Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Puka Beach: The Quiet Side of Boracay

Boracay is famous for its White Beach, a long stretch of powdery white sands recognized as one of the best beaches in world. Aside from its blinding beauty, White Beach is also synonymous to high end resorts and restos and dusk-till-dawn parties. As such, people hardly go to Boracay to find some peace and quiet. Instead most would troop to this small paradise island in Aklan to party hard and mingle with the crowd.

Thankfully, for those who want a more serene beach ambiance, a short trip to the northern tip of the island would take you to Puka Beach in Barangay Yapak. Just like White Beach, Puka Beach also has white sands, though more grainy and not as powdery. But its lack of commercial development made it more attractive to beach goers who are seeking to commune with nature minus the noise of the crowd.

From Station 1 where we stayed, I hired a tricycle to take me to Puka Beach. It is only 5 kilometers away and I initially would want to reach it by running but then I was pressed for time. The road going to Puka is mostly uphill, all paved and passes by many resorts. We reached the place in less than 30 minutes and I hurriedly step off the tricycle to explore the beach.

This is actually not the first time I visited Puka Beach. Almost ten years ago, my wife and I stepped on this beach during our honeymoon. I was mildly surprised with all the development that took place a decade after.

There are now a few restaurants, sari-sari stores and souvenir shops along the road leading to the beach. It is not as undeveloped as it was before but I am glad that it is still a far cry from the overly commercialized White Beach.

Puka Beach has 800 meters of white sands which are grainy as it is mixed with puka shells which are abundant in the area. The waters are also rougher and deeper compared to White Beach.

Bamboo beds are set up along the beach and can be rented by those who simply want to lounge and relax.

I walked towards the right end of the beach where Bitu-on Bar and Mari-it Art Works is located.

Beautiful native products carved out of wood are displayed at the beach.

I stayed in this spot for awhile, enjoyed some cool dip and savored the sea breeze.

As I am about to leave, I noticed this fenced area being developed by Seven Seas Hotel & Residences Boracay. A local told me that a water park and resort is being built here. It saddened me that with this development, Puka Beach's quiet ambiance may not last for long.

How to Get There:

From Boracay proper, you may hire a tricycle to take you straight to Puka Beach. The tricycle can fit 2-3 persons and may costs you Php100-150.00 (one way), depending on your haggling skills. From Station 1, Puka Beach is about 5 kilometers away.

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