Boracay reclaims Top Asian Island in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards

Boracay Top Islands
Boracay takes back its top island rank one year after it reopened. Credits to CNT.

Boracay Island in the Philippines has reclaimed its No. 1 spot on the Top Islands in Asia list of the Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.

The 2019 CNT Awards released in October named the world-famous four-square island of Boracay its top pick in Asia in a dominant showing of the Philippine islands on the list, with Cebu and Visayas Islands at No. 2 spot, and Palawan in 4th rank.

The Philippines’ top island destinations were named among the Top 30 best islands in the world listed by region, representing the top 15 percent choices of a record 600,000 registered voters in the 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey.


Boracay is described by CNT writer Valerie Marino as an island that is “as close to a tropical idyll as you’ll find in Southeast Asia, with gentle coastlines and made-for-Instagram sunsets.”

CNT recommends White Beach as “Boracay’s main draw, with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling.”

CNT notes how Boracay was reopened in October 2018 after being closed for a 6-month rehabilitation to curb the impact of overcrowding and unregulated development.

Prior to its closing, Boracay was voted CNT’s World’s Best Island in 2016 and 2017 and remained on the Top Asian Islands list in 2018.

Boracay’s continuing efforts at addressing overtourism was hailed by in a recent feature by viral vlogger Nas Daily.


Cebu and Visayas draw two million travelers annually. Credits to CNT.

Cebu and Visayas Islands were voted No. 2 Best Asian Island for travelers for its Spanish and Roman Catholic influences where the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño houses a small statue of Christ that was brought by Spain’s Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. The quincentennial celebration of the historic first circumnavigation of the world will focus on Cebu in 2021.

CNT notes that “Cebu draws nearly 2 million travelers annually for its pristine beaches and diving off the island’s northern coast” and recommends the Kawasan Falls.

Cebu was also named among Travel and Leisure’s 2019 World’s Best Islands.


Palawan stays on the CNT rankings among the top choices. Credits to CNT.

Palawan, the perennial World Best Island choice for CNT readers took the 4th spot in this year’s survey. CNT recommends Palawan’s “otherworldly Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth the trip alone.”

Puerto Princesa, one of the world’s longest underground rivers, offers five miles through a subterranean cave system with guided boat tours taking visitors down a portion of the waterway, “where karsts—natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone—loom in every direction.”

CNT also lists the many offerings of the archipelagic province, among them, El Nido and its blue lagoon, in the Bacuit Archipelago.

El Nido beaches were also named in the 2019 Trip Advisor Asia’s Best list.

Penang in Malaysia and Bali in Indonesia complete the Top 5 Best Islands in Asia listed by CNT readers as places they loved most this year.

SEND cheers to the people of Boracay, Cebu and Visayas, and Palawan for making their islands the best travel destinations in the Philippines!

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.