Kamusta (hello), and welcome to the most beautiful island you’ve never heard of.

It’s called Palawan and it floats beautifully on the western side of the Philippines. There are about 7,000 islands there, so if you are as clueless about geography as me, here’s a breakdown:


Both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel and Leisure declared Palawan the best island in the world and looking at pictures, it’s not worth arguing about.

The small island boasts white sand beaches, the clearest aquamarine water and Instagram-worthy lagoons.

It also has its very own UNESCO World Heritage site and is situated on one of the 7 Wonders of Nature (yes, these are a thing), the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.

Hiding along five miles of crystal clear water you can find five species of endangered sea turtles (did you even know there were that many species!?), bright fish, dolphins and abundant sea life straight from the waters of “Finding Nemo.”

The island is covered with limestone cliffs and more than 600 species of butterflies so really, what’s not to like? You can snorkel over shipwrecks or just gaze at them from a sleek Paraw boat because the water is really just that clear.

And if somehow you aren’t already dead yet, just take a look at this place at sunset. Here’s to hoping when you come to, you’ll wake up on the white beaches of Palawan.

All images by Condé Nast Traveler