Rico Weather averages 82 degrees year round
land, and mountain breezes are fairly constant,
helping to keep temperatures all over Puerto Rico at a
comfortable level, and the climate is fairly stable
year-round, with an average temperature of between
80 - 85 degrees during the day and 70 -75 at night.
detailed weather information, click
World's largest Single-Dish Radio Telescope is located in
dish is nestled in the hills of the City of Arecibo.
The dish measures a thousand feet in diameter and
spans about 20 acres, and is the most sensitive radio
telescope in the World, with the capability to probe
objects 10 billion light-years away. It
took some of the first pictures of Earth's changing
surface signaling global warming and has mapped the
surface of Mars with more precision than any other
instrument. It's the only radio telescope in the world
that can predict with accuracy just where and when an
asteroid would hit Earth.
Arecibo Observatory made popular by research done here
looking for extraterrestrials. In fact part of
the movie "Contact", was filmed here. The
dish was also displayed in the climactic last scene in
the James Bond movie "Goldeneye", the
(inevitable) showdown between 007 and the bad guy took
place right here. The huge radar/radio telescope at
the Arecibo Observatory is a great photo opportunity.
observatory is part of the National Astronomy and
Ionosphere Center operated by Cornell University, an
interactive visitors center offers basics on astronomy
and atmospheric science. Open Wed.-Fri. noon-4 p.m.;
Sat.-Sun., Holidays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $3.50 adults, $1.50
children and senior citizens. Take Route 129 to 134,
then Route 635 to 625, which ends at the observatory.
Watch for road signs. Arecibo; 878-2612
more information about the dish, click
Puerto Rico is roughly the size of Connecticut.
Puerto Rico is a relatively small
island, roughly 110 miles long by 35 miles wide. With
a population of almost 4 million, it's one of the most densely populated
islands in the World,
Yunque is the only tropical Rainforest in the U.S.
National Forest System.
approximately 45 minutes to an hour from the ritzy
resorts of San Juan, a trip to El Yunque rain forest
is a visit to a primitive land that has remained
virtually unchanged. El Yunque offers trail
hikes, waterfalls, grand vistas and a variety of birds
(including a rare parrot), flora, and some wildlife.
You'll also be happy to know that there are no
dangerous animals in the rainforest.
The only rain
forest in the National Parks system, El Yunque is a
28,000-acre forest preserve, located about an hour
outside of San Juan in the central eastern region.
Hike along the 13 trails that cover 23 miles of
breathtaking terrain, picnic alongside such
spectacular sites as La Coca Falls, learn about the
delicate ecosystem of rain forests from around the
world at the El Portal Tropical Forest Center, or
enjoy the dramatic views from the Yokahu Observation
Tower. Guided tours are available through the forest's
Rent-a-Ranger program. Reservations for guided tours
Open daily 8
a.m.-5 p.m.; closed on Christmas. The El Portal Center
opens at 9 a.m. Admission $3 for adults; $1.50 for
children 5 to 12 and seniors 65 and older; children 4
and younger free. Route 191, Río Grande; 888-1880.
more information, click
Rico was "discovered" by Christopher Columbus.
1493, on his second voyage to the new world, Columbus
discovered the Island of Puerto Rico and claimed it for Spain.
In1898 at the end of the Spanish - American War,
Puerto Rico became a US Territory.
For more history
of Puerto Rico, click here.
Rico's unofficial mascot is a tiny Tree Frog found only on
tiny tree frog is called a "Coqui". It's a
very popular creature throughout the island and
creates romantic evenings with its timid ko-kee
sound that it makes dusk to dawn, hence it's name.
When The inch-long amphibian has a powerful
and melodic voice, and its high-pitched,
chirrupy song can be heard for miles. The Coqui
is a cute, much-loved symbol of
more information about the Coqui, click
than 70% of the Rum sold in the U.S. comes from Puerto
Rican rum goes back about 400 years and Puerto Rico is
known as the "Rum Capital of the
and Don Q are the largest producers on the island, and
Puerto Rico is the only rum-producer in the world to
maintain a minimum aging law for its rum. Another very
popular rum is "Ron Del Barrilito". You can
get three main categories of rum here: light, dark,
is home to Bacardi's largest rum distillery in the
world, this plant produces over 21 million cases a
year. Guided tours of the plant take you through the
rum-making process, and the museum near the entrance
chronicles the history of rum and the Bacardi family.
Visiting Bacardi is a great way to learn about the
rum-making process and sample some complimentary
tours given every half hour Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
except holidays. Route 165, km. 2.6, Cataño;
more information about Puerto Rican Rums, click
Juan is the second largest cruise port, and the second
oldest City in the western hemisphere.
City of Old San Juan is the second oldest City in the
western hemisphere and the oldest City under the US
flag. It is also the second largest cruise port
hub in the Caribbean.
the oldest Churches in the Americas are in Old San Juan.
in the 1530s, the Iglesia de San José
(or "Church of San José") in Old San
Juan is the second oldest church in the western
hemisphere, and a wonderful example of Spanish
More famous (and beautiful)
is the Catedral de San Juan (or "San
Juan Cathedral"), which is merely steps
away on Cristo Street. The most important
religious landmark in Puerto Rico, the cathedral
was originally built in the 1520s but fell
victim to two hurricanes, attacks, and lootings.
The Cathedral also has an interesting tour which
includes the remains of Ponce de León (which
were removed from the Iglesia de San José in
1908 and relocated here) and a wax-covered,
glass-encased mummy of a saint.
Puerto Rico has its own "Galapagos Island."
the eastern shore of mainland Puerto Rico, (roughly 50
miles away from Mayagüez) lies Mona Island, which has
been compared to the Galapagos island for its
unspoiled-by-man natural beauty and its colony of iguanas,
which practically overrun the place. The Mona Iguana,
found nowhere else on the planet, is the star of the show
here. While the iguanas are benign creatures, they're not
easy to visit because the island is protected.
Rico has over 270 miles of Beaches.
not just the sheer volume of beachfront that
makes Puerto Rico a favorite Caribbean
destination, but the quality and variety of
them. From beaches with black, magnetic sand to
beaches with rusted military tanks left as a
poignant memorial; from secluded, idyllic spots
to glitzy, star-studded stretches of
resort-front property; and from surfing havens
to tranquil waters, Puerto Rico has a tremendous
variety of beaches.
For more about Puerto
Rico's beaches, click
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