Boca Chica, Dominican Republic is located on the southern coast of the island
of Hispaniola, and island which is split between the Dominican Republic and
Haiti. Boca Chica, Dominican Republic is one
of the nicest beaches in the country. When compared to the beaches found
along the northern coast (Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Playa Dorada), the sand
is whiter and softer and the water is calmer, clearer, and shallower.
Click on picture to see
Boca Chica Beach photo gallery
Boca Chica's beach is truly unique. Its waters make up a cove
approximately 1 mile wide. About 1/4 mile out, there is a reef in the
shape of a giant semi-circle that extends from end to end and just protrudes out
beyond the water's surface and completely surrounds the cove, forming a giant
natural salt-water swimming pool with depths averaging 3-4 feet. The reef
acts as a natural break wall to the Caribbean Sea, so the cove is usually glass
calm.. Inside the reef, the water is crystal clear, continuously filtered
and fed by a series of natural underground springs. It is this
"swimming pool in the sea" that provides some very beautiful and
distinct views because you have the deep azure blue of the Caribbean beyond the
reef, contrasting with the shallow bay, which varies between a deep sky-blue and
an intense blue-green, depending on the angle of the sun.
The water starts at the beach about ankle deep and reaches a depth of just
few feet after about 100 yards out, with nothing but smooth clean sand
underfoot. As one approaches the middle, they may encounter a short
distance of 10 yards or so where the water depth reaches 6 feet but it quickly
returns to just a few feet in depth and slowly decreases until it is again ankle
deep as one approaches the natural reef.
This naturally calm, clear, and shallow water makes it ideal for all sorts of
water sports and swimming. It is great for paddle boats, kayaks, water
skiing, banana boat rides. Jet skis are restricted to the far end of the beach,
away from the hotels and swimmers. It is especially good for small children. The sand along the
shore varies in appearance from a light colored tan to white, depending on the
angle of the sun. It is usually flat for easy walking and the beach
varies from 40 to 100 yards wide. One can easily find room on the beach to throw a Frisbee around any day of the
week, any time of the day. There is lots of open space.
On Sundays, the beach gets very crowded, as many Dominicans families come in
from Santo Domingo to enjoy the beach, but by Monday morning the beach is empty
and cleaned up of any debris left from the Sunday crowds. The rest of the
week is equally quiet until Saturday, when the beach sees more visitors.
Off shore and inside the reef, there are two small islands. At about the
center is a mangrove named La Matica, or "Little Bush". There is
very little firm ground on this mangrove but it is home to thousands of birds
called "garzas" (herons). Many visitors enjoy wading out to the shore of the mangrove and
just hanging out, as the water off-shore is only a couple feet deep and it
recedes gently up along a soft and smooth sand bar. A narrow waterway cuts through
the center of the mangrove and curious visitors like to float through in a
boat, just to see where it goes.
On the very far west end of the cove lies the island of Los Pinos, or
"The Pines". This island is larger and has plenty of firm
land. It is somewhat polluted along the edges from all the visitors that throw trash onto the ground but few venture beyond the first 20 yards once
landing on this island. This is partly because Hurricane Georges uprooted
many trees and bushes making navigation across the property difficult.
Another reason is because most people arrive with bare feet and swimsuit.
An exploration of this little island requires sturdy shoes and mosquito repellent.
Directly across from this island towards the main shore is an old but still
operating sugar factory, a key source of employment for the town of Andrés,
often called "Andrés de Boca Chica". Also across the shore is a
marina, home to many large yachts, a Dominican Customs facility for use by the
large freighters that arrive here at the port of Andrés, and there is a good
stretch of beach called Playa Andrés that covers the distance between the
marina and Boca Chica Beach. It is seldom crowded and lined with
natural palm-leaf beach umbrellas and wooden slat chairs.
Playa Andrés is lined with palm leaf
umbrella adorned tables.
Boca Chica - main beach.
The back side of the of main section of Boca Chica Beach is lined from end to end with various
businesses. At the extreme east end is the Hamaca
Beach Resort. The Hamaca has cordoned off their section of beach frontage with a
wall and pier, although technically, the first 60 meters from the water is public
property by law, all across the country. This resort is all-inclusive
however, and those not wearing the tell-tale wristbands that are given to
guests upon registration are prevented from entering the property via the beach
by security guards.
At the center of the beach is the all-inclusive resort Don
Juan Beach Resort and their associated dive company, Treasure
Divers. This is arguably the best stretch on Boca Chica Beach, and
there is a pier stretching out from in front of it.
| Most of the beach's
water sports are centered around this pier.
Click on picture to see an enlarged image.
At the end of the pier, and there is an open-air bar open to
the public at the end of the pier (closed Mondays).
Click on picture to see Boca Chica Beach photo gallery
A few doors down is the Hotel Zapata,
a small family-run place with a restaurant and bar and the only
non-all-inclusive hotel that is directly on the beach.
At the opposite end of the beach is the 3rd all-inclusive hotel, Boca
Chica Beach Resort, although actually this is only their sunning area with a
building that houses their disco and restaurant. Their main grounds and
pool are located a couple blocks away, accessible via a private walkway, part of
which is a suspended sky-walk and part of which weaves through a courtyard.
There are no other hotels directly on the beach, although there are many
within 1/2 block. Between these hotels, the beach is essentially
wall-to-wall small restaurants and bars. Many rent out beach chairs and
umbrellas. Make sure you confirm the price for any item you order,
including drinks and food, as visitors have been known to be overcharged.
That said, one can easily and very inexpensively spend the day on the beach with
complete food and beverage service while lounging on a comfortable beach
chair. For about US$10, you can even enjoy a 1/2 hour massage, right where
At this time, there is a barge docked off shore in Boca Chica. Although it
is not visibile directly from the beach, visitors can take a boat over to the
island of Los Pinos, where the barge can be seen docked near the customs
facility. This barge
is a generator and supplies the town with electricity additional electricity.. This
in part has all but put an end to the
long periods of blackouts that the town was currently experiencing, some lasting
12 hours a day. Power outages have little affect on tourists other than a momentary
power loss since almost all hotels have generators that turn on when the power
goes out, usually automatically.