Hagdan Beach

Boracay’s Secret Beaches

There’s more to Boracay than Stations 1-3, a.k.a. White Beach, the long strip of powdery sand that put Boracay atop many best beach listicles around the world. This year I went on a mission: To find as many of Boracay’s secret beaches as I could.



Sorry, White Beach! I still love you, but I needed a break from the pesky vendors. Nothing beats peace and quiet on the beach without a care in the world, and most of all, without any noise or interruption.

It was not easy. There is no one comprehensive “secret beach list,” and as I found out along the way, some beaches are called by different names, while some aren’t properly labeled on Google Maps. Not all Boracay residents have been to these spots or even heard about them.

After reading dozens of published articles and blog posts, I listed 17 beaches in Boracay (not counting White Beach) and managed to visit 13.

1. Bulabog Beach

The easiest to find among Boracay’s “secret” beaches, Bulabog is just a 15-minute walk or five-minute tricycle ride from Station 2. It’s also known as Back Beach, the windy side of Boracay, or the alternative Boracay. Considered the best kite surfing destination in Asia, Bulabog Beach’s peak season is from December to March when the wind is perfect for kitesurfing. When the wind is calm, Bulabog Beach is a peaceful paradise, a far cry from the elbow-to-elbow situation along Stations 1 to 3.

Bulabog Beach, Boracay
How many beaches does Boracay have? Boracay has 18 beaches. There’s the famous White Beach, while the other 17 are considered secret beaches or alternative beaches. There could be more if you count the pockets of sandy shores around the island. Pictured here is Bulabog Beach.
Kitesurfing in Bulabog Beach, Boracay
Bulabog is considered the best kitesurfing destination in Asia.

Kate Alvarez in Bulabog Beach, Boracay
Kate was here. Bulabog Beach, Boracay.

2. Manoc-Manoc Beach

When you walk past Bulabog Rock, the far end of Bulabog Beach, you’ll get a glimpse of Manoc-Manoc. It’s not exactly a great spot to chill because it’s the docking station of supply boats, so it’s not as clean and beautiful as Bulabog or White Beach. But since you’re already exploring Bulabog, you may as well have a look at Manoc-Manoc.

Boats docked on Manoc-Manoc Beach, Boracay
On Google Maps, this is just an unnamed beach past Bulabog, in an area called Manoc-Manoc. There’s another port called Manoc-Manoc on the same side as Cagban Jetty Port.




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3. Diniwid Beach

There are two ways to get here. You can walk past Station 1, past Lambros Point and the Mother Mary Cave, or you can take a tricycle ride from wherever you are in Boracay and they’ll take you to the backside of Diniwid, where you’ll walk a bit until you get to this tranquil beach that’s away from the crowd. There are some restaurants and bars in this area, so it’s not exactly the most secret spot. But it’s still more quiet option than Stations 1-3.

Kate Alvarez in Diniwid Beach, Boracay
Diniwid, one of the secret beaches of Boracay

Diniwid Beach, Boracay
Diniwid Beach
Girl on Diniwid Beach, Boracay
Kate was here.
Rocks on Diniwid Beach
For reference, Diniwid Beach is a 30-minute walk from D’Mall. This small beach is separated from White Beach by a rocky cape called Lambros Point.

4. Balinghai Beach

Before the pandemic and controversial 2018 Boracay closure, your only way to explore Balinghai Beach was through the private Balinghai Beach Resort, either paying the entrance fee or checking in for at least a night. Unfortunately, Balinghai Beach Resort is now closed! When I tried to get in, the gates were padlocked and there was nobody there to let me through.

Balinghai Beach, Boracay
Balinghai Beach

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5. Hagdan Beach

This piece of paradise is between Diniwid (right after the former Spider House) and Balinghai. After my failed Balinghai attempt, I walked to the left and found this beach, which, according to some locals, is called Hagdan Beach because the address is in Hadgan-Yapak. It’s not on Google Maps! You’ll just see a blank space on the map right before Balinghai, which makes it feel even more secret.

Rocks on Hagdan Beach, Boracay
Hagdan Beach, Boracay
Hagdan Beach, Boracay
I came from a failed attempt to enter the closed Balinghai Resort. I explored to the left and found this!
Abandoned resort on Hagdan Beach, Boracay
Hagdan Beach is between Diniwid (right after the demolished Spider House) and Balinghai Resort (now closed).
Low tide in Hagdan Beach, Boracay
After Hagdan Beach, you’ll find Balinghai. Sometimes they’re mistaken for the same place.

6. Puka Beach

This one is not-so-secret. If you’ve booked the island-hopping tour of Boracay, then you most likely made a pitstop at Puka Shell Beach or Puka Beach. which is at the northern tip of the island. It’s called Puca because the sand is mixed with crushed corals, making it courser than the sand in White Beach. According to longtime residents, this beach also used to be lined with puka shells, hence the name.




Boats on Puca Beach, Boracay
Puka Shell Beach, also referred to as Puca Beach or Puka Beach.
Boats on Puca Beach, Boracay
Puka Beach is one of the highlights of Boracay’s island-hopping tour.
Fruit shake stand on Puca Beach
While you’re in Puka Beach, look for the Kobe Bryant fruit shake sand. Pinoy humor!

