Boca Chica (Little Mouth) was originally developed as an exclusive destination for wealthy families from the capital Santo Domingo, which were only accessible from the sea, but in the 50s the first public hotel, La Hamaca was built, and it was here that Batista, the defeated Cuban Dictator was granted asylum by the Dominican Republic’s then President, Trujillo. However, that was the high spot of the area’s history, and the hotel was closed in 61 when Trujillo was assassinated.
Public transport has now made Boca Chica a popular excursion destination for residents of Santo Domingo, which is only 30 kms away, and the beach can get very crowded on holidays and weekends.
The beach itself is of fine white sand, and the waters shallow, and protected by a reef. The sea front is lined with bars, restaurants and souvenir stands. It is also wildly overpopulated with beach hawkers, who can be very persistent, and whose goods are vastly overpriced.
There are several all inclusive hotels in Boca Chica, which cater for those who do not wish to leave their resort, and which provide both entertainment and access to non-motorised waters sport activities. If this is not your kind of holiday, there are also plenty of smaller hotels, from simple boarding houses to Boutique Hotels, several of which have landscaped grounds and swimming pools
There is a casino in the newly refurbished Hamaca Hotel, a golf course nearby, opportunities for horse riding, and access to the entertainment and dancing in the larger hotels, even if you are not staying there. Boca Chica is a popular destination for tourists from America.
An hour and a half’s drive from Boca Chica is the village of Altos de Chavón – a 16th century village recreated by artists, on a high mountain top, at the suggestion of the famous Italian cinematographer, Roberto Copa. The village was created by hand in wood, stone and iron, is lines with good quality souvenir shops selling handmade local craft ware, pottery and jewellery, and the village has a 5,000 seat Grecian amphitheatre, where concerts occasionally take place. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the Dominican Republic.
Boca Chica is not a good place to be out after dark.
(By Angela Webster)