AKLAN | Puka Beach; No Hotels, No Restaurants, No Crowd | Lakad Pilipinas

Puka Beach Boracay

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.

Puka Beach Sign Boracay
THE FAMOUS PUKA BEACH MAKESHIFT SIGN

Puka Beach Stores Boracay
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.

Puka Beach Boracay
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 Shell Necklace Boracay
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.

Puka Beach Boracay
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.

Puka Beach Hut Boracay
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 Boracay
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.

Puka Beach Boracay
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).

Puka Beach Waves Boracay
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.

Puka Beach Sunset Boracay
SUNSET AT PUKA BEACH

Puka Beach Sunset Boracay
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.

 

UPDATE 2017


Puka Beach Boracay
BACK IN PUKA BEACH FOR THE NTH TIME

After almost a year of being gone, I am back in Boracay. What’s different about this trip is that I dragged my whole family with me. We were twelve in the group, including a toddler and a seven year-old kid! We arrived around midnight and checked in at Galleria de Boracay, a cheap inn five minutes away from White Beach’s Station Three. And right after a quick breakfast the next day, we hailed two tricycles and went straight to Puka Beach.

Puka Beach Swimming Boracay
THE WAVES ARE SLIGHTLY TAMER DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS

It’s the first time I’ve visited Puka Beach during the summer. Usually, my quick jaunts to Boracay coincides with the monsoon season. And during those times, the waves are gargantuan. Swimming at the beach is a challenge. It’s much sunnier this time around, although the waters aren’t totally calm either. Still, it’s much more swimmable than during my previous visits.

Puka Beach Paraw Boracay
PUKA BLUES AND WHITES

I was quite surprised that the beach at the northern side of Puka where we usually unroll our banig beach mat is nowhere in sight. I first thought that this might be due to the tides, but as I was to find out, the sand shifts to the southern part of the beach during this season, due most probably to the waves.

Puka Beach Huts Boracay
RENTABLE HUTS ALONG THE BEACH

Without my usual spot, we really had no choice but to turn left and find a home for a few hours at Puka Beach’s southern side. I’m really not that familiar with this section of the beach, hardly ever going there every time we were at Puka, and I wasn’t that thrilled to find that the area is replete with makeshift bamboo huts complete with wooden recliners either.

Puka Beach Boracay
THE HUTS ARE QUITE EXPENSIVE, BUT DOES SHE CARE?

These are rented out by locals to tourists for a fee. Or, they would offer its whole day use for free if you buy an extremely overpriced drink from their stalls. How extreme? A bottle of regular soft drink would set you back more than a hundred pesos.

Puka Beach Kayak Rental Boracay
PICK YOUR KAYAK

Since we were quite a large group, we needed a bigger place to stay on for a few hours. And, we weren’t about to buy a drink that expensive! We found one at the back of some huts, a table with benches shaded by hardy trees growing on the coral rock wall bordering Puka Beach. Again, they offered the table for free if we buy lunch from them. As you can guess, the prices of their meals are exorbitantly high. I said no and haggled to rent the table for PHP400.00 instead. They eventually agreed.

Puka Beach Sunbathing Boracay
READ A BOOK, GET A TAN

Right after setting up, I bought lunch from the carinderia stalls about ten minutes away by foot from Puka Beach at a more reasonable price of PHP60.00 per meal—something we should’ve done before we actually went to the beach.

Puka Beach Paraw Boracay
MUCH MORE CROWDED THAN MY LAST VISITS

Puka Beach Family Boracay
FAMILY FUN AT PUKA BEACH

I don’t know if it’s just because its summer, but the place was packed with tourists. Granted, it isn’t as crowded as White Beach, but still, I’m not used to seeing this much people on Puka Beach!

Puka Beach Boracay
THE END OF THE CROWDED MID PART

Just before the sun set, just for the heck of it, I tried to see where the southern part of Puka actually ends. I walked barefoot, passing one hut after another, one skimpily-clad tourist after the next, and several unbelievably expensive eateries along the way. Eventually, the bedlam of Puka’s mid part ended, opening into a wide area filled with nothing but creamy sand.

Puka Beach End
FROM HERE ON OUT, IT’S JUST YOU AND THE BEACH, ALMOST

There is a lone resort with a few foreign guests lounging about its sunbeds and a couple of people walking along the shore, but other than that, there was absolutely nothing here. It’s like the northern end of Puka, except the shore’s wider and you wouldn’t have to duck under rocks to reach it. I absolutely loved it.

Puka Beach End
THE SOUTHERN END OF PUKA BEACH

Should I’ve known about this area when we arrived a few hours earlier, I would’ve set our camp right here—escape the Puka Beach crowd and save a few hundreds of pesos in the process too.

 

Puka Beach
Address: Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Open Hours: 24 Hours Daily
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinate Map: 11.996170, 121.915744

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, April 21, 2017

5 comments:

  1. Hi! Would you happen to know if overnight tent-pitching is allowed in Puka Beach?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Angelica, as of 2013, they do allow camping. I'm just not sure how it is now. :)

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  2. You have very good photos! Keep it up.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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