Puka Beach: Discover why it’s my favorite and one of the best beaches in Boracay!

Are you tired of the same old crowded beaches? This is your no-nonsense guide to conquering Puka Beach, Boracay's hidden gem for couples and families who crave adventure, fun, and a dash of laid-back vibes.
Puka Beach for island hopping and sunbathing

Boracay brings about images of a busy tropical island teeming with tourists and activities. However, people who have not visited the famous island should be informed that it is quiet on the northern shore, home to rough waves and deeper waters, that is Puka Beach.

Puka Beach: The Facts

Puka Beach

About Puka Beach

Puka Beach lies on the northern end of Boracay island and is under the jurisdiction of Barangay Yakap. Stretching 800 meters in length, Puka beach is named from the famous puka shells abundant on the part of the island, so-called because of the hole in them that translates to “puka” in Hawaiian. The beach is also a pit stop in the island-hopping tours offered at White Beach.

Puka Beach, unlike the famous and bustling White Beach, has grainier and less powdery sand. The intermittent lashing of waves to the shore produces shells and rocks that define the beach’s sand’s characteristic composition.

But Why "Puka" Anyway? A History Lesson That Won't Put You to Sleep

“Puka” means “white” in Tagalog, which makes sense considering the beach’s blindingly white sand. But, back in the day, the shore used to be littered with those pearly puka shells. So many shells, in fact, that the beach earned its nickname, “Puka Shell Beach.” Sadly, overfishing and souvenir hunters have made the shells a bit rarer these days, but the name stuck, a beautiful reminder of the beach’s pristine past.

Check out this great video of Puka Beach by drone

What's Puka Beach Known For?

Puka Beach is more than just a normal beach. It’s the Beyoncé of beaches, known for its dazzling white sand, crystal-clear waters, and a sprinkle of Puka shells that make it Instagram-worthy. Think of it as nature’s bling, without the hefty price tag.

Note, the sand is coarser than the amazing White Beach due to the small bits of coral mixed in with it.

So, what's the deal with Puka Beach? Why should you head north?

1. Shells Yeah! 

Puka Beach used to be famous for its namesake puka shells, little pearly treasures that used to carpet the shore. While the seashells might be a bit shy these days, you’ll still find plenty of “wow” factor in the form of stunning rock formations, hidden coves, and lots of driftwood.

2. Adventure Awaits

Puka Beach isn’t just for sunbathing (although there’s plenty of that). Kayak through hidden caves, snorkel amidst vibrant coral reefs, or stand-up paddle your way to a secluded sandbar for a private picnic. Just remember, sunscreen is your BFF.

3. Sunset Sizzle

Forget generic orange sunsets. Puka Beach paints the sky with fiery hues of coral, purple, and gold, turning the horizon into a giant mood lamp for amazing photos.

The Showstopper

The first question that’ll pop into your head when you reach Puka Beach is: ‘Where are the crowds?’. Hey, don’t fret! That’s its USP — tranquility. The entrance fee to this beach? Free! Gotta love that.

puka beach borocay sign

How to get to Puka Beach:

Puka Beach is nestled on the northern tip of Boracay Island, in the Philippines. It’s about a 9-kilometer ride from Boracay Jetty Port, offering a serene escape from the busier areas of the island.

Transportation to Puka Beach

Going to Puka Beach is possible via land or sea. By land, visitors can take a 10-15 minute tricycle or motorbike ride from White Beach. For those looking for a unique experience, an all-terrain vehicle can be hired for a self-drive. By sea, rent a Banca or paraw and sail from White beach departure point around the island until you get to the north.

You can reach Puka Beach through:

You’ve navigated the seas (or hopped on a scooter), and now you’re standing on Puka Beach. What awaits? Let me explain:

1. Island Hopping Adventure

Puka Beach is a prime stop on most Boracay island hopping tours. Just hop on a traditional bangka (a small Filipino boat) that includes stops at various jaw-dropping locations before reaching the pinnacle of awesomeness – Puka Beach.

2. Tricycles

Feeling adventurous? Rent a scooter and weave your way through the island’s lush greenery. Just remember, traffic in Boracay can be unpredictable, so keep your cool and embrace the island vibes. Grab a tricycle (Philippine-style motorized rickshaws) it’s a short, bumpy ride to Puka Beach.

3. Taxi

If you’re feeling fancy (or sunburnt), grab a taxi from Station 1 or 2. It’s a bit pricier, but hey, sometimes a little luxury is worth it, especially when it involves escaping the crowds and finding your private slice of paradise.

