East of the Dominican Republic, the mountain island of Puerto Rico lies nestled between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Its location creates a tropical marine climate. Beaches ring most of the island, from the northern coastal plain to the rocky western coast. The land is a convergence of Spanish and American cultures. Puerto Rico’s past can be seen in the 17th century architecture of the churches and plazas of Ponce. The capital, San Juan, is the oldest city in the Americas, so it too suffers no dearth of historical charm. Iglesia Porta Coeli is home to the oldest Church in the New World.
And yet, within this rich realm of preserved antiquation, the Arecibo Observatory, in northwestern Puerto Rico, stands out as one of earth’s most technologically significant astronomical tools - the largest single-dish radio telescope on earth used by scientists from all over the world. The natural wonders of Puerto Rico are many - one can scuba dive to the coral reefs of Mona Island, or take a nighttime swim with the phosphorescent pyrodiniums that light up the waters of Mosquito Bay.