When you go to the Arecibo Observatory, you also have the opportunity to stop in the Angel Ramos Foundation Visitor Center. The entrance fee i s $6 for adults and $4 for children and seniors. The visitor center is located at the top of the hill away from the parking lot. There are a number of exhibits to take in. There is also a small theater where visitors can watch a short fill about the history of the observatory. I nearly fell asleep during the movie. One of the exhibits was a huge piece of meteor, but I believe it was a recreation. the visitor's center is usually open 9 AM to 4 PM Monday thru Sunday except during the winter time when it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Arecibo Observatory houses the world's larges single dish radio telescope. I had never heard of this place before, but Jason being the sci-fi nerd that he is, immediately reminded me of the two movies I had probably seen it in, Contact and Goldeneye. I didn't like the drive here at all. You travel down some very skinny and windy roads. Once you arrive you have to climb up a pretty steep hill to get to the telescope. I hate to admit, the view is rather impressive. Jason was in heaven. While you are hear of course you will see the telescope, also stop into the visitor's center and the gift shop. I found some nice gifts that weren't super expensive.
Located here in Arecibo is the largest radar/radio telescope in the world used to monitor radio emissions from distant galaxies, pulsars, quasars and other sources. Must be seen to be believed. It is a 600-ton platform suspended over a 20-acre (yes you read right) dish set in a sinkhole 565 feet below.
An Observatory located up in the hills in central Puerto Rico. It's surrounded by lush foliage resembling the nearby rain forest. A short hike takes you to the observation deck and a small but interesting science museum.
The observatory's official website is http://www.naic.edu.
It's part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), a national research center operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Theater and drama performances.
Teatro Oliver, one of the oldest theaters of Puerto Rico, was recently restored to its 19th century beauty. The location of the theater, surrounded by some of the most historical buildings of Arecibo, give the theater an unique view of a by gone era.
The Arecibo Observatory is really amazing to see in person....it's massive! It's definitely worth the time to stop and see, plus the drive through the hills just to get there is fun too.
Historical buildings sightseeing.
A interesting mix of architectural styles spanning over two centuries.