Giant waves were slamming the shore of Puka Beach like there’s no tomorrow. It was the habagat season in Boracay and what’s once a calm beach for swimming during the summer was now concert of crashing, angry surf that would sweep anyone off their feet if caught by it.
|THE FAMOUS PUKA BEACH MAKESHIFT SIGN|
|STORES SELLING SOUVENIRS NEAR THE ENTRANCE OF PUKA BEACH|
There’s no arguing that Boracay White Beach is the beach when it comes to fineness of sand and length on the island. But the problem with it is that there’s simply too many people crowding its shoreline, especially during the afternoons. Add in the docked paraws or local sailboats, and well, it’s really not the best place to go for a swim.
|OUR SPOT DURING OUR FIRST VISIT AT PUKA BEACH|
And that’s where Puka Beach shines. Here, you won’t find any hotels, restaurants and crowds of people. It’s just you, the soft sand and the sea.
Puka Beach is located on the northernmost side of Boracay Island on Barangay Yapak, in fact, it was once called Yapak Beach before its more popular name surfaced. Puka refers to the hole found on local seashells that litter the beach. The shells were then dubbed as puka shells, and the beach was then renamed after it.
|PUKA SHELLS TURNED INTO A NECKLACE AT THE SOUVENIR SHOPS NEAR THE BEACH|
Going to Puka Beach is easy enough. It can be accessed via the numerous tricycles plying the main road of the island. The standard fare is set at Php150.00 for the whole tricycle (special) or you may opt to share the tricycle with other passengers and just pay for a single seat at Php25.00, you have to walk for 10 minutes though as it would only drop you along the highway leading to the beach.
Going back would be no problem at all too as numerous tricycles are parked near the entrance waiting for departing visitors.
|HABAGAT SEASON WAVES RAKING THE SHORE OF PUKA BEACH|
Puka Beach’s shoreline stretches for 800 meters, a fourth of White Beach’s, but it is more than good enough. In fact, walking from the entrance to its northernmost end is already a challenge. The sand is so soft and loose that your feet would sink with every step.
|ABANDONED WOODEN HUT NEAR THE FAR END OF THE BEACH|
But we were persistent; we wanted to make camp on a small cove located at the farthest end of the beach for maximum privacy. Eventually, we reached it after wading through water, ducking our way through an overhang of craggy rocks and finally, the end of Puka Beach.
|PUKA BEACH’S STEEP SHORELINE|
We set our mat, pulled out our cheez-it crisps and one-liter bottles of Gold Eagle Beer. There are Red Horse available on the stores leading to the Puka, but we wanted something local, you can’t get Gold Eagle in Manila.
|THE FAR END OF PUKA BEACH|
Soon we were all swimming, riding the rollicking waves. To be fair, it was relatively calmer than when I last went here during the same season. Back then, you wouldn’t be able to swim at all. This time, we were able to decently swim and even snorkel near the shore. But the sea was still too rough to reach the snorkeling site in the area (or, I simply swam at the wrong side of the beach).
|HUGE WAVES DURING HABAGAT SEASON|
The banks of Puka in this area slopes pretty quickly into man-height depths, so care must be exercised for inexperienced swimmers. It does make a pretty good place for swimming though, especially during the summer, compared to White Beach’s shallow waters.
|SUNSET AT PUKA BEACH|
|SOMEDAY I’LL VISIT PUKA BEACH WITHOUT THE WAVES|
We swam. We drank. We napped. We swam some more. And eventually, our beers were soon gone.
The sun was casting warm rays across the sand as we trudged our way back. Strong waves were still slamming the shore but tourists frolicking on the water’s edge were unmindful of it, actually welcoming the incoming tide. Us, we were done for the day, but definitely not with Puka Beach. We’ll always come back here every single time we visit Boracay, this is our Boracay beach.
Address: Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Open Hours: 24 Hours Daily
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinate Map: 11.996170, 121.915744