Philippines' Boracay, Palawan and Cebu named among world's best islands

A boat at the dock in Palawan Island, which is located in the Philippines.
A boat at the dock in Palawan Island, which is located in the Philippines. PHOTO: PALAWANISLAND.ORG

(PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER) - Three famous tourist destinations in the Philippines were named as some of the world's best islands, according to an award-winning travel magazine.

Boracay Island, known globally for its powdery white sands and azure waters, topped Conde Nast Traveler's 2016 Readers' Choice Awards.

Palawan, which topped the annual list for the past two years, clinched second spot, while Cebu landed in fifth place.

The magazine described Boracay as an "itty-bitty island as close to a tropical idyll as you'll find in South-east 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," it added.

Conde Nast Traveler also tagged Palawan as home of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the new seven wonders of nature.

"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," it said regarding the attraction.

Cebu was also touted for its beaches, saying it was "not as wild as Phuket in Thailand" but "more personal, with plenty of up-and-coming restaurants and shopping".

The Philippine destinations bested other islands on the list including Vancouver Island in Canada, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, Crete in Greece, Bali in Indonesia, Mykonos in Greece, St Barts, Cayman Islands, Sardinia in Italy, Tahiti in French Polynesia, Ibiza in Spain, Santorini in Greece, British Virgin Islands, St John, USVI and St Lucia.

Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu were also voted as three of the world's best islands by readers of Travel + Leisure earlier this year.