Boca Chica Playa for under $100
In my visit to Santo Domningo, to visit my friend Sylvia, I made it my quest to visit Boca Chica. From reading other blogs about the calm crystal waters and low cost food & service, I just need a day at the beach that would cost under $100. Boca Chica was just a 30 min drive from Franconia sector of Santo Domingo.
As we started our journey to the popular beach area, you could see the life of the capital city as well as the areas hit the hardest by poverty. If you have been to the Dominican Republic before, then you know that everything comes with a price tag. The locals are friendly, and always willing to help in some way, but for a price. The average income of common labor in the DR is $56 - $112 a month.
With that being said, there is no shortage of beach vendors on the shores of Boaca Chica. When nearing the area of Boca Chica, there are many side streets that lead you tot he beach. It seems as if they all offered some street or parking lot options. Once we found a parking lot, we had to pay $50 DP, about $1 USD. The men running the lot, also ran the section of the beach we would be settling on, as they owned the beach restaurant and thus all of the seating. You can purchase a table with (4) chairs, or a beach umbrella with (2) lounge chairs for $700 DP ($3.50 USD). However, if you purchase drinks from the restaurant, the seating is free.
While we decided to purchase drinks, I noticed several families around us with coolers and baskets full of food from home. Everyone was readily prepared to spend the whole day at the beach.
Growing up in Maryland, Ocean City was my local beach. To say that I was instantly jealous of the children running in and out of the water is an understatement. Just like all the other Dominican beaches, Boca Chica delivered both white sands & crystal clear & various shades of blue water. I wanted to jump in, splash around, and let my inner child out to play.
With all the swimming and splashing, I was ready to eat. My friend Sylvia who now lives in Santo Domingo, purchased fresh oysters for $50 DO ($1 USD) each. The restaurant that provided the seating, offers many seafood & chicken basket options for about $1200 DP ($6 USD).
Among the beach vendors, we settled on the catch of the day. A local fisherman/vendor swims out into the ocean and comes back with two rather large dorado fish (mahi mahi). Each are about 13-15 lbs. The fish cost $2800 DP ($14 USD), and for an extra $6 USD, the restaurant cleans the fish and gives you the option to have it grilled or fried. With our fresh mahi mahi, we decided to walk about a block to the local package store, and purchase a 700 ml of Barcelo Ron Dominicano rum & juice for $2800 DP ($14 USD).
Along the walk to the store, I couldn't help notice the amazing street art. With items from painting and wood sculptures, there are many options to pick from if looking to add to your collection. I was also to find a wooden lady to take back home with me.
As we ate, we enjoyed the Domnican sun, beach music ,and the company of friends. We then settled down a bit and decided to either do an excursion or a massage on the beach. The best deals I found, where an all day excursion to Sanoa Island, a Jeep Safari, parasailing, or a city tour of Santo Domingo. Each of these where priced at $100 USD pp, however the vendor was willing to reduce the price to $65 USD pp. As half the day was already gone, I didn't want to commit to a few hours on an excursion.
Sylvia and I opted for the massage on the beach. It was the best decision ever! For $3000 DP ($15 USD), we had a 1 hr massage right on the beach. It was the perfect ending to my day at Boca Chica.
Beach Chair $3.50
Bar Drinks $12.00
Oysters $10.00 (10 @ $1 each)
Fish Meal $20.00 (Fish, cleaning & grilled)
Massage $30.00 (2 @ $15 each)
TOTAL: $90.50 for (4) people