The Hundred Islands National Park actually consist of 124 separate islands (123 at high tide) scattered in Lingayen Gulf in northern Philippines covering an area of 16.76 square kilometres. The islands are believed to be at least 2 million years old and were part of an ancient coral reef of an ancient sea that extended well inland. When the sea levels lowered, the islands were exposed and over hundreds of thousands of years the tides have slowly eaten away the bases of these islands giving them a distinctive mushroom like appearance. Some of the islands have beaches, but many are no more than coral outcrops crowned by thick scrub. The ones with beaches are crowded on holidays.
Only three of the islands have been developed for tourists: Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. The islands offer countless opportunities at water activity. You can rent a motorboat and go island hopping, kayaking, diving or snorkeling.
Sadly, much of the underwater coral in the park has been damaged by the devastating combination of cyanide and dynamite fishing, as well as natural weather phenomenon such as typhoons. Since 2005, the Alaminos city government have taken control of the park and restoration work is under process. Snorkeling and diving is limited to certain areas while illegal fishing is prohibited. The University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute in Bolinao has also been repopulating the decimated giant clam population, which has helped coral recovery.
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