The Boca Chica resort area is immediately east of Las Américas International Airport. A seasoned destination, Boca Chica is popular mainly with Dominicans and Europeans. Since it's the best beach area near Santo Domingo, it had long been popular with capitaleños (residents of Santo Domingo) who considered this a chic place to sun and frolic on the light sand beach, their children splashing safely in the calmest of water. In the 1960s, when all beaches were declared public domain, the tide changed, and the scene went quickly downhill. The crowded, dusty town had become too boisterous and raunchy, the nighttime scene dodgy and dangerous, sex tourism being the primary reason. The good news is that now after 7 pm the city shuts down the main drag, Avenida Duarte, to vehicular traffic. So while there is still some daylight, it can be fun to have a cold beer at one of the makeshift bars, and rows of food stands sell cheap Dominican dishes, the best of which are fried fish (usually bones in), served Boca Chica–style with a criolla onion sauce, and tostones (fried green plantains). Just be aware that hygiene is always a question mark at these stands.
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