(Spanish pronunciation: [aˈɾesiβo]) is a municipality
on the northern coast of
(U.S.), on the shores of the
Atlantic Ocean, located north of
and Ciales; east of Hatillo;
and west of Barceloneta and Florida. It is about 50 miles (80 km)
west of San Juan, the capital city.
is the largest
by area, and is part of the San Juan,
Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is spread over
18 wards and
Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative
center of the city). Its population in 2010 was 96,440.
is also known as La Villa del Capitán Correa (Captain
Correa's Villa) after the Puerto Rican hero Captain Antonio de los
Reyes Correa of the Spanish Army, who drove off a British Navy
invasion by ambushing forces led by rear-admiral William Whetstone.
is also known as El Diamante Del Norte (The Diamond of the
North) and La Ribera del
(The Bank of the Arecibo).
Observatory, until July 2016 the world's largest radio
telescope, is located here.
is the seat of the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Arecibo.
4.1 Landmarks and places of interest
5.1 Festivals and events
5.3 Radio stations
9.2 Coat of arms
12 Notable people
13 See also
15 External links
When the Spanish arrived, they found the area occupied by the
indigenous Taíno, led by Xamaica Arasibo,
Cacique (chief) of the
yucayeque (town) then named Abacoa.
Spanish colonists settled
Arecibo in 1556, which they named for the
cacique. It was their third settlement on the island, after Caparra
(which later became San Juan), and San German. It is named after the
Arecibo was officially founded as a city by the Spanish crown
on May 1, 1616, under the governorship of Captain Felipe de Beaumont y
Navarra, when the
King of Spain
King of Spain granted the land (and the Taino living
there) to Lope Conchillos. This gave the city its
nickname "La Villa del Capitan Correa".
For some time the island was competed for by other European powers. On
August 5, 1702, Captain Antonio de los Reyes Correa, a member of the
Spanish Army, successfully defended
Arecibo from a British Navy
invasion led by rear-admiral William Whetstone. Commanding two British
Navy ships and 40 men, Whetstone tried to take control of the city.
Correa ambushed his forces, killing 22 British seamen and driving them
off. The Spanish defenders suffered only one death and three wounded
In 1778, Arecibo, by royal decree, was awarded the "Villa" status,
though it was not integrated as such until 1802. In 1850 it was
awarded the "Muy Leal" (very loyal). Over time, large part of its
territory became separate municipalities. These include Manati,
Barceloneta, Florida, Utuado, Jayuya, Hatillo, Camuy,
Isabela. In 1982, it was promoted to city status, though it continued
to be affectionately by its previous nickname.
Arecibo is located in the Northern Coastal Plain region of Puerto
Rico, extending inland into the Karst region. It lies south of the
Atlantic Ocean; north of Utuado; east of Hatillo; and west of
Barceloneta and Florida. The city occupies an area of 127 square miles
(330 km2), of which, 45.23 sq mi (117.1 km2), is
Rio Grande de Arecibo
Rio Grande de Arecibo is the main river in the municipality,
running through the middle of it. South of the municipality, in the
karst region, it forms the Dos Bocas Lake, a primary source of water
for Northern Puerto Rico. Several rivers feed the Rio Grande,
including the Tanama River. East of the river, lies Caño Tiburones,
an important marshland area that provides habitat for many kinds of
birds and wildlife.
Arecibo has two forest reserves.
Cambalache State Forest is located
along the Barceloneta city limits, while
Rio Abajo State Forest is
Arecibo and Utuado. Caves include Cueva Ventana, which
overlooks a valley formed by the Rio Grande de Arecibo, and La Cueva
del Indio (Cave of the Indian), where paintings made by prehistoric
indigenous peoples have been seen.
Tropical monsoon climate, occasionally also known as a tropical wet
climate or tropical monsoon and trade-wind littoral climate in climate
classification, is a relatively rare type of climate. The Köppen
Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Am". (Tropical
Climate data for Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Average high °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
Landmarks and places of interest
Cathedral of Saint Philip the Apostle
Cathedral of Saint Phillip Apostle
Arecibo is one of the oldest colonial towns in
Puerto Rico (1616).
Among its historic buildings is the Cathedral of Saint Phillip
Apostle, built beginning in the late 18th century. The first church,
built in the middle of the 17th century, was destroyed by an
earthquake in 1787. Construction of its replacement began soon after,
although it was not completed until 1846. Four days after its
dedication, an earthquake seriously damaged it. Repairs were not
completed until 1882. The 1918 earthquake damaged the vault so badly
that it was replaced by a flat concrete roof; a vaulted ceiling of
composition board was placed inside.
The cathedral of
Arecibo is Puerto Rico's second-largest church after
the Cathedral of San Juan. The plan is rectangular with three naves;
the side naves are cut short to allow large flanking chapels, which
occupy almost half the length of the church. The apse is semicircular,
and has an unusual half-dome covering it. The facade is a triangular
composition of three stages. The top stage, a short central tower, is
a later addition, according to local architects and historians.
