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Condé Nast names Boracay, El Nido in ‘25 Best Island Beaches in the World’ list

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 06, 2021 1:09 am

White Beach, Boracay and El Nido, Palawan have placed 2nd and 9th, respectively, in Condé Nast’s Traveler's 25 Best Island Beaches in the World: 2020 Readers' Choice Awards list.

Condé Nast released its list last week, Dec. 31, 2020. “For our 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey—yes, more than three decades—our 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. Whether you're looking for a calm stretch of sand in the Caribbean or a family-friendly resort in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there are enough options out there to suit every type of traveler,” the publication said in its introduction. 

El Nido’s water is so blindingly blue it makes the Caribbean Sea look murky in comparison.

The inclusion of El Nido and Boracay in the prestigious travel publication’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards recognizes their unparalleled beauty and uniquely diverse resources.

“We would like to thank the travelers who voted for our destinations. We draw inspiration from this warm reception and solid vote of confidence from our satisfied patrons. As our destinations gradually reopen with health and safety measures in place, we will continue our conservation and protection efforts of these areas,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

El Nido, Palawan.  Photos by Tanya Lara 
White Beach, Boracay 

“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,” wrote Conde Nast’s Caitlin Morton.

On El Nido, Morton gushed, “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.”

El Nido has both luxury island resorts and affordable accommodations. 
White Beach is famous for its restaurants and bars, and a now scaled-down nightlife. 

Both Boracay and El Nido are open to domestic tourists coming from GCQ and MGCQ areas with health and safety protocols, which you can find at, or download the Travel Philippines app at

Boracay is a screensaver brought to life, with dazzling white sand, so-clear-you-can-see-your-toes water, and a lush jungle backdrop.

The complete list: 1. Gouverneur, St. Barts; 2. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines; 3. North Island, Seychelles; 4. Reethi Rah, North Malé Atoll, Maldives; 5. Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos; 6. Maundays Bay, Anguilla; 7. Marco Island, Florida; 8. Kiawah Island, South Carolina; 9. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines; 10. Seger Beach, Lombok, Indonesia; 11. Blue Beach (La Chiva), Vieques, Puerto Rico; 12. Seagrass Bay, Laucala Island, Fiji; 13. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; 14. Fundu Lagoon, Pemba Island, Zanzibar; 15. Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI; 16.  Banana Beach, Koh Hey (Coral) Island, Phuket, Thailand; 17. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; 18. Palm Beach, Aruba; 19. Honokalani Beach, Wai'anapanapa State Park, Maui; 20. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; 21. Sunset Beach, Oahu; 22. The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; 23. Siasconset Beach, Nantucket, Massachusetts; 24.  Unawatuna, Sri Lanka; 25. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda.

Read Condé Nast’s 25 Best Island Beaches in the World here

Banner photo by Tanya Lara