The world’s best island

Published: January 11, 2015 1:29:07 AM

In fact, anyone looking for places under that category will naturally think of the Caribbean, Greece, the South Pacific...

NO MAN is an island, but if you’re looking for one that is better than all the rest, it could be a tough choice. In fact, anyone looking for places under that category will naturally think of the Caribbean, Greece, the South Pacific or Hawaii. Here’s a reality check: check out the Philippines.

The Philippines is not exactly a travel destination that’s on top of any traveller’s bucket list, but it does have some stunning island paradises. In fact, the country has an amazing number of beautiful islands, but there’s one called Palawan, a hidden piece of paradise that was recently named “the top island in the world” in the recent Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s Reader Choice Awards. The magazine describes it as a place where “beautiful blue water mixes with emerald green, jungle-filled mountains that appear to rise up from the ocean, and quaint fishing villages that dot the island.”

Together with its neighbouring islands, it makes up what is called Palawan Province. The island is accessible by either boat or airplane—it’s about an hour-and-a-half by air from Manila—although there are also connections from Iloilo and Cebu. Palawan is said to have some of the best spots in the world to scuba dive, with shipwrecks lining the bottom of Coron Bay. There’s also a subterranean river, which has been described by Unesco as “one of the most unique”in the world. Island hopping is recommended by local boats and the best time to visit is in the winter months when the sea is ideal to scuba dive or cruise the lagoons surrounded by soaring cliffs. There’s also a range of incredible wildlife to be found, from purple crabs to mouse deer, pangolins and rare butterflies. There are luxury hotels and restaurants serving great food to reassure you that there is no need to do a Robinson Crusoe.

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