Hiking approximately 2 miles. Trails gently descend 200 feet through a fern-filled ravine to yawning, cathedral-like caverns; the slippery footing in cave. Bring a flashlight or headlamp and good hiking shoes.
We’ll board our motorcoach for a field trip to Camuy River Cave Park, where a local expert will give a presentation. This is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular natural wonders, a lush 268-acre park containing the world’s third-largest cave system, formed over the course of a million years by the action of the Camuy River. The river still runs through some of the vast subterranean caverns. While archaeological evidence shows that the native Taíno Indians knew it for centuries, it was “discovered” in 1958. Led by a local resident expert, we’ll hike approximately 2 miles inside the cave. Our experience will begin with a trolley ride down the steep rolling mountainside while enjoying the lush tropical foliage covering the grounds and towering above. At Cueva Clara, which is about 170 feet in height, we’ll walk with a local expert through marvelous stalagmites, stalactites, and other gorgeous natural works of art formed over thousands of years by Rio Camuy. During our exploration, we’ll feel the heat of hundreds of sleeping bats and enjoy sights and sounds of an underground river at a sinkhole of about 150 feet deep.
At a local restaurant, we’ll select a sandwiches or salad plus beverage choices of a soft drink, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Our next field trip will be to the Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest radiotelescope, dedicated in 1963. With a local expert, we’ll learn about the observatory’s history, how and why it was built. The design and implementation led to advances in the electrical engineering areas of antenna design, signal processing, and electronic instrumentation, and in the mechanical engineering areas of antenna suspension and drive systems. The drive system positions all active parts of the antenna with millimeter precision, regardless of temperature changes, enabling the telescope to maintain an accurate focus. Its subsequent operation led to advances in the scientific fields of radio astronomy, planetary studies, and space and atmospheric sciences.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal from a select menu with beverage choices of a soft drink, coffee, iced tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer to San Juan tomorrow.