Ojo de Buey, a Natural Oddity
Ray and I explore at lot of places in Puerto Rico, and I love it when we find something unusual that is relatively unknown. I really enjoy seeing nature’s artistry, and the north coast of Puerto Rico offers many great examples of what the forces of nature can do.
One that we recently found is Ojo de Buey (or Bull’s eye in English). Over time, the rain, wind, and waves have sculpted this shape of an ox head on this little piece of rocky coast in Dorado.
This natural oddity has been a special place for hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of years. You may want to do a little exploring and check it out for yourself!
Dorado, which is a resort town on the north coast of Puerto Rico, is known for its resorts and golf courses. But it has a local history that starts long before the resorts, or even Columbus, arrived in Puerto Rico. The La Plata river, and the land around it, supported many generations of inhabitants. Right at the mouth of the river, where it meets the ocean, is where you’ll find the Ojo de Buey.
This natural rock formation, eroded by nature into the shape of an ox or bull’s head, seems to have been a special place to the indigenous people. Archaeological exploration in the area has unearthed a number of pre-Columbian artifacts.
I am not sure what the pre-Columbian people thought of the rock, but I think it makes for a great stop if you are in the area and makes a great photo op. If you want to make a nice picnic lunch stop, there are some seaside picnic tables that you can use.
If you are interested in the archaeology of the area, you can make a stop in the Museo de Arte e Historia de Dorado, just off of the Dorado town plaza (a few doors down from the church).
An archaeological dig was conducted in the area surrounding the Ojo de Buey in 1984. The museum houses the collection of items recovered during that dig, which includes pottery fragments, bone, tools, and jewelry fragments, as well as the skeletal remains of "La India", a young female who died during the Early Ostionoid (Pre-Taino, AD 600 – 1200) period.
The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 3:30pm.
Once in the Dorado area, take Road 693 to Road 698 to Calle 13. Continue to the end of the road, where you’ll see an archway with the beach beyond. You can park by the arch and walk the rest of the way. Walk down the beach (around the little bay) and follow the trail up and to the left. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can drive through the arch, onto the beach and as far as you feel comfortable driving in the sand. There is a small blacktop parking area at about the ½-way point. Once you walk to up the short trail, you’ll see the ox rock down closer to the water. The picnic tables are down the trail near the ox head.
It takes about 45 minutes to drive to Dorado from the San Juan area.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.