For the second straight year, the island of Palawan, home to the world-renowned Puerto Princesa Underground River, was hailed the top island destination in the world in a poll by an award-winning US travel magazine.
In Conde Nast Traveler’s (CNT) Readers’ Choice Awards 2015, Palawan bested 19 other world-famous islands, including Bora Bora (2nd) and Moorea (3rd) in French Polynesia, , Bermuda (5th), Bali in Indonesia (8th), Santorini in Greece (9th), British Virgin Islands (12th), and Maldives (16th).
Palawan got a rating of 85.937 from CNT readers.
The magazine recognized the inclusion of the Puerto Princesa Subterreanean River to the new seven natural wonders of the world.
“Palawan’s natural wonder is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Guided boat tours take visitors down a portion of the waterway, where karsts, natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone, loom in every direction,” CNT said.
Boracay island in Aklan and Cebu also made it to the annual list, placing 15th and 19th, respectively.
“This itty-bitty island (just under 4 square miles) in the Western Philippines is as close to the tropical idyll as you’ll find in Southeast Asia, with gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets. Add in a thriving nightlife scene, and you have one of the top tourist spots in the region,” CNT said of Boracay.
CNT cited Boracay’s “gentle coastlines, transporting sunsets, powdery white sand, and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling.”
Despite the presence of “plenty of up-and-coming restaurants and shopping” centers, the magazine also said Cebu was “more personal” compared to Phuket in Thailand.
“The most densely populated island in the Philippines, Cebu is famous for its beaches, on the mainland as well as around many of the surrounding islands,” CNT said of Cebu.
Other islands which cracked the top 20 were Hvar and Dalmatian Islands in Croatia (20th), Sta. Lucia (18th), Orkney Islands in Scotland (17th), Mykonos in Greece (14th), St. John, USVI (13th), Cook Islands (11th), Tasmania in Australia (10th), Vancouver Island in Canada (7th), Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands in Australia (6th), and Waiheke Island in New Zealand (4th).