Boracay is easily the most popular beach destination in the Philippines and regularly features in top 10 beaches lists for the whole world. After a recent trip to Puerto Galera’s White Beach I decided to compare the two.
If you are looking for a quick answer, the winner is easily Boracay. Boracay’s White Beach is a beautiful white sand beach and if you choose the right spot, you needn’t be put off by the crowds.
Puerto Galera’s White Beach on the other hand is nowhere near as “white”. The photo above was taken here and as you can see there is a yellow tint to the sand which turns to brown near the shore. It is still a pretty nice beach though.
Water quality is usually great in Boracay although the famous green algae sets in between February and April. So that is a good time to avoid. In my 3 days in Puerto Galera the water ranged from crystal clear to rather disgusting with loads of trash floating on the surface. I guess it depends on the tides and perhaps I was unlucky?
Accommodation in Boracay is as varied as you can imagine from amazing 5 star resorts to backpacker joints. In Puerto Galera the accommodation is much more budget minded and you will easily find a very basic room for a cheap price.
Food options on Boracay are great, although fairly pricey and quite average at many places. On Puerto Galera there seems to be a trend towards cheap local eateries and a few good Italian restaurants. One thing that really turned me off eating in PG was the amount of flies, they seem to be everywhere.
Both destinations get can lively at night with fire dancing, BBQs and loud music. PG is far busier at the weekends as it is used as a weekend getaway for locals from Manila. PG should offer a more relaxed atmosphere on weekdays.
Getting to both places is a half day trip from Manila. PG involves a drive for 2+ hours then 1+ hour boat (very approximate times). Boracay is only a 1 hour flight but there are often delays.
Boracay is the clear winner for most people. Puerto Galera is best for those on a shoestring budget (although you can do Boracay fairly cheaply if you find cheap flights, eateries and hotels).