The "Welcome Wagon": What to Expect When You Arrive at Puka Beach

You’ve navigated the seas (or hopped on a scooter), and now you’re standing on Puka Beach. What awaits? Let me explain:

1. The Entrance Area

Imagine a scene straight out of a boho magazine. Think driftwood arches adorned with seashells, huts selling souvenirs, and maybe even a local musician strumming a soulful tune. 

2. Finding Your Zen (and Your Lounge Chair)

Puka Beach isn’t about rows of identical sun loungers crammed together like sardines. Here, finding your perfect spot is easy. Limited Rentals:

  • Some beachfront shacks might offer a few loungers for rent, usually located under their shade for those seeking respite from the midday sun.
  • Consider bringing your own inflatable sun loungers or hammocks for maximum flexibility and comfort.

3. The Vibe Check

Puka Beach has a laid-back, almost meditative vibe, with just the right amount of “let’s get wild” sprinkled in. It’s the kind of place where you can wear your swimsuit as your going-out outfit and nobody bats an eyelid (or should I say, an eyelash?).

4. Beach Bites and drinks

Forget greasy hot dogs and overpriced cocktails. Puka Beach’s dining scene is as unique as its vibe. Think beachfront shacks serving up fresh seafood grilled to perfection, smoothie bowls bursting with tropical goodness, and colorful cocktails. 

5. The After-Dark Delights

As the sun dips below the horizon, Puka Beach transforms with twinkling lights and gentle music. String lights illuminate the sand, beach bonfires, and local musicians on balmy nights. 

Remember, Puka Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s an experience, go and enjoy it!

Disclaimer: Side effects of visiting Puka Beach may include uncontrollable wanderlust, an insatiable craving for piña coladas, and an overwhelming urge to book your next Boracay trip before your plane even touches down. Proceed with caution (and plenty of sunscreen).

local boats at puka beach

Best time of the day & year to visit Puka Beach

Paradise has its peak hours, and for seasoned travelers like yourselves, knowing when to bask and when to seek shade is key to a perfect Puka day trip. Here I unlock the secrets of timing your perfect Puka Beach adventure:

Best time of the year to visit Puka Beach

  • Peak Season (November to April):

Expect clear skies, sunshine, and calm seas – paradise at its finest. Ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun. Be prepared for larger crowds and slightly higher prices.

  • Shoulder Seasons (May-June & September-October):

Enjoy decent weather with slightly fewer crowds and lower prices. Occasional afternoon showers might require some flexibility.

  • Rainy Season (July to August):

Rough seas and frequent downpours can disrupt beach plans. While Puka Beach retains its charm even in the wet season, be prepared for some downpours. Rougher seas may limit water activities, and the overall vibe might be a bit damp.

Best Time of Day

  • Sunrise (6:00 AM – 7:00 AM): Witness the Boracay dawn paint the beach in soft hues – perfect for a peaceful start to your day.

  • Morning (7:00 AM – 10:00 AM): Enjoy moderate crowds and gentle waves, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, or exploring the beach’s northern coves.

  • Midday (10:00 AM – 2:00 PM): Peak sunbathing hours with the highest influx of visitors. Embrace the vibrant scene, seek shade during the hottest period, or retreat to a beachfront shack for lunch and cocktails.

  • Afternoon (2:00 PM – 5:00 PM): Crowds start to disperse, offering a more relaxed atmosphere for sunbathing, beach walks, or paddleboarding.

  • Sunset (5:00 PM – 6:00 PM): Witness a fiery sky and capture Instagram-worthy moments. Romantic strolls are highly recommended.

Midday Magic (and Mayhem):

  • Sun Worshippers’: From 10 am to 2 pm, Puka Beach transforms into a hive of activity. Sunbathers bask on the soft sand, kayakers paddle through turquoise waters, and paddleboarders glide across the water. It’s a vibrant scene, perfect for couples and families who crave a bit of action and people-watching. Just remember to pack your sunscreen.


  • Naptime Nirvana: If crowds aren’t your cup of tea, consider taking a break from the beach between noon and 2 pm. Retreat to a beachfront shack for a delicious lunch and refreshing cocktails, or find a hidden cove. 

The No-Go Zone:

  • High Noon: While Puka Beach rarely gets overcrowded, the midday hours can see a slight influx of visitors. If you’re seeking complete solitude, consider exploring the beach’s northernmost tip during this time. The further you venture, the higher the chance of finding your own private paradise.

