Travel Info for the Undergraduate ALFALFA Workshop

January 10-14, 2010


There will be one shuttle bus from the airport to the observatory,
leaving about 2:00pm. There will be a taxi for later arrivals. Please
check the file attached to this email to see your shuttle schedule
Please also check that your flight information and arrival/departure times
are correct.

The buses will be pick us up near the post office which is near the
American Airlines gate. It's the only post office at the airport. (If
you exit from the door near USAir, turn right and keep walking until
you find it!) There is no place for the buses to park near the pickup
point, so we will have to gather the whole group before they will pick
us up. There are no places to sit near the post office, so you may
want to wait in the terminal until close to pickup time. There are
restaurants with seating in the terminal. Please watch the time and
head to the post office at least 15 minutes before the pickup time.
Apologies to those of you who will need to wait awhile between your
flight and the shuttle. The buses will wait in case of minor plane
delays, but please comminicate with a contact person in advance so
that the bus doesn't wait for you. See next section for contact phone
numbers and instructions in case of lengthy delay.

There will also be two shuttle buses on Thursday for transportation
back to the airport. These buses will leave at 4:30am and 9:00am,
respectively. See the schedule for your assignment.

If you are delayed, it is important that you call a contact person, so
that we can determine whether the shuttle/taxi driver should or should
not wait for you. If you miss the shuttle/taxi, alternate
transportation will need to be arranged. With enough lead time, you
can call a taxi driver in Arecibo who serves the observatory. His name
is Angel Rosario, phone 787-314-1831, but he needs payment of ~$100 in
cash. Alternatively you can use one of the airport taxis. Directions
to the observatory written in Spanish are given below so that you can
give them to the taxi driver. You can also call the guard at the
Observatory entrance at: 787-878-2612 x222 or x293 to provide
directions to the taxi driver. The taxi will cost ~$100 in cash, so
please be prepared. (Our grant will reimburse you for any extra
transportation charges.) The guards can help to answer other questions
and can connect you to ALFALFA folks onsite (Becky Koopmann, Martha
Haynes, Riccardo Giovanelli). A map of the route to the
Observatory is available at

The following folks will serve as contact people for the shuttle from
the airport. If you expect to be delayed, please call at least one
contact person, preferably both. Leave a message if no one answers.
  David Craig: 806 282-2283
  Tom Balonek: 315 825-5250

ALFALFA folks are likely to be found in the Learning Center on Sunday:
 787-878-2612 x324
You can also try the cafeteria at x278.

 -------  Spanish Directions to Arecibo:
 1.Despues de salir del aeropuerto de San Juan, coja la rampa hacia San Juan
 2. Entre a la carretera 26 y siga por aproximadamente 3.3 millas
 3. Despues de pasar el Tunel Minillas coja el Expreso de Diego (22) 
    hacia Arecibo (aproximadamente 47.1 millas
 4. Doble a la derecha en la salida 77B hacia la 129 que va  hacia Lares 
    por aproximadamente 2.6 millas.
 5. Doble a la izquierda hacia la carretera 635 (en el Estacion de gasolina 
    Texaco) (por 1.24 millas)
 6. Doble a la derecha para mantenerse en la 635 por aprox. 3.6 millas
 7. Doble a la derecha para continuar en la carretera 635 por aproximadamente 
    0.5 millas
 8. vire a la izquierda en la 625 (cementerio) y continue por aproximadamente 
    3.0 millas
 9. Continue  por esa carretera hasta que llegue a la casa de la guardia 
    del Observatorio de Arecibo

Everyone will be accommodated on the Arecibo Observatory grounds.
Since we are such a large group, we will be sharing rooms (2-3 per
room).  All rooms have bathrooms, air conditioners, refrigerators, and
coffee makers. Towels are provided, but please bring your own
shampoo. (Soap is usually provided, but bring your own to make
sure).  There is an internet connection in each room. Some rooms
(mainly in North VSQ) have dehumidifiers.

You may want to consider bringing ear plugs if you are a light
sleeper. There are many lovely sounds in Puerto Rico, especially at
night, but some are quite loud. One of the loudest is made by the
coqui frog, which you can see here:  The frog is only about an
inch or so in size, but you wouldn't know that from its voice. :)

You may also want to bring along an alarm clock for a wakeup for your
overnight observing session. Remember that you can't use your cell
phone at Arecibo (see below), so a cell phone alarm will not work.

All meals will be provided at the Observatory, including night lunches
for the observing runs. Vegetarian options will be available at each
meal. Snacks and additional food may be purchased at the cafeteria,
but selection and hours are limited. (There are no weekend hours.)
Snacks may also be available at the Visitor Center, across from our
meeting place. You may want to bring a few snack items of your own,
including fruit, which is generally not readily available. Those who
leave on the second shuttle from the Observatory can purchase
breakfast at the Cafeteria. Those leaving on the first shuttle will
need to purchase breakfast at the airport, but the grant will
reimburse your purchase.

There will be ethernet connections available in the lecture room for
laptops. We strongly encourage all participants to bring their
laptops, especially if they are using a Mac or Linux operating system.
Each dorm room also has an internet connection.

Be sure to disable any wireless devices on laptops (why, students?). 
While some ethernet cables will be available at Arecibo, it's a good idea
to bring your own to be sure.

The observatory is in a remote location, not in ready reach of
pharmacies or supermarkets. PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING A SUPPLY OF ANY
MEDICINES YOU NEED. It's a good idea to also be prepared with any
over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin or allergy medications.

You will not be able to use your cell phone at the Arecibo Observatory
(why is that, students?!). Please disable your phone, as well as
any other wireless devices (e.g., pagers, laptops). There are phones 
available in your rooms. You can make long distance calls from these 
phones with a calling card, so you may want to purchase a calling card. 
There is also an internet connection in each room.

Temperatures will range from high 60's at night to low 80's during the
day. Mornings are typically sunny, but it's common to have an
afternoon rain shower, sometimes heavy, so bring an umbrella. The
buildings can be cool, especially the observatory control room, so
bring a sweater/sweatshirt with you to the meetings.  Dress is
casual. There is a swimming pool, so you may want to bring your 
bathing suit. 

Please bring closed-toe shoes (for example, sneakers) for the facility tours.

U.S. Citizens: Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S. and a passport 
is not required for direct travel between the mainland and Puerto Rico.

Non-U.S. Citizens should be prepared to show passports and any other 
documentation necessary to enter the U.S.

You might like to look at the observatory information page and the Workshop Home Page.

Last modified: Fri Dec 18 13:34:12 EST 2009 by becky