The island’s Atlantic-facing northern region is home to 13 towns: Arecibo, Barceloneta, Camuy, Carolina, Dorado, Florida, Hatillo, Manatí, Quebradillas, Toa Alta, Trujillo Alto, Vega Alta, and Vega Baja. Carolina adjoins San Juan: LMM International Airport and the hotels of Isla Verde are in Carolina. In the heart of the north is Arecibo, the island’s third-oldest city, settled in 1616. Hatillo hosts much of the island’s dairy industry. To the northwest are Camuy and its famous Río Camuy Cave Park and the Quebradillas surfing beaches. Inland towns like Trujillo Alto, Vega Alta, and Toa Alta are agricultural, manufacturing, and residential centers.
Puerto Rico Tourism Company
Porta Caribe Regional Office: 787-290-2911
Ochoa Bldg., 550 Tanca St., Old San Juan: 787-721-2400 exts. 3901, 3902, 3904 & 3905
LMM International Airport Tourism Office: 787-791-1014
Serving: Arecibo, Barceloneta, Camuy, Carolina, Dorado, Florida, Hatillo, Manatí, Quebradillas, Toa Alta, Trujillo Alto, Vega Alta & Vega Baja
Arecibo Lighthouse & Historical Park, 787-880-7540. Arecibo. 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. Sat. & Sun. A picture-perfect lighthouse, children’s park, and small zoo. Don’t miss the Pirate’s Cave.
Arecibo Observatory, 787-878-2612. Wed.- Sun., holidays; 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. weekends & holidays. World’s largest radio telescope and a fascinating visitors’ center.
Cambalache Forest, 787-881-1004. Barceloneta. 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Tue.-Sun. A perfect place for bird-watching, hiking, and mountain-biking along a 3.5-mile trail. Camping facilities available.
Casa Alonso, 787-855-1364. Vega Baja. 9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. Tue.-Sat. A beautifully restored and furnished home in the middle of town that offers a glimpse of the past. Art and music exhibits.
Mar Chiquita & Golondrinas Cave, 787-884-3428. Manatí. 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. daily. Mar Chiquita is a cove and its shallow pool is a delight, but stay away from the narrow opening and its strong current. Cueva Golondrinas has impressive rock formations and petroglyphs.
Río Camuy Cave Park, 787-898-3100. Camuy. 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m Wed.-Sun. After a short video, take the trolley down to the entrance to the main cave. The day’s last excursion to the sinkhole heads out at 3:30 p.m.
Tortuguero Lagoon Natural Reserve, 787-884-2587. Rd. 686, Vega Baja. 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. daily The reserve features wetlands and serves as habitat and nesting grounds for aquatic wildlife. Interesting local flora is also present.
Vega Alta Forest, 787-883-2240. Vega Alta. Tue.-Sun. 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. A treasure trove of flora and fauna, caves, sinkholes, hiking trails, and more. Recreational facilities available.