The Philippines is leading the field in Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the world’s 20 most beautiful islands.
In the annual People’s Choice Awards, the nation is represented in first, second and fifth places.
Top place went to Boracay, which the travel publication described as: “This itty-bitty island (just under four square miles) in the Western Philippines is as close to a 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.”
Hard on Boracay’s heels, at number two, is Palawan. The guide says: “Palawan’s natural wonder is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, travelling 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 next two spots go to Mallorca, in the Mediterranean, and the Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Isles in Australia.
Then, at number five, the Philippines is back in the game with the somewhat surprising choice of Cebu — the Philippines’ most densely populated island. The guide says: “To get a true taste of island life, head off the grid on the Camotes Islands, two hours east of Cebu. Bring cash because there are no ATMs.”
The remainder of the list — was voted for by readers and excludes islands in the USA — is dominated by scenic spots in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
Last year’s list featured only two Philippine islands, with Palawan in fifth place and Boracay coming in at unlucky number 13.
Read the full list at Conde Nast Traveler