A trip to Puerto Rico is not complete without descending into the depths of a million year old cave! Few cave systems in the world are as massive or dramatic as the Rio Camuy Cave Park. If that's not enough, wait until you see the Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest radar/radio telescope, nestled in the tropical mountains of northern Puerto Rico.
- Day trip to the Rio Camuy Cave Park and Arecibo Observatory from San Juan
- Descend into the depths of a million year old cave
- Enjoy a guided tour of the third largests underground river cavern in the world
- Visit the world's largest radar/radio telescope
- Complimentary pickup and drop off from most San Juan hotels
Recent Photos of This Tour
What You Can Expect
This tour takes you from San Juan to Northwestern Puerto Rico, part of the third largest underground river cavern system in the world. You'll enjoy a safe, guided tour of the marvels. From sinkholes and cathedral-like caverns to views of the mysterious river and its eons-old stalactites and stalagmites. Be sure to wear comfortable, non-slippery shoes! This tour also takes you to where you'll see the largest radar/radio telescope. Operated by Cornell University, the telescope probes the ionosphere, examines planets and monitors natural radio emissions from distant galaxies, pulsars and quasars.
The caves at Camuy are actually 45 million years old, but it took a few million years for nature to adorn their towering ceilings with crystalline stalactites, their walls with flowing stone tapestries and their floors with mushroom mounds of stalactites. Few cave systems in the world are as massive or dramatic as the Rio Camuy Cave Park; none have a thundering tropical river traversing countless miles of uncharted channels. Three crater-like sinkholes and one cave of the huge system in the park are open to the public and they are truly memorable experiences.
The Arecibo Observatory is nestled in the mountains of northern Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from Arecibo and is the world's largest radar/radio telescope. Here, scientists from all over the world use a giant 1000 foot (305 meter) diameter dish to listen to the universe. You may view the huge telescope from an observation platform, where its austere metallic symmetry shimmers in dramatic contrast with the dense, green, tropical landscape.
This tour was well worth the money spent for our family of three. We were picked up at the hotel on time though it would be nice if the vans/busses themselves also has the company logo... even if a magnet... on the outside because the number of tour busses that passed through our hotel made it difficult to tell which bus was what and we had to rely on the guide's shirt logo. As we drove to the cave, Ricky our tour guide provided us with a running commentary about San Juan and the different areas of Puerto Rico we were passing through.
At the caves, park officials take over. You're given a number for the tram and told where to purchase your admission ticket. You will likely have to wait 20-60 minutes for the tram down to the caves. It's OK because there are some vendors in the waiting area and you can get food and drink while looking at small souvenirs. However, be ready to go when they call you. The caves are very open, so claustrophobia isn't an issue. Once we were done with our tour, we were given the chance to use the restroom again before boarding our bus.
Our bus driver took us to a nearby restaurant where we were able to dine cafeteria-style cost is 8 for a main dish, two sides and a soda... not included in your ticket price. Though the food was decent, it wasn't great. Still, it was a quick stop and we were on our way.
Arecibo Observatory is located in the mountains and you have to pass through some pretty narrow and twisty roads to get there. For this reason alone, we were glad we booked a tour versus renting a car and navigating there ourselves. Once at Arecibo, the bus parks and you have to walk 5-10 minutes up a hill to get to the observatory. You will pay for admission at the top of the hill. There's a small museum with lots of activities suited for elementary aged kids, but the unquestionable highlight is the radiotelescope. Take time to listen to the movie and then enjoy the views. Don't miss Taylor's Nobel Prize which is on display on the second floor of the museum.
Once you are done, you will board the bus and be returned to your pick-up point.
Caves are awesome!