Neoclassic ornamentation is used in an academic fashion on the lowest
stage, but the other two show a less traditional use of bands and
pilasters. The Renaissance-style windows are uncommon in Puerto Rican
churches, but the central tower over the entrance is a common motif
used throughout the island.
The City Hall, built in 1866, served as jail to revolutionaries of El
Grito de Lares in 1868. In the 1918 earthquake, the frontal section of
the building was destroyed. When repairs were made, a tower and clock
were added to the building. In 1978, the building was restored to its
The City Hall of
Arecibo is typical of these regional seats of
government. It is relatively modest in size, of stuccoed masonry, with
an academically correct composition, having a pedimented center
pavilion which projects slightly. The lower story is rusticated, with
arched openings; the three doorways in the center giving the effect of
a loggia. The upper windows all have segmental pediments and
balconies; the central trio share one long balcony. Architectural
detailing is modest, but the building is graceful and charming.
Punta Los Morrillos Lighthouse
In 1898 the Spaniards built the
Arecibo Lighthouse. It was automated
in 1964 and is still in use. A small park,
Arecibo Lighthouse and
Historical Park, has been established around it.
Arecibo Observatory is the largest single-unit radio telescope
ever constructed and one of the world's most powerful radar-radio
telescopes. The observatory's purpose is to support scientific
studies. It has attracted several
Hollywood directors who have filmed
there; most recently
GoldenEye and Contact. The radio telescope was
used in 1974 to send the
Arecibo message to space.
Cambalache Forest Reserve
Punta los Morrillos lighthouse
Edificio Oliver, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic
Arecibo and Barceloneta.
Originally a residence built by Spanish immigrant Francisco Ulanga, it
has served multiple uses. It was later used as a bank, store, city
hall of Arecibo, hospital, jail, tribunal, and is now operated as the
Arecibo Cultural Center.
Cueva del Indio
Cueva del Indio from the air, 1967
Archeological site where Taíno drawings can be found.
Christopher Columbus statue
The "Birth of the New World" (depicts Christopher Columbus);
Arecibo. 295 ft (90 m). The work of Russian sculptor
Zurab Tsereteli. When completed, it will be the tallest statue in the
Dos Bocas Lake
Reservoir located between the municipalities of
Arecibo and Utuado.
Paseo Victor Rojas (Victor Rojas Walk)
Also known as Paseo de Damas or simply El Fuerte, it was built in 1881
where Fort San Miguel's ruins once were.
Manuel "Petaca" Iguina Coliseum
Home of the
Arecibo Captains basketball team.
Nearby beaches include Los Morillos, Los Negritos, Poza del Obispo,
and Las Tunas.
Museum of Art and History of Arecibo
Shows art from local artists and shows the city's history.
Also nearby (18°29′N 66°26′W / 18.483°N 66.433°W /
18.483; -66.433) is a facility for launching sounding rockets. Since
1966 many rockets of the Nike Apache, Nike Javellin, Nike Iroquois,
Nike Tomahawk, Black Brant, Taurus Orion, and Terrier Orion types have
been launched from this facility.
Festivals and events
Bicycle Competitions – January
Arecibo Carnival – February
Festival de paracaidismo de Puerto Rico (Freefall festival of
Puerto Rico) – February
Patron Festivities San Felipe Apóstol – May
Playero Festival – July
Folklore Festival – July
Craftsman Fair – September
Ceti Festival – November
Puerto Rico's Flag Centennial – December
Yesenia Montero's Horse festival – December
Arecibo has two professional sports franchises, the Lobos de Arecibo
in baseball and the
Capitanes de Arecibo
Capitanes de Arecibo in BSN basketball. The Lobos
won the 1983 national baseball championship and the 1983 Caribbean
World Series, the only time the franchise won both titles. At that
time, they had MLB prospect Dickie Thon, then also of the Houston
Astros, on their roster. Thon then suffered a life-threatening and
career-affecting eye injury during an Astros game in 1984. The Lobos
won a championship again in 1996.
The Capitanes won their first ever championship in 1959. After that,
the Capitanes have not had much luck in their basketball tournaments,
but in 2002, they started to turn things around, reaching the
semifinals. However, they lost the series to the Vaqueros by losing
four straight games, after having a 3–0 game lead in the series. The
Capitanes won the
National Superior Basketball
National Superior Basketball championship on 2005
beating the Vaqueros of Bayamón in four games. This was the first
championship in 46 years. In 2007 they got to the finals, losing in
the overtime on the seventh game of the series against Los Cangrejos
de Santurce. In 2008
Arecibo won the tournament championship again,
against the Gigantes of Carolina. In 2010, they won again against Los
Vaqueros of Bayamon.
WCMN-FM – Hot 102 107.3 FM (re-transmitter)
WCMN-AM – NotiUno 1280 AM
WNIK-FM – Super K 106 FM
WNIK-AM – Radio Unica
WMIA-AM – MIA Radio
Arecibo 1070 AM 
Arecibo's main shopping mall is Plaza del Atlantico as well as the one
situated in the neighboring town of Hatillo, Plaza del Norte.
