A private van and driver takes your group to the world's largest radio observatory.
In addition to providing a unique setting for Hollywood filmmakers, the Arecibo Observatory has accomplished many things. It has given us detailed maps of the distribution of galaxies in the universe, established the rotating rate of Mercury, confirmed Einstein's theory of general relativity, secured a Nobel Prize for astronomers Hulse and Taylor for the first pulsar in a binary system, and more (all beyond my intellect!). When you return, you can explain it to me!
The 1.5 hour ride from San Juan will take you through the mountains to the small town of Arecibo, where the Observatory is located.
Those who see the Arecibo Radio Telescope for the first time are astounded by the enormity of the reflecting surface, or radio mirror. It is a huge "dish" that is 1,000 feet in diameter and, with all the aluminum panels and steel cables, it appears to look like giant tinkertoys.
The Radio Telescope and the Observatory operate on a 24-hour basis, providing observing time, electronics, computer, travel, and logistic support to scientists from all over the world. Arecibo is used for several kinds of research, among them radar studies of solar system objects. A recent refurbishing project has bolstered the telescope's longevity, thereby ensuring its continued use well into the future.
The Arecibo Observatory is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). As the site of the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, the Arecibo Observatory attracts visitors of all ages and from many countries.
In the auditorium, visitors can experience the scientific research facility of the Observatory as a dynamic organism through a 20-minute audiovisual show funded by the Angel Ramos Foundation entitled "A Day in the Life of the Arecibo Observatory." The show tells the story of the people who make Arecibo possible.
- It is about 1.5 hours from Old San Juan to the Observatory.
- The entrance fee to the Observatory is NOT included in the price of this tour. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children and seniors.
- This tour is not available on January 1 or 6, Good Friday, November Election Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas Day.
- If you have a group larger than 5, please contact ShoreTrips for pricing.
Days offered: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday