The picturesque town of El Nido. (Getty image via Condé Nast Traveler)

Palawan has been named the 2nd World Best Island for Beaches by Condé Nast Traveler 2021 Reader’s Choice Awards, as numerous tourism spots throughout the world began to reopen for tourists.

According to information provided on its website in February, nearly 800,000 people participated in the 34th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, which asked them to choose their favorite islands for beaches around the world.

“The results [of the survey] reflect the kinds of destinations you longed to visit when you couldn’t travel and the ones you returned to first once you could,” Condé Nast said.

Palawan, with its karst limestone cliffs, underwater vistas of seagrass, coral reefs, and subterranean river, is one of Condé Nast’s favorite islands in Asia.

With its unspoiled beaches in El Nido town, the island province is also recommended for island hopping.

“Its trapped-in-time beaches give way to an underwater landscape of seagrass meadows and coral reefs, which are home to sea turtles, dolphins, manatee-like dugongs, and endangered giant clams,” the travel magazine said.

“And it’s also the perfect gateway for island-hopping among the lush and mostly uninhabited islets of the Bacuit Bay archipelago,” it added.

Apart from Palawan, Boracay Island came in fifth place as a traveler’s preference, with the place being described as a “beautiful blank canvas” for seeing magical sunsets.

According to the survey, Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean island, came out on top this year, followed by Palawan. Bora Bora in French Polynesia, the Maldives, Boracay Island, Anguilla, Seychelles, Bermuda, Mykonos in Greece, and the British Virgin Islands were also among the top ten.

In the midst of the pandemic, Palawan’s tourist agency and provincial government celebrated yet another tourism milestone for the province.

“Keep shining Palawan, indeed, you inspire our return to travel,” the Department of Tourism-MIMAROPA also said on its Facebook page.

Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco, the provincial information officer, said Tuesday that the recognition speaks not only for Palawan, but for the entire country.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and even when typhoon Odette battered the province, he said, the provincial government continued to promote tourism.

He also assured visitors that there will never be a shortage of new discoveries in Palawan because the island has so much to offer.

“The provincial government of Palawan managed to intensify the tourism promotion, rehabilitation, and sustainable efforts and would like to extend its gratitude towards Condé Nast for recognizing us. This wouldn’t be possible without the support and cooperation of the Palaweños,” Cojamco said.

“Tourists will never run out of discoveries in this paradise, which is also known as the last frontier of the country. This wonder is and will be preserved for our next generation to enjoy as ‘The world-class Paradise Island’,” he added.