Just 4 miles long and only a mile wide at its narrowest point, Boracay is a speck in the ocean. But one look at its legendary White Beach, and you'll understand why it's so often ranked among the world's most desirable little islands. Crisp white sand, lapped by azure seas and fringed by coconut palms—it embodies many people's images of paradise. Its allure hasn't gone unnoticed, of course, and the strip behind the sand
contains a chaotic melting pot of restaurants, hotels, and bars rife with tourists. But planning laws have (just about) kept paradise and purgatory apart, and there are still spots where you can escape the crowds and live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasy.