Dorado is a small town in the northern coast of Puerto Rico, 15 miles (24 km) west of San Juan and is located in the northern region of the island, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, north of Toa Alta, east of Vega Alta, and west of Toa Baja. Dorado is spread over five barrios and Dorado Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). The town is highly regarded as a tourist destination with golf courses, hotels, and beaches. However, many locals would dispute this claim. It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In the early 20th century the Rockefeller family purchased plots of land in the northwest region of the municipality of Dorado where they built a huge private vacation compound. Laurance Rockefeller would later use this land to create Dorado Beach Hotel and Golf Club, which later became the Dorado Beach Hyatt Hotel which closed in 2007. Dorado Beach Hotel will become a Ritz Carlton hotel in late 2012.
The Dorado Airport was operated from 1942 to 1996. The airport began as a military landing strip, then became a civilian airport in the 1960s with Caribair and Dorado Wings flights operating until 1980 and 1982 respectively. The airport operated as a private landing strip throughout the 1980s and then fell into disrepair. In 1996, the airport was rezoned as residential land and redeveloped.
Dorado has upscale neighborhoods and a small downtown area with a plaza (Spanish town square), as other Puerto Rican municipalities. The town's patron saint is Anthony of Padua, and patron saint celebrations are held at the plaza every year on June 13