Philippines’ Boracay, Palawan in Readers’ Choice Awards for World’s Best Island Beaches

Philippines World's Best Island Beaches
White Beach and El Nido were given top ranks in the 2020 Condé Nast Traveler list. Photos from CNT.

The Philippines’ famous Boracay and Palawan have been chosen among the World’s Best Island Beaches in the Condé Nast Traveler 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.

The Philippines’ islands were in the top notchers list of the 33rd edition of the annual survey results released on December 31, 2020, by the United States travel magazine.

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White Beach in Boracay island of Malay, Aklan notched Top 2 Island while El Nido in Palawan ranked Top 9 among the 25 places that Condé Nast Traveler readers “thought about this year—and can’t wait to return to”. The island choices were those that stayed in the minds of world travelers despite the pause of tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Writer Caitlin Morton described the new list as one that revealed that “readers leaned in heavily into nostalgia. With travel largely on pause this year, it seems what they may have missed most was a coveted beach vacation where they could get away from it all.”

Here are the CNT entries for the Philippines’ islands:

#2 White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is a screensaver brought to life, with dazzling white sand, so-clear-you-can-see-your-toes water, and a lush jungle backdrop, available to anyone willing to make the journey. The island used to fly under the radar with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world—but the secret’s out. Now the three-mile White Beach, with its grottos and beachside dining (and nightlife), is its busiest swath of sand. Start your evening at Restaurant Sirena, Shangri-La Boracay; the food is excellent.

Where to stay: Sitting pretty on a 30-acre property, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa opened its doors in 2009. The main building is an open pavilion with a pitched roof and an exterior of local coral stone. Public areas create a sense of place with ten-foot-high tribal drums, carved wooden sculptures, and local art. Room interiors showcase handwoven textiles, sconces made of local capiz shells, and oars framed as art. The beautiful sunsets are eclipsed only by the great personal service.

#9 El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Shockingly, Palawan remains steadily under the radar, even though it continues to rank highly in our Readers’ Choice Awards. El Nido alone is home to around 50 white sand beaches—it’s impossible to choose just one—all of which are set around dramatic limestone formations and have the finest and whitest sand you’ll ever see. The water is so blindingly blue it makes the Caribbean Sea look murky in comparison. And the sunsets? Well, they’ll ruin you for life. Consider yourself warned.

Where to stay: El Nido Resorts – Pangulasian Island, which was ranked eighteen out of Top 45 Resorts in Asia in our latest survey. With scuba courses and access to plentiful dive sites, as well as boat tours of mangroves and secret lagoons, you could spend all your time exploring, but the resort makes it equally tempting to stay put.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the communities of the Philippines’ Boracay and Palawan for being chosen among the World’s Best Island Beaches!

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