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Bakhawan Eco-Park
 
 
Aklan is most well-known as the home of Boracay Island, considered by many to be the best beach destination in the world. It is closely associated with the famous Ati-Atihan Festival, one of the most colorful and lively celebrations in the country. The province, however, also plays host to another attraction equally worthy of fame- the Bakhawan Eco-Park, arguably one of the most successful reforestation efforts in South-East Asia.
 
Bakhawan Eco-Park is home to thousands of mangrove trees
Bakhawan Eco-Park is home to thousands of mangrove trees
 
The park was initially conceived in the 1980's by the local government of Kalibo and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Initially, the project only covered fifty hectares, but with the help of non-government organizationa and the local community, it now covers more than a hundred hectares. It was such a success that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations hailed it as one of the exemplary managed forests in the whole of Asia and the Pacific.
 
Mangrove ecosystems provide a habitat for many commercially important marine species
Mangrove ecosystems provide a habitat for many commercially important marine species
 
The word, "bakhawan", in the local dialect, means, "mangrove". True to its name, the Bakhawan Eco-Park is home to thousands upon thousands of mangrove trees. These plants are very helpful to the environment as they provides shelter and breeding places for numerous marine life, many of which are considered to be commercially important.
 
The main feature of the Bakhawan Eco-Park is its 800-meter long bamboo boardwalk
The main feature of the Bakhawan Eco-Park is its 800-meter long bamboo boardwalk
 
The centerpiece of the park is an 800-meter-long bamboo boardwalk that takes visitors deep into the mangrove forest. It provides visitors the chance to explore the depths of the forest while enjoying a slow, leasurely walk amidts the shade of mangrove trees gently swaying to the breeze. The walk ends in a small platform where one can have a spectacular view of where the mighty Kalibo River meets the Sibuyan Sea.
 
The walk through the Bakhawan Eco-Park ends with a spectacular view of the sea
The walk through the Bakhawan Eco-Park ends with a spectacular view of the sea
 
The park is located in Barangay Bachaw Sur in the town of Kalibo. It is easily reached by a tricycle ride from anywhere in the town. Visitors are advised to arrange for a return transportation ahead as the road leading to the park are not regularly passed through by public vehicles.
 
 
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