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Arecibo & Around

Before departing to view the largest telescope in the world at El Observatorio de Arecibo, we had breakfast at Cafeteria Mallorca, which is very well-reviewed both in the guidebook and on Yelp. The mallorca, which is a pastry covered in powdered sugar, was delicious and well priced at $2.75; unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the rest of our inedible breakfast (eggs & pancakes). Stop by for the pastries, but skip the other menu items.

View from the museum of the Arecibo telescope

After an hour on the freeway and an additional 20 minutes on winding, narrow country roads barely fit for one car, let alone two, we arrived at the observatory. For $10 apiece, we were granted access to the small museum, watched an informative video about the telescope, and finally were led out onto the viewing platform, where the 1,000 foot telescope was nestled into the forest. The drive was worth it for science and James Bond buffs (the telescope was featured in the 1995 film Goldeneye).

We decided to skip the nearby Cuevas de Camuy based on the guidebook's description of them as packed with tourists, and instead drove some 40 minutes to Lago Dos Bocas, where a ferry departs every hour to take locals and tourists alike on a two-hour ride along the reservoir tucked in the mountains. Unfortunately, we arrived right after the most recent boat had left, and were informed that the restaurants lining the lake that cater to visitors are only open on weekends.

We headed back to Arecibo, stopping for one of the better lunches we have had at Puerto Coco, an open-air restaurant/bar off the main road on the way to the city's airport.

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