Typical morning in Boca Chica

The Beach (click)

Boca Chica Beach
Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
Everything about Boca Chica


The Beach.

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.

Boca Chica Beach with islands La Matica and Los Pinos in the background
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.

La Matica.
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.

Los Pinos.
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.  

Playa Andrés.
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.
beach_andres.jpg (18145 bytes) beach_andres2.jpg (20915 bytes) beach_andres3.jpg (29879 bytes) 
beach_andres4.jpg (23771 bytes) beach_andres5.jpg (23571 bytes)

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.
don_juan_pier.jpg (12943 bytes)
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).  

Don Juan Beach Resort pier
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 you lay.

Generator Barge.
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.

generator_boat.jpg (9516 bytes) generator_barge2.jpg (43528 bytes) generator_barge2.jpg (43528 bytes)

Dredge Barge.
dredge_barge.jpg (44142 bytes)