Arecibo is a scenic beach town in Puerto Rico's north region.

Arecibo

Puerto Rico’s third-oldest city, Arecibo, is known as the “Village of Captain Correa” in honor of Antonio de los Reyes Correa, who defended the town from a British invasion in the 16th century.

This town is a little over an hour away from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), and worth the ride. Arecibo’s landscape and scenic views are characterized by caves, sinkholes, and limestone hills called mogotes. Arecibo, the municipality with the largest territorial area, is divided into 19 sectors that traverse the unique northern karst region.

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A scuba diver exploring the Cueva del Indio in Puerto Rico.

Dive beneath Cueva del Indio, an impressive cave covered in Indigenous petroglyphs. 

Things to Do

Natural Wonders

The incredible diversity of Arecibo's terrain means visitors can enjoy beaches, caves, mountains, and more in close proximity. The Río Grande de Arecibo and the Tanamá River — two of Puerto Rico’s most important rivers — run across the municipality. Also, one of the Island’s main lakes, Lago Dos Bocas, borders the southern edge of town. Some of the area’s most popular beaches include Hallows and La Poza del Obispo (the Bishop’s Well).

Cambalache Forest Park is home to more than 20 species of birds and more than a dozen caves. There is also the Río Abajo State Forest, a natural space that houses one of the most famous caves in Arecibo, Los Chorros, and Cueva del Indio.

Cultural Landmarks

A rich Spanish heritage can be appreciated in the impressive landmarks displayed throughout the town. The current City Hall served as a jail in the 17th century, when it was mostly occupied by revolutionaries.

Punta Los Morrillos Lighthouse was built by the Spanish government and is now a historical park. Casa Ulanga was originally the residence of a high-ranking Spaniard but has since served as a bank, store, city hall, hospital, and jail, and now operates as the Cultural Center of Arecibo

In Arecibo, you will also find Auto Cine Santana, Puerto Rico's only drive-in theater, established in 1957.

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Group of people cheering with drinks.

Experience ocean-to-table dining at many restaurants in Arecibo.

Dining

Arecibo's dining scene promises a delightful culinary experience with a focus on fresh seafood, refreshing beverages, and the added bonus of stunning views that make your meal a true feast for the senses. The town's most famous restaurant is called Salitre Mesón Costero, a full-service restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for serving fresh, locally caught seafood in dishes like paellas, lobster, stuffed mofongo, and more.

This coastal town is also known for its ceti fish platters. Restaurants like El Nuevo Guayabo and Gustitos Criollos serve turnovers and mofongo stuffed with this tiny transparent fish.

If you're more inclined toward a delectable assortment of meats, be sure to check out Bocata Smokehouse, where you can indulge in a diverse selection of smoked meats while enjoying a beachside view. And, don't miss the chance to end your day at W Bar and delight yourself with one of their delicious cocktails or explore their extensive whiskey menu with more than 85 labels.

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Accommodations

Although Arecibo does not have any big resorts, you’ll find the Arecibo Inn and several other inns, bed-and-breakfasts, and guest houses around town, like the Caño Tiburones Guest House. There are also rental houses and apartments, most of which are listed through Airbnb.

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