Arecibo is home to Fortune 500 corporations such as Merck, General
Electric. Other important companies are Thermo King Corporation,
Eaton, Los Cidrines, Expressway Eco Printing, and
The municipality of
Arecibo is 60.24% white (of European descent),
26.23% mixed (multi-racial, including European, African and Native
American, as individuals self-identify), 9.7% black (African-Puerto
Rican descent), and 3.8% Asian (south Asian or east Asian).[citation
needed] The majority of the population is mostly of Spanish descent,
but there has been intermmarriage with more recent groups from other
parts of Europe. with some having Middle Eastern, French, Italian,
American or of other descent. People who are multi-racial may also
have ancestors more than one of the European groups, and among more
than one African nation as well. Ethnic Asians are mostly from India
See also: Mayoralty in Puerto Rico
All municipalities in
Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected
every four years. The current mayor of
Arecibo is Carlos Molina, of
the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2012 general
The city belongs to the
Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is
represented by two Senators. In 2008, José Emilio González and Angel
Martínez were elected as District Senators.
The flag of
Arecibo derives its composition and colors from the coat
of arms of the city. It is divided vertically in two equal parts. The
left side is blue having a belt that stands for "Captain Correa", a
local military hero from Spanish times. The right side is made up of
blue and yellow diamonds alternating in a checkerboard pattern
referring to the coat of arms of Felipe de Beaumont y Navarra governor
Puerto Rico (1614–1620) and founder of the city. The crown
Arasibo (Fransico Jamaica Arasibo).
The turtles represent the ancientness of the city (the third city of
Puerto Rico) also because of the indigenous people of the region and
that the hunting of turtles was a source of wealth. The towers were a
form to describe the population of a settlement. Three towers
represent a municipality, four towers represent a village, and five
towers represent a city.
Coat of arms
The shield is divided by diagonal lines in golden and blue rhombuses
with a blue stripe in the superior part, in which resides an opened
five-point crown and which is adorned with drawings characterizing the
art of the Taínos. The people of
Arecibo also honored Captain Antonio
de los Reyes Correa by including a gold colored belt in their coat of
arms with the words "Muy Leal", which means "Very Faithful", in
representation of Correa. This combination of symbols represents
Cacique (Chieftain) from whom the population's name
derives, the governor that erected the town and the hero Captain
Correa who defended the town from a British invasion.
Arecibo has a small noncommercial airport, named Antonio (Nery) Juarbe
Pol Airport, which currently has no commercial airline flights.
PR-22 (unsigned Interstate PR-2) passes through the city, but bypasses
downtown. Downtown can be accessed via PR-2,
PR-10 and PR-129.
Arecibo is home to several public and private schools distributed
through several regions. Public education is handled by the State
Department of Education.
There are also several colleges and universities located in the city.
Some of them are:
Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Interamerican University of Puerto Rico
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico
Universidad del Este
It also has several other technical institutions like the National
College of Business and Technology and the ICPR Junior College.
The following is a list of notable people from Arecibo:
Antonio de los Reyes Correa
Antonio de los Reyes Correa – military hero
Arasibo – Taino Cacique
Cayetano Coll y Cuchí
Cayetano Coll y Cuchí – the first President of
Puerto Rico House of
Cayetano Coll y Toste
Cayetano Coll y Toste – historian
Delma S. Arrigoitia
Delma S. Arrigoitia – author
Edna Coll – educator
Francisco Gonzalo Marín
Francisco Gonzalo Marín – poet who fought for Cuba's independence
Isabel Cuchí Coll – journalist
José Coll y Cuchí
José Coll y Cuchí – politician; founder of Puerto Rican
Luisa Capetillo – union leader/civil rights activist
Manuel Zeno Gandía
Manuel Zeno Gandía – author
María Cadilla – educator
Melba Acosta – Secretary of Treasury of PR
Myrta Silva – singer
René Marqués – playwright
Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the
Arecibo who have distinguished themselves, and therefore a
category has been created to this effect:
See also: Category:People from Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico portal
Roman Catholic Diocese of Arecibo
^ a b "American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Archived from the
original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
^ Demographics/Ethnic U.S. 2000 census
^ "Arecibo, Puerto Rico". Topuertorico.org. 1947-03-31. Retrieved
^ Climate Summary
^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on May 8,
^ (in Spanish) 
^ Sandra Caquías Cruz (2012-03-30). "La estatua de Colón llegará a
El Nuevo Día
El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-06-08.
^ Official web page of WMIA (AM)
^ Elecciones Generales 2008: Escrutinio General Archived 2011-11-20 at
the Wayback Machine. on CEEPUR
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Arecibo.
Arecibo and its barrios,
United States Census Bureau, 2000
Puerto Rico Arecibo
Arecibo Observatory Home
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
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