With its world-renowned underground river, the island of Palawan in the Philippines emerged as the top island destination in a poll by an award-winning US travel magazine.
Beating 147 other islands throughout the world, Palawan was voted as “Top Island in the World” in the 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards of Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
The magazine announced the results on its website Monday October 20 (US Time) after over 76,600 readers cast their votes.
Palawan was given a rating of 88.750 by the readers owing mostly because of the declaration of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River as one of 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,” the magazine said.
Boracay Island in Aklan province was also included in the ranking at number 12 and given a rating of 82.683.
“This itty-bitty island (10 square miles) in the Philippines is as close to the tropical idyll ideal as you’ll find in the Philippines, with gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets. Add in a thriving nightlife scene, and you have one of the top tourist spots in the region,” the magazine said.
“The aptly named White Beach is Boracay’s main draw, with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling,” it said.
Palawan was able to beat other world-famous islands such as Bora Bora in French Polynesia (25th), Maldives (19th), Bali in Indonesia (17th), Bermuda (14th), Santorini and Cyclades in Greece (7th), and Maui in Hawaii (3rd).
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey started in 1988. The 2014 survey got 76,659 responses
“Individual candidates are judged on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor,” Conde Nast explained in how they are ranked.