Boca Chica Beach


Aplomado falcons soar and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles nest where the Rio Grande spills into the Gulf of Mexico.  

Here on the 10,680-acre Boca Chica tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR lies a secluded coastal environment interspersed with miles of beach front, saline flats, mangrove marshes, shallow bays and unique dunes of wind-blown clay known as ‘lomas’.

Boca Chica is an important link of the Lower Rio Grande Valley ‘Wildlife Corridor’. It connects habitat along the Gulf Coast to the Rio Grande and allows wildlife to travel unimpeded. It is one of the few places where the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, the most critically endangered sea turtle in the world, comes ashore to nest on refuge beaches in the spring and summer. This refuge tract provides visitors excellent seasonal birding opportunities to see brown pelicans, peregrine falcons, piping plovers, reddish egrets, northern gannet, American oystercatchers, mangrove warblers and many other migratory and resident species.

Adjacent to the Boca Chica tract is the Palmito Hill Battlefield, site of the last land battle of the civil war (May 12-13, 1865), which was fought and won by the Confederacy one month after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomottax. This National Historic Landmark exists today much the same as it was during the mid 1800s, allowing visitors to experience the same natural sights and sounds as encountered by soldiers of the civil war era.

Boca Chica is open to foot traffic from sunrise to sunset all year. Motorized vehicles are only allowed on the beach, where visitors enjoy beachcombing, birding and surf fishing opportunities. For more information, please visit the information kiosk located approximately 11.5 miles east of Brownsville on Highway 4 (next to the Palmito Hill Battlefield National Historic Site) or tune into AM 530.

Facilities are limited so please remember to take drinking water, insect repellent and sun protection.

Directions: From Brownsville, take Highway 4 East until it ends at the beach.

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