Beaches & Islands
Hit the beach in Boca Chica
Boca Chica beach
Photo: Hemis / Alamy
Boca Chica is an oceanside town not far from Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. The town has long drawn tourists for its white-sand sheltered beach, and in the evenings, the main street becomes pedestrian-only and comes alive with nightlife.
A little way off shore, the mangrove-latticed islet of La Matica is an important bird habitat, and at La Caleta Underwater Park, west of town, you can dive through coral reefs and submerged shipwrecks.
The shallow, protected nature of Boca Chica beach means it’s more like a giant resort pool than a surf beach. Expect low waves and chill vibes. Underneath the aging hotel high-rises built to overlook the beach during its 1950s tourism heyday, you can relax knowing you’re in the right place at the right time, and have avoided the modern crowds that have moved on to build bigger, noisier resorts elsewhere.
Where to stay
The Be Live Hamaca dates back to the 50s and was the first hotel ever built of the Hamaca chain. Bellevue Dominican Bay and Villa Capri are popular choices for weekend getaways, and you can save a fortune on longer or midweek stays by choosing one of the local Airbnbs.
What to eat
The paella at Boca Marina, or fried fish and tostones at The Boat House. Afterwards, head to Bocana for a piña colada.
The one local flavor you can’t miss
Don’t miss your chance to buy a “yanikeke”, a fried, round kneaded pastry served with lemons. It’s very characteristic of Boca Chica and you’ll find it on dozens of menus around the town.
Looking for a little adventure?
Have good old-fashioned fun by jumping in an inflatable banana and getting pulled around the beach at high speed by a boat. Banana rides are RD $ 150 - around US $ 2.50.
Ocean Diving runs professional diving tours of the local coral reef and shipwrecks, as well as boat excursions and scuba and snorkelling lessons. Highlights include night-time dives and the Catuan wreck. Are you an experienced adventurer? Hire a kayak and a snorkelling set and go your own way. Bookings are via the Ocean Diving website.
Boca Chica is about 25 miles and 35 minutes from Santo Domingo by car.
Written by Aura De Los Santos.
Published December 2020
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