World’s Best: The Philippines’ Palawan and Boracay Are At It Again!

Seen the news? The world has spoken and the Philippines’ Palawan and Boracay made it again to Travel + Leisure’s 2017 World’s Top 10 Islands. Every year, readers of the international travel magazine are asked to rate their travel experience around the world.

The rating includes the destination’s “activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.” Around 300,000 readers and subscribers participated in the magazine’s 22nd edition of the World’s Best. For further information on how the magazine conducts the survey, check out its methodology here.

Boracay Island

Boracay made it to the third spot! The island, south of the country’s capital Manila, was listed as the second world’s best last year, and got an overall 89.67 rating. It also landed on the fourth spot of The 2017 World's Friendliest Islands of the same travel magazine. 

Known for its 4-km stretch of immaculately white sand and pristine blue waters, Boracay has registered 1,725,483 tourists in 2016. Most were from South Korea and China, 321,016 and 273,297, respectively. There are a lot of things one can do while on this island paradise: island hopping, parasailing, scuba diving, and land and helicopter tours, are just a few of the fun stuff!

Getting to Boracay is easy. A number of local airlines fly daily from Manila and Cebu to the Caticlan and Kalibo airports. From the airports, head to the Jetty port and hop on a pump boat bound for the island, then take a tricycle ride (or walk! It’s fun!)  to your hotel/resort/accommodation. Boracay offers many resorts, hotels, and lodges to choose from! Just like there are lots of ways one can have fun while on the island!


Making it to the no. 1 spot again this year is gorgeous Palawan. And for good reason! With an average score of 93.15, the island has been on top for two consecutive years now. It’s also the world’s best back in 2013! Palawan bested USA’s Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and Maui in Hawaii, Greece’s Santorini, and Indonesia’s Bali. “Rustic,” “romantic,” “affordable,” and “relaxing” are just a few of what the survey participants had to say about this breathtaking paradise! One reader even hailed the island as “the single most beautiful place on earth!” These and a no. 1 spot of The World's Friendliest Islands! Talk about having it all! Another reader described the island’s locals as “very welcoming, respectful, and friendly."

Located southwest of Manila, Palawan is a jewel of white-sand beaches, sparkling waters of the clearest sky-blue down to the deepest sapphire, and majestic lagoons, falls, and rivers! In 2016 alone, the island registered a total of 1,162,439 visitors. It is home to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, officially confirmed in 2012.

The most-visited destinations in Palawan are Puerto Princesa, Coron, and El Nido. See below lists of top things and fun activities one can do in each destination:

  • Puerto Princesa: Honda Bay, Tubbataha Reef, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Firefly Watching
  • Coron: Coron Bay, Sunken Japanese Wrecks, Skeleton Reef, and Kayangan Lake
  • El Nido: Nacpan Beach, LiO Beach, Marimegmeg Beach, Taraw Cliff, and Mellow Tour Z

No hassle getting to this paradise, too! Daily flights are available to the Francisco B. Reyes Airport (Coron), Puerto Princesa International Airport (Puerto Princesa/El Nido), and El Nido Airport (El Nido). Local shipping lines also have two trips from Manila to Puerto Princesa, if you prefer traveling by sea and spending some quality time on board (trips usually take about 24 hours). Accommodation rates at these destinations start from around PhP 600.00 (of course, luxury accommodations have higher rates).

Go and book that flight, and tick these breathtaking paradise islands off your bucket list now! It’s gonna be worth it!

Here’s the full list of The World’s Top 10 Islands:

10. Bali, Indonesia (87.61)
9. Hvar and the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia (87.75)
8. Ischia, Italy (88.53)
7. Kauai, Hawaii (88.72)
6. Maui, Hawaii (89.17)
5. Santorini, Greece (89.19)
4. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador ( 89.20)
3. Boracay Island, Philippines (89.67)
2. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (90.83)
1. Palawan, Philippines (93.15)

Side note: The Philippines’ Cebu Island, ranked 6 in 2016, did not make the cut to this year’s list. Although Cebu remains one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines and in Asia; home to Spanish-era churches and buildings, virgin falls, white sand beaches, and awesome mountain ranges. Let’s see how Cebu fares next year 2018!

Check out this video to find out what El Nido has to offer. Note: please bear with the quality as all of these were taken using a mobile phone 

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