Now doesn't this look like a fantastic place to spend the day? If you like lighthouses, history, a fantastic shore line, the beach, and an up and coming city, you have to go to Arecibo. Last week on Wednesday, my sister Doris and I went to the restored Arecibo Lighthouse. It has been preserved and its surroundings enhanced for educational purposes in a fun atmosphere. Arecibo has a history related to pirates and a private organization has restored the lighthouse and brought in educational elements related to Arecibo's buccaneer, indigeous indian, and Spanish history to make a small historical park. You can see the small "Arasibo" Taino village, a pirate ship, Spanish galleons, colorful murals, the lighthouse, and its treacheours seashore from the park. It is well worth the $10.00 entrance fee.
After viewing the park and taking an excessive amount of pictures we decided to stop for a snack. At the park itself there is a large open air snack shop with its view of the Atlantic, and on that day it was full of adorable preschoolers on a field trip, so we decided to taste one of their pastellilos to hold us over and search for a restaurant. There are two places that can be recommended, Picholo's Restaurant which is where the locals go to eat or El Salitre, both on routh 681, where the Lighthouse is located. Picholo's is an inconspicuous restaurant on the way to the lighthouse and you don't want to miss it. El Salitre is about a mile down the road right there on the ocean. On Wednesday, Doris and I went to Picholo's and enjoyed a filete of swordfish with tostones and salad, which is one of their house specialties. Excellent choice. We chose to try something new and we were both very pleased.
Before or after lunch you have several options. Either see Arecibo's beautiful Plaza, the equivalent to a town square, with its restored church and colonial buildings taking you back to the time of Spanish occupation or go to the beach right next to the Lighthouse with it's pocita (small natural saltwater pool) or continue down road 681 towards Barceloneta and enjoy the seaside scenic route and seeing the bustling life in another typical Puerto Rican town. It's your choice.
Next time we are going to hit the beach first, bring two or three gallons of water to wash up with, visit the lighthouse and then have lunch and a ride around town, or head towards the Camuy Caverns. Now that is another trip I have to tell you about on another blog entry.
Now to get to Arecibo easily, take Route 22, from San Juan and head west. This might take you an hour, and then take route 10 north to downtown and follow the well marked signs to the Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park located off route 681. In fact you can get more information at www.arecibolighthouse.com .