When you conjure the most spectacular islands in the world, do you picture far-flung and exotic places, such as the South Pacific or the Maldives? Well, you'd be right that those are indeed some of the most incredible specks of land on earth. But, according to Travel + Leisure's just-released list of the best islands in the world for this year, three of them are right here in the U.S. of A.
As part of its annual World's Best Awards, T+L named the top 10 islands in the world, with help from reader input.
Nearly a third of the places on the list are places Americans can access without a passport. Two are Hawaiian islands — not surprisingly — with Kauai coming in at No. 7 and Maui at No. 6.
In fact, a U.S. island made it almost all the way to No. 1... but not quite. Hilton Head, South Carolina came in at No 2.
So which island claimed the very top spot this year? Well, that honor went to Palawan, Philippines, and by a fairly wide margin, according to the scoring.
Palawan is made up of a main island by that name, as well as about 1,800 additional surrounding islets. It also boasts a five-mile-long underground river, limestone caves, and some of the world's finest scuba diving.
Readers described the heavenly destination as “rustic,” “romantic,” “affordable,” and “relaxing.” More specifically, one just called it “the single most beautiful place on earth.”
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