Travelers Rank Buck Island Reef World's Best Eco-Tourism Site

Jan. 14, 2008 — Buck Island Reef National Monument is the number one environmentally friendly destination of Travelocity's IgoUgo online travel community.
Buck Island's underwater reef and its snorkeling trail were IgoUgo members top-rated ecologically focused vacation getaway, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. The list of 10 top spots was announced in December and is based on recommendations made by IgoUgo editors after review of recommendations from their 350,000 members.
"The U.S. Virgin Islands is a leader in sustainable tourism," said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty in a press release touting the good news. "Winning this award underscores our efforts to protect and preserve our natural resources, enabling generations of visitors to enjoy our islands' natural beauty without compromising our environment."
Buck Island Reef National Monument is one of three underwater national monuments in America. It features 704 acres of protected reef system and is home to tropical fish, coral reefs and exotic flora and fauna. Hawaii boasts the other two: the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the USS Arizona National Monument.
Since 2000, IgoUgo has offered a candid look at travel information, reviews, advice and inspiring stories of travel adventures for its members. It has reviews for everything from restaurants and hotels to attractions and day trips all over the world. The award-winning site became a part of Travelocity in 2006 and already covers more that 5,500 destinations.
"The reef surrounding was named America's first-ever underwater national monument in 1961, which, naturally, has resulted in an ecosystem so thriving and well-preserved that 30,000 visitors a year flock to see it, making it the single most popular attraction on St. Croix," said an IgoUgo member, promoting Buck Island for the top spot. "This was the highlight of our vacation!"
Frustratingly, the good news about St. Croix was not up on the IgoUgo website as of Tuesday. However, staff at IgoUgo Monday confirmed the details of the release.
Here are the other nine hot eco-destinations on IgoUgo's list:
— 2. Sea turtle watching in Rekawa, Sri Lanka;
— 3. Napo Wildlife Center, Quito, Ecuador;
— 4. Artisans D'Angkor Silk Farm, Siem Reap, Cambodia;
— 5. Celestun Biosphere Reserve,Yucatan, Mexico;
— 6. Rainforest hike to Middleham Falls and Ti Tou Gorge with Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours, Dominica;
— 7. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska;
— 8. Volcano trekking at Gunung Batur, Bali;
— 9. Strokkur Geyser, Geysir Center, Iceland; and
— 10. Canopy tour, Quepos, Costa Rica.
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