Situated in Cai Hai, Cat Ba National Park was founded on March 31st, 1986. Recently, it has become an emerging tourist destination that attracts a lot of visitors.
The entire Cat Ba National Park consists of a rugged mountain area with a height less than500 m, most of which are in the range of 50–200 m. Cat Ba Island is mainly limestone mountains interspersed with many narrow valleys running in the Northeast-Southwest direction.
Cat Ba National Park covers an area of 26,240 hectares, of which 17,040 hectares are island land and 9,200 hectares of the sea surface. This place is home to many different ecosystems including the ecosystem of the mangrove forest, the forest on limestone mountains, and the marine ecosystem of coral reefs.
There is a diverse flora and fauna, including 2,320 species, of which 282 species of animals live in the forest, 538 species of sea animals, 196 species of marine fish, 771 terrestrial plants, 23 species mangrove plants, 75 seaweed species, and 177 coral species.
The forest here has a main type of evergreen tropical rainforest, but due to topographic conditions, soil and water regime, there are some types of sub-forests.
The composition of plants has 741 different species with many types of precious timber trees that only appear in Himalayan mountains. There are 23 species of salt submerged plants, 75 species of seaweed, and 199 species of phytoplankton.
With the rich biodiversity, the Cat Ba archipelago has been officially recognized by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve in the International Council meeting on the coordination of human and biosphere programs held in Paris on October 29, 2004.
Being recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve is a driving force for the development of economy, tourism, and the promotion of aquaculture and fishing and scientific research.
Besides forest ecotourism activities, you can also experience marine ecotourism such as sightseeing at Van Boi Bay, Lan Ha, Van Ta, Tra Bau, and Viet Hai bays ... or kayaking to explore the ecological ecosystem of corals, diving coral, fishing, or swimming.
The best time to visit Cat Ba National Park is from April to October.