Wednesday, October 19, 2011

El Nido Palawan, Philippines

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El Nido is a protected area located in the northernmost part of Palawan mainland, Western Philippines. Its ecosystem contains 250 million year-old limestone cliffs, 888 species of fish, 447 species of coral, 114 species of bird, 5 species of marine turtle and 2,645 hectares of mangrove forest. It has 3 major archeological excavation sites: Pasimbahan Cave in Bgy. New Ibajay, Sibaltan Open Site in Bgy. Sibaltan, and Ille Rockshelter in Bgy. New Ibajay. The annual excavations led to the discovery of 14,000 year-old human remains, 9,000 year-old cremation sites and 11,000 year-old tiger bones in New Ibajay and a Pre-Hispanic trading community in Sibaltan.

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Before El Nido became a popular tourist destination, fishing and harvesting swift nests "Nido" were the main source of income. Nowadays tourism has become the municipality's main source of revenue; however, the authorities are trying to keep it sustainable and hotel chains are refreshingly absent. Huge tour groups are nowhere to be seen. El Nido is also known for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park

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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Rising from the volcanic depths of the Sulu Sea in the Western Philippines, these magnificent atolls encompass an astonishing diversity of marine life.

The park is an underwater sanctuary where nature thrives. Tubbataha is the Philippines' first national marine park and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place of global importance being preserved for future generations of humankind.
 
Credits to the original uploader
Tubbataha has become a popular site for seasoned sports divers because of its coral "walls" where the shallow coral reef abruptly ends giving way to great depths. These "walls" are not only wonderful diving spots but they are also wonderful habitats for many colonies of fish.

Tubbataha supports an unparalleled variety of marine creatures. Colorful reef fish crowd corals growing in the shallows while sharks and pelagics haunt the steep drop offs to the open sea. 

The Tubbataha National Marine Park is open to live-aboard diving excursions between the months of April to June. It is in this period where the waves are most calm. As of March 2011, the park entrance fee is pegged at USD $75.00 or PHP 3,000.00. Due to global warming, it is advised that divers book their trips towards the middle or end of April as the waves are still strong and may cause problems for dive excursions and underwater visibility.

Although the sand bars around Tubbataha are considered off limits to human beings, tourists are allowed to set foot at the Ranger Station where they can purchase souvenirs and tour the facility.

Credits to the original uploader
If you want to know more about Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park, you can visit
 their site by following this link.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Puerto Prinsesa Underground River

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The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The park located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is well managed by the Palawan Government since 1992. It is also known as St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park, or St. Paul Underground River.

The park has a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences.



The area also represents a habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. It was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on December 4, 1999.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the 28 finalists for the "New Seven Wonders of Nature" competition. If you want to vote for PP undergroud river, just foll this link.

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