The Philippine Department of Tourism reminds travellers that the Philippines is home to some of the highest numbers of UNESCO World Heritage sites in South East Asia.
With three cultural and three natural sites, the Philippines is a unique and interesting destination for those looking for a little more from their holiday.
For a landmark to be considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it should prove that it is of “outstanding universal value”, have a cultural, historical and scientific significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. These natural and cultural wonders are often steeped in history and draw curious travellers from all around as they seek to learn more about the destinations they visit.
Norjamin Delos Reyes, Tourism Attaché at Philippine Department of Tourism Australia and New Zealand, said,
“If travellers are looking for an interesting trip around the country, then a tour around the Philippines’ renowned world heritage sites is a great place to start. We are proud to be home to six world heritage sites, all of which provide travellers with the opportunity to learn more about the Philippines’s rich history. From beautiful baroque churches to a mysterious underground river, travellers will not be disappointed by the variety of destinations on offer.”
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park encompasses one of the world’s most impressive cave systems, featuring spectacular limestone karst landscapes and an impressive underground river. The 8.2km river emerges directly into the sea, therefore its lower portion is therefore subject to tidal influences. The park covers approximately 22,202 ha. and represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River was also recognised listed in 2007 in the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to a great diversity of marine life; whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. The reef is positioned in the centre of the Sulu Sea and includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs and protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of quality, marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea. The reserve protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region and supports over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish.
Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary consists of a mountain ridge running north-south along the Pujada Peninsula. With an elevation range of 75 to 1,637 metres above sea level the sanctuary provides critical habitat for a range of plant and animal species.
The property showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different elevations, including threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, eight of which are found only at Mount Hamiguitan. These include critically endangered trees, plants and also the iconic Philippine eagle and Philippine cockatoo.