Photos show why Palawan in the Philippines has just been named the best island in the world

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Palawan offers world-class diving and snorkelling. Getty
  • Palawan in the Philippines has been voted the best island in the world in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2020.
  • The lifestyle site’s readers rated islands based on their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.
  • Palawan emerged on top not for the first time, scoring 94.83 out of 100.
  • Photos of its crystal clear waters, palm-edged beaches, and mountains show just why the island was voted the best in the world.
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Palawan is around 270 miles long and just 25 across at its widest point. “On a map Palawan looks like an arm extending from the Philippines to Borneo,” Travel + Leisure wrote.

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With limestone cliffs extending directly from the ocean, the seascape is dramatic and striking.

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It’s not the easiest to reach, but it’s definitely worth it when you get there.

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There are white sandy beaches lined with palm trees …

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… and turquoise waters that look straight out of a postcard.

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“The landscape and scenery are just gorgeous,” wrote one person. “It offers the most beautiful beaches, resorts, and scenery anywhere.”

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The scuba-diving around Palawan is world-class.

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You can even find World War II shipwrecks to explore.

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Or you could simply snorkel through the clear seas.

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If you prefer to stay atop the water, you can explore the coastline from a canoe or kayak.

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Or just relax on one of the less discovered beaches.

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Hammock optional, but thoroughly recommended.

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The sunsets are stunning.

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Needless to say, Palawan offers prime Instagram content.

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There are an increasing number of establishments catering to tourists …

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… but travellers can still enjoy the traditional Filipino culture, celebrated by friendly locals with float parades and costumes during festivals.

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Palawan has beautiful rainforests to explore …

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… and with its 600+ species of birds, the island is heaven for bird-watchers.

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Finally, Travel + Leisure’s readers love the fresh cuisine, which is seafood-heavy and full of flavour.

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