It’s not every destination that lets you visit both a natural wonder and a scientific marvel that have few rivals in the world. Puerto Rico lets you do it in a day. If you want to experience something truly unique, ask your concierge about a tour to Camuy and Arecibo. The two destinations are close to each other and only about an hour’s drive from San Juan. Both are jaw-dropping attractions.
Camuy is home to the third largest subterranean river in the world. Through the centuries, these waters have carved and sculpted incredible works of art, gouged out of an extensive cave system. Today, the Río Camuy Cave Park lets you explore a few of these caves in a well-lit, guided tour that takes you on a quarter-mile trail into the heart of a green, mountainous region. Some of these caverns are immense, with the 170-foot-high Cueva Clara easily the most awesome in the system (that we have access to). The natural formations range from impressive stalagmites and stalactites to billowing curtains of rock and amorphous shapes that can be best interpreted by your imagination (although your guide will throw out his or her suggestions, some of them quite mischievous). It’s an easy walk, but for those who crave a closer and more daring exploration of the caves, adventure companies offer caving and excursions that will have you swimming the underground river and crawling through its less accessible environs.
If nature’s artistry doesn’t wow you, perhaps scientific achievement will. Close to Camuy, the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world is nestled among the mountains of Arecibo. The Arecibo telescope is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The dish spans a thousand feet, is over 150 feet deep, and covers about 20 acres. Suspended in midair 450 feet above the dish is a 900-ton platform, which is supported by 18 cables.
Arecibo is also the world’s most sensitive radio telescope, and one of the most important centers for research in radio astronomy (detecting radio emissions from the far reaches of the universe), atmospheric science (the study of the composition, temperature and density of the Earth’s atmosphere) and radar astronomy (the mapping of heavenly bodies).
It’s also something of a celebrity. Have you seen 007’s Goldeneye, or Jodie Foster’s Contact? Then you’ve seen the Arecibo telescope.
Maybe it’s time for a close encounter.
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500 Alhambra en Granada Boulevard, Caguas, Puerto Rico, United States, 726, (1)(787) 653-1111
Play a round of golf, lounge by the pool, or enjoy the lush hillsides from the comfort of our hotel, a short drive from downtown San Juan.