PUKA Beach: A Boracay Haven

The Island of Boracay is known internationally for its fine stretches of white sand beaches, the vibrant nightlife and a wide variety of fun water sports and activities. Aside from enjoying the perfect sunset and a pleasurable beach experience that caters to visitors of all ages, not a minute will you feel abandoned at all because of tons of great establishments to hang out. The abundance of convenience stores, restaurants, ATMs and budget-friendly hotels everywhere is another reason we could credit for the stress-free and profound tourism on the island.

However, not all tourists are crowd-loving creatures. There are still others who would rather have some peace and quiet, while savoring the beauty of this part of the globe. If you ask the local Aklanons where to go, they would tell you right away that the best place to enjoy Boracay at its finest would be, the Puka Beach.

Yapak Beach or more popularly known as Puka Shell Beach or simply, Puka Beach is an 800-meter long beach haven located at Boracay’s northern tip in Malay, Aklan. The name, Puka Beach, originated from the abundance of export-quality puka shells within the coast, which has been one of the local industry resource aside from fishing and tourism.

You can easily reach it thru riding a tricycle, by renting an all-terrain vehicle or maybe a motorcycle, perhaps, if you are a thrill-seeker. The best way I could recommend, though, is by taking a boat ride (ours took only half an hour from Station 2), so you might as well enjoy sightseeing, island hopping and snorkeling on the side before reaching the lovely Puka Beach.

The first time I set foot on this place, I was like, “I want to live here forever!”. I fell in love with the view right there and then. The sand on this part of the island may not be as white and as fine as that of the infamous White Beach of Boracay, but the water is as clear and is as equally stunning. Literally, it is like looking at a post card in the flesh. No wonder, Puka Beach has been listed in CNN’s ‘World’s 100 Best Beaches’ in 2013.

Unlike in any other parts of the island, this spot is totally unspoiled and unconsumed; hence, you will not see many establishments around–the more reason to enjoy the beach, instead. If you are planning to spend the rest of the day at Puka Beach but you are at a budget, it would be better to grab some pack lunch and some snack beforehand. Food and drinks are available here but it is a bit pricey since there is only a handful of sellers around. You can probably bring a beach roundie or towel as well, if you want to save a few bucks rather than buy or rent from the stalls.

The waves at Puka Beach are a bit stronger than the White Beach but is still swimmable. The best time to take a dip would be from early morning to late afternoon during clear weathers, but night swimming would not be a bad idea, though. The waters of Puka Beach are one of the best dive sites around the island, too. Hence, you can have an undersea adventure and explore the beautiful and amazing corals and sea creatures beneath the waves.

The beach is lined up with small shabby shops, where you can grab some bites and drinks if you have none on tow. There are also lounge chairs where you can rest to probably get some tan, read a book or simply relax and enjoy the serene surroundings, but of course, nothing beats getting all messy in the sand!

Indeed, like what our boat driver said, you have not really been to Boracay, if you have never visited the Puka Beach. Hanging out here is one of my favorite Boracay memories and for sure, this will be among the few places that I would always come back to.

MARIAN CASTRO-ORDILLO

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