Whether you’re an early riser at dawn or sunset seeka looking for fiery skies, there’s a perfect time of day for you Just check the weather forecast first and get ready for an awesome day at Puka Beach.

a girl at puka beach

Puka Beach: Beyond the Sun Loungers - Activities while you’re there

Puka Beach offers an adventure playground for everyone who crave more than just soaking up the sun (although there’s plenty of that too!). Here’s your no-nonsense guide to activities to keep everyone entertained on a day trip to Puka Beach:

1. Water:

  • Snorkeling: Dive into a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful coral reefs and amazing fish. Rent gear at beachfront shacks or bring your own.
  • Kayaking: Paddle through hidden coves and secluded lagoons, while soaking in the serene beauty of the island’s coastline. Rental options are readily available.
  • Stand-up Paddleboarding: Test your balance and core strength while gliding across the turquoise waters. Enjoy panoramic views of the beach and spot marine life from a unique perspective. Boards are available for rent.
  • Note: Swimming in Puka’s waters is not advised because of the danger of its depth and roughness, which even gives boatmen a tough time in anchoring their sailboats to the shore.

2. Land Lovers:

  • Beach Exploration: Hike to the northernmost tip of the beach, discovering hidden coves, dramatic rock formations, and breathtaking vistas. Pack sturdy shoes.
  • Island Hopping Tours: Explore other stunning beaches around Boracay. Crystal Cove, Crocodile Island, and Diniwid Beach offer unique experiences and add variety to your beach escape.
  • Motorbike Rental: Zoom through the island’s lush greenery and discover hidden gems off the beaten path. Rent a scooter for a day and create your own adventurous itinerary.

3. Sunset:

  • Beach Bonfires: Rent a beach bonfire set from local vendors, gather shells and driftwood, and cozy up under the starlit sky. Add marshmallows and stories for an unforgettable evening.
  • Live Music: Enjoy soulful tunes and island vibes at beachfront bars and restaurants as the sun dips below the horizon. Sip tropical cocktails and let the music carry you away.
  • Stargazing: Away from light pollution, Puka Beach offers stunning views of the Milky Way. Spread a blanket on the sand, download a stargazing app, and get lost in the celestial wonders above.

Bonus Tip: Pack a waterproof bag and snacks for your adventures. Respect the local environment and leave no trace behind.

Puka Beach isn’t just a beach. Go beyond the sun lounger and explore it further.

puka beach sea view

Puka Beach: Fueling with Food and drinks

Puka Beach isn’t all about sun, sand, and sunsets (although those are pretty epic too!). The hidden gem also boasts a selection of restaurants and bars catering to every taste and thirst. Here’s a quick guide to keep your bellies happy:

Beachfront Shacks:

  • Fresh Seafood: Craving juicy grilled fish, sizzling prawns, and perfectly steamed mussels? Dive into the catch of the day at shacks like Island Seafood Haven and Puka Catch. Pair your feast with a side of coconut water or a fruity smoothie for a truly tropical meal.
  • Budget-Friendly Bites: D’Talipapa Eatery and Nana Rosa’s Kusina offer authentic flavors and generous portions at friendly prices.

Elevated Eats:

  • Fine Dining on the Sand: Craving a touch of glamour? Sunset Point Restaurant and Azure Beach Club offer upscale dining experiences with stunning ocean views. Think gourmet seafood platters, handcrafted cocktails, and live music for a touch of sophistication.

Beach Bars:

  • Sunset: As the sun dips below the horizon, visit paradise at Sea Breeze Bar or Chill Out Lounge. Sip on tropical cocktails, craft beers, or local rum concoctions while sharing stories with fellow beach lovers.
  • Beach Bonfire Chill: Gather around the flames at Driftwood Bar or Beach Hut Bar & Grill. Share stories, sing along to some live music, and enjoy grilled snacks and refreshing drinks under the starlit sky.

Bonus Tips:

  • Support local businesses and choose stalls with sustainable practices.
  • Ask about fresh seafood catches to ensure the best quality.
  • Enjoy responsible drinking and respect the peaceful atmosphere.


Remember, Puka Beach offers more than just sunbathing and snorkeling. Explore the culinary scene, and let the flavors of Puka Beach restaurants and bars make your day. 

Pro Tips:

  • Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat – the sun is strong!
  • Rent snorkeling gear to explore the vibrant coral reefs.
  • Bring reusable water bottles and minimize plastic waste.
  • Respect the local culture and dress modestly away from the beach.
  • Download offline maps and essential apps before arriving.
coconut tree and beach view



Puka Beach delivers beyond the typical beach experience. Forget rows of generic sun loungers; embrace the natural charm and discover a quiet secluded beach. Snorkel vibrant coral reefs, kayak through hidden coves, or simply soak up the sun – the activities cater to everyone. 

Enjoy fiery sunsets, a bonfire or a beachfront bar snack, Puka Beach offers a space to unwind for unforgettable memories. Did you know that Boracay has 20 beaches in total?