Nightlife.

Most of the night life in Boca Chica takes place on Calle Duarte, which is the street that runs parallel to the beach, 1 block in. Which places are popular change from season to season, but one thing is for sure, night life in Boca Chica has two phases, 7-11pm and 11pm to 4am. 

Early in the evening (7-11p), the main street of Calle Duarte has a very pleasant atmosphere.  The street gets blocked off at both ends and becomes pedestrian only.  Most of the restaurants are completely open on one side and extend their service into the sidewalk and street.  The area is filled with people taking in dinner, having a drink, or strolling the street and browsing the shops.  Merengue and Bachata, 2 styles of music popular in the Dominican Republic, fill the air.  During this time you will see mostly tourist couples, families, and small children.  It is completely safe and fun.

As midnight approaches, most of the restaurants are shutting down, most of the older tourists and families are heading back to their hotels, and the late night crowd is just starting to show up.  The bars, which also spill out onto the street with tables and chairs, cause the street area to take on a block party atmosphere.  Most of the bars are small places and completely open on the side facing the street.  Several of the bars are mostly outdoors.  The businesses run together one after another for a few blocks but only a few ever seem to draw a big crowd.  By 2am, most of the local Dominicans that work at the nearby restaurants or that live in town or in nearby Andres start showing up and the nightlife of Boca Chica kicks into full gear.  If you want to interact with the locals, this is the place to be.  Crowds peak around 3am and start to thin out around 4am.

There is no dress code for any bar along the Boca Chica strip of Calle Duarte and the popular dress varies from casual to club-wear.  Minors are not allowed in many bars but enforcement varies.

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The very late night scene in Boca Chica has a charm all its own.  The unique mix and interaction between the tourists and locals has many tourists coming back to this beach town year after year.  It is perfectly safe and well patrolled by the police.

 

Hamaca Disco.
For those that want a more controlled atmosphere, the Hamaca Resort has their own disco.  It is all-inclusive so guests entering pay one price (US$10) and that includes all domestic drinks once inside.  Imported drinks are extra.  This is a typical carpet, chrome, and mirror disco with a modern lighting and sound system.  The dress code here is "nice", and on some of the crowded nights during high season, entrance becomes restricted to hotel guests only.  Hotel guests are admitted free as part of their all-inclusive package.  This is the best place for couples or visitors that prefer not to venture out into the main street.  This bar has the nicest decor of any place in Boca Chica and non-guests of the hotel are admitted at the management's discretion.  

Austria.
This bar is for mingling, as the back bar is in a large circular shape.  In the front is a small area with tables and chairs and the main bar, which also services the tables and chairs set out onto the street.

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Cosmos (formerly, La Noria, and prior to that, Alcatraz).

A warehouse style disco that attracts mostly singles and plays a variety of dance music.  This is generally the most popular bar in Boca Chica, with the exception of when some other bar "reopens" after remodeling.  It is a warehouse style bar playing a variety of merengue and house music and it is frequently wall-to-wall with a real party crowd.  This is one of the most popular places for dancing but people don't generally start showing up until after midnight.

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Gelateria.
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Isla Bonita.
Plaza Isla Bonita opened a new beach bar in August.  It is currently a quiet place to have a drink on the beach.  As of this writing, it is one of only two bars where patrons can party at night directly on the beach but the government has announced that soon the beach will get night lighting in hopes of keeping customers on the beach after sundown.

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La Cueva.
Directly next to the soon-to-open Plaza Isla Bonita, La Cueva (the cave) is a narrow and long bar with a dance floor situated in the middle section.  The front section is flanked by a bar along the entire length of one wall and the back section is outfitted with tables for a more private atmosphere.  Most of this bar is outdoors, with the only roof being over the long bar and the dance floor.  This bar has lost popularity in the late part of 1999 and early part of 2000 but reopended in November 2001 newly remodeled and for now, is the most popular bar in Boca Chica.

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Mango's Laser Disco.
Opening in October 2000, the Mango's Laser Disco has both indoor and outdoor areas and a modern lighting and sound system.  It is the only place on the main strip with air conditioning and its walls are painted with creative murals.  Top shelf liquor is available here and the Presidente beers are service ice cold.  Because of the recent low in tourism, the indoor section is usually closed and the outdoor section is peaceful.  I always stop buy here when I want to sit outside, crowd free.

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The Laser Disco outdoor seating area serves fresh barbecued pork the size of T-bone steaks, late into the night.

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Madhouse.
A small bar owned by Germans who are every bit a part of the party.  This is the place to go with a small group of friends when you don't want to get lost in the crowds but still want good music and loud fun.  Classic Rock and Roll is played here and there is a raised dance floor for when the mood strikes. One can sit on stools inside or outside and there are usually several tables with chairs set up in the street as well.  This is my favorite place when I want to get away from the crowds, get some fresh air, and listen to great music.  I love to play fooseball in this bar.  Darts also available.

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Le Bon.

Located on Calle Juan Bautista Vicini near the highway (next to Hotel Label), this disco is one of the few in Boca Chica that has air conditioning.  They frequently charge a small cover charge,  are rarely crowded, and are located about 6 blocks north of the main strip of Calle Duarte.  This disco has a nice decor and is mostly frequented by Dominicans.  This bar has been closed for about a year now but could reopen soon.

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Route 66.
One of the most attractively decorated bars in Boca Chica, this place sports a theme of nostalgia from the famous Route 66 highway that runs across the middle of the USA.  Classic rock and roll is played here and occasionally there is a live band.  Drinks are a bit  more expensive here, commensurate with the atmosphere, and all top-shelf brands can be found.  This is a fun spot for couples and small groups of friends that aren't into getting overly rowdy.

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Tuca Tuca.
Located directly on the beach at the end farthest from the Hamaca Beach Resort.  This outdoor bar is on the sand with palm hut style canopies over tables mounted to the canopy trunks.  This bar is mostly popular with tourist and Dominican couples.

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Pequeña Suiza.
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Zanzi Bar.
A small bar, next to the popular La Noria Disco and across the street from the La Criolla restaurant.  This is a great place for people watching, as the bar straddles the street with half of its seating being indoors and the other half in an open air section that expands across the sidewalk and street.  It's location next to one of the popular discos and across the street from the city's most popular late night eatery makes it a popular gathering place from 11pm until 1am.  Staffed with waitresses that give prompt, friendly, and at times animated service, this is a closing point for the early evening crowd and starting point for much of the late night crowd.  At Zanzi Bar, purchase fresh pastries, deserts, hot sandwiches, espresso, cappuccino, and every type of top shelf liquor.

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