7. Ilig-Iligan Beach

Further past Bulabog and also on the backside of Boracay, Ilig-Iligan is probably what White Beach looked like before mainstream tourism took over—natural, rugged, uninhabited, uncombed, and untouched. The tide is a bit stronger here, so make sure you’re a good swimmer. According to locals, if you go way left past Ilig-Iligan, you’ll find another secret beach. But I was already tired, it was raining, and the tide was strong and high, so I skipped the extra mile.

Entrance to Ilig-Iligan Beach
Entrance to Ilig-Iligan, one of the secret beaches of Boracay
View of Ilig-Iligan Beach, Boracay
Ilig-Iligan Beach
A few tourists on Ilig-Iligan Beach, Boracay
It’s not entirely secret as there are some vendors and resorts along the beach, but still more peaceful than White Beach.

Klook.com

Rocks and small waves on Ilig-Iligan Beach, Boracay
They say there’s another secret beach past this spot.

8. Lapuz-Lapuz Beach

This one’s a bit confusing. If you check Google Maps, it says it’s still part of Ilig-Iligan Beach, when locals say this is really Lapuz Lapuz Beach. It’s accessible via Fairways and Bluewaters. It’s near the famous Cujo’s Keyhole.

Rocks on Lapuz-Lapuz Beach, Boracay
On Google Maps, this is called Ilig-Iligan, but locals told me it’s Lapuz-Lapuz Beach.



Low tide on Lapuz-Lapuz Beach, Boracay
Lapuz-Lapuz is accessible via Fairways and Bluewater.
Tourist in front of Cujo's Keyhole, Boracay
While you’re in Lapuz-Lapuz, you may as well check out Cujo’s Keyhole.

9. Banyugan Beach

Now let’s go to Station 0, the nickname given to the stretch of white sand way past Station 1, where all the high-end hotels and resorts are found. It’s where you’ll most likely find A-list celebrities and models sunbathing in peace. Banyugan Beach is in front of Shangri-La Plaza.

Umbrellas and sunbeds on Banyugan Beach
Pre-pandemic Banyugan Beach

Fun activities to try in Boracay

Wedding catering setup on Banyugan Beach, Boracay
The last time I was in Station 0 was back in 2015 for a friend’s wedding, so pardon my dated photos.

10. Punta Bunga Beach

This is accessible via Shangri-La, Movenpick, and Eco Village Resorts. Needless to say, you have to be checked into these exclusive resorts to get access to the Station 0 beaches.

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11. Tambisaan Beach

For a more local flavor, Tambisaan Beach is next to the Tambisaan Jetty Port. You’ll find a good snorkeling spot and a friendly residential area. But it can get busy during high tide season. Tambisaan Jetty Port is where you’ll have to dock during the high tide season instead of the usual Cagban Jetty Port.

Jetty Port, Tambisaan Beach
Tambisaan Jetty Port
Boats along Tambisaan Beach, Boracay
Immerse in the local life by visiting Tambisaan Beach.

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Boats on Tambisaan Beach, Boracay
Find Kate.

12. Cagban Jetty Port

Not to be confused with Cagban Secret Beach, this Cagban is right next to the Jetty Port, where all tourists coming from Caticlan Airport will usually dock upon arrival in Boracay. Google Maps will lead you to two versions of Cagban Beach, and it’s usually this one on the first try. I’ve read many blog posts saying this is a great beach. Technically, yes, this small beach does have the requisite white sand, but because it’s right next to the Jetty Port with boats coming in and out regularly, it’s not the ideal place to lounge in your skimpy bikini. The beach is also right in front of the tricycle drivers’ parking station, so I’m giving this a no.

Docking at Cagban Jetty Port, Boracay
Cagban Jetty Port

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Boats docking near Cagban near the Boracay Jetty Port
Not to be confused with Cagban Secret Beach, this Cagban is right next to the Jetty Port, where all tourists coming from Caticlan Airport will usually dock upon arrival in Boracay.

13. Secret Cagban Beach

Now let’s go to the real secret Cagban Beach for the more adventurous traveler. To get there, you’ll have to walk or bike through some greenery with lots of debris from the abandoned hotels and resorts that used to surround the area. I found two sections of the secret beaches. The first is where you’ll find a lot of locals having barbeque parties, and the second is great for lounging in secret for as long as the tide is low. Just in case Google Maps lures you to this little pin called “Secret Beach,” please note that it does not exist! I tried to go there and ended up in a toilet-smelling area with no beach. Look for the real Cagban Beach.

Cagban Beach, Boracay
The real Cagban Beach, one of the best secret beaches of Boracay
Boat docking on Cagban Beach, Boracay
Docking spot for locals and a beach for family barbeques

Klook.com

Rocky path to Cagban Beach, Boracay
Cagban Beach is a little tricky to find
Cliffs beside Cagban Beach
A little past Cagban Beach, you’ll find cliffs where demolished resorts used to stand. It’s best to bring a local guide with you. Cagban is a little tricky to explore, but it’s worth the adventure.

After seeing not-so-pretty beaches, I decided to skip the other secret beaches on my list:

14. Malabunot Plaza Beach
15. Lugutan Beach
16. Tulubhan Beach
17. Savoy Beach

If I were to pick the best from Boracay’s secret beaches, I’d recommend you see Diniwid, Bulabog, Cagban (the real secret version), Ilig-Iligan, and Hagdan. If you’re staying for only a few days in the island, you can skip the rest.

All photos by Kate. except for Balinghai, which is from fb.com/balinghai.