Arecibo is a municipality in the northern mid west coast of Puerto Rico and located by the Atlantic Ocean, north of Utuado and Ciales; east of Hatillo; and west of Barceloneta, and Florida. Arecibo is spread over 18 wards and Arecibo Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). Arecibo is located on the north coast of the island of Puerto Rico, about 50 miles (80 km) west of San Juan, or approximately a 1-hour trip by car. It is the largest municipality by area in Puerto Rico and is part of the San Juan, Caguas and Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Arecibo is known as El Diamante Del Norte (The Diamond of the North) as well as La Ribera del Arecibo (The shore of Arecibo). Arecibo is also known as La Villa del Capitán Correa (Captain Correa's Villa) after the Puerto Rican hero Captain Antonio de los Reyes Correa, who as a member of the Spanish Army defended Arecibo from a British invasion led by rear-admiral William Whetstone on August 5, 1702. With 2 British Navy ships and 40 men, Whetstone tried to take control of the city; so Cpt. Antonio Correa ambushed him, killing 22 British seamen. The Spanish defenders only had one soldier killed in action (KIA) and 3 soldiers wounded in action (WIA).
The nearby Arecibo Observatory is known for housing the world's largest radio telescope. Arecibo is also the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arecibo