning experience. And, unless you are pretty interested in natural science, you will find this place boring. But if you are interested in space or science, then you’ll probably have a great time here.

Once you arrive at the observatory, you’ll park in the parking lot , which is located below the exhibits and telescope. Be forewarned that you will have to walk up a fairly steep hill to get to the Observatory itself. The walkway is a combination of steps and an inclined side walk. Lots of people complain about the walk, but it wasn’t really that bad. There’s a small stand that sells Pina Coladas and sodas about half way up. If you have elderly or handicapped people in your party, tell the attendant at the bottom of the steps and they’ll call the observatory’s minivan to give those people a (free) ride up to the entrance.

Once at the top, get your tickets and go in to start learning. Exhibits at the Arecibo ObservatoryThe place has a ton of hands-on exhibits explaining and demonstrating how and why things happen in our galaxy. They have the exhibits broken into sections – some about the earth and our solar system, the stars and galaxies, and others on tools and technology used in studying these natural sciences. They even have some meteors on display. A real science geek could spend hours learning here. The information is geared to children about 10 (maybe with a little help from an adult) and up. The information may be too much for younger kids, but they will enjoy pressing the buttons and watching what happens.

Most of the exhibits require reading the how and why, then pressing a button the see what you just learned about in action. I am not a real science geek, but enjoyed some of the exhibits very much. I even bought a replica night sky disc that shows what star constellations are in the sky on any given night.

They show a movie (about 20 minutes) that explains "a day at the telescope". It was a bit cheesy, but it did amaze me, in that it showed how important and busy this telescope actually is. Scientists from all over the world have to schedule appointments all day and night to come and use this telescope. They are finding far away galaxies and learning about the sun and stars and all sorts of neat science stuff. This was a shocker to me as I had heard a rumor that all they did at the telescope was try to find flying saucers!

After the movie, you exit the building to where you can see the huge radio telescope. It is an impressive sight.

Parts of two Hollywood movies have been filmed here, Contact (with Jodie Foster) and 007- Golden Eye. So before you visit, check out the movies! Kind of neat.

Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for children (5-12y) (all plus tax).They sometimes also have a VIP Tour to have closer access to the dish, but this costs more.

8/20- currently closed Open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00am until 3:00pm.

Allow 1 hour for your visit. There are clean bathrooms, a gift shop, and a small snack area.

For more information, call 787-878-2612 Ext. 346 or 786-462-6508.

Visit the Observatory’s website www.naic.edu and click on the ” Visitor Center” tab. You can also buy your tickets online!

From the San Juan area, take Route 22 west to Arecibo – exit 77b. Then Route 129 south. There are signs to guide you once you get off of Route 22. The Observatory is located at the end of Road 625.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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My husband really wanted to see this but I could care less. However when we got there and watched the movie and saw the radio telescope I even thought it was really impressive and interesting. I thought the exhibits were pretty cool. I like how the majority of them were interactive. We were told that to fix the reflectors in the bowl area a person can not weight more than 120 pounds or it will break the reflectors. I'm guessing women or children do the maintenance work on the reflectors? haha

Comment by Michele on 15 Nov 2011

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