MANILA, Philippines - With an overall rating of 85.937, Palawan was named by Conde Nast Traveler as the world's best island for second straight year.
Palawan - Is home to the famous Underground River, bested 19 other world-famous islands, including Bora Bora (84.756) and Moorea (84.656) in French Polynesia, which are both known for being among the world's best spots for snorkeling with its crystal blue waters.
"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," wrote the Magazine.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the subterranean river a World Heritage Site in 1999.
Cebu (80.404) at 19th is also a new comer on the list. The magazine called it the most densely populated island in the Philippines yet is famous with its beaches.
Meanwhile, the island of Boracay (80.856) dropped to the 15th spot from 12th last year. The magazine described the island as "with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling."
This year included more than 128,000 travelers for the survey, the most in its history. The islands were “judged on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.”
The top 20 islands in the world are as follows:
- Palawan, Philippines
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Moorea, French Polynesia
- Waiheke Island, New Zealand
- Great Barrier Reef & Whitsunday Islands, Australia
- Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
- Bali, Indonesia
- Santorini, Greece
- Tasmania, Australia
- Cook Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- St. John, USVI
- Mykonos, Greece
- Boracay, Philippines
- Orkney Islands, Scotland
- St. Lucia
- Cebu, Philippines
- Hvar & Dalmatian Islands, Croatia