Friday 25 April 2014 06:18:03 PHT

The Chocolate Hills

IJsselstein, Thursday, 17 May 2001 (updated: Sunday, 31 March 2002)

The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol's most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant mole hills, or as some say, women's breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child's drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact. However, this idea is quickly abandoned, as the effort would surely surpass the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. The chocolate hills consist of are no less than 1268 hills (some claim this to be the exact number). They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.


Enjoy your hot chocolate from this exclusive chocolate hills
mug
, USD 14.50.

Legend has it that the hills came into existence when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they made friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made. For the more romantically inclined is the tale of Arogo, a young and very strong giant who fell in love with an ordinary mortal girl called Aloya. After she died, the giant Arogo cried bitterly. His tears then turned into hills, as a lasting proof of his grief.

However, up to this day, even geologists have not reached consensus on how they where formed. The most commonly accept theory is that they are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of a impermeable layer of clay. If you climb the 214 steps to the top of the observation hill near the complex, you can read this explanation on a bronze plaque.

How to get there

Plenty of tourist guides and tour operators will be happy to bring you to the chocolate hills, either as a separate trip or as part of a day tour. However, if you want to go here on your own, from Tagbilaran, you will have to go the integrated bus terminal in Dao and catch a bus going to Carmen. If you look like a stranger, you will have a hard time not finding one. At the entrance of the bus terminal people will point you to the right bus. Make sure it is the first one to leave, and ask the driver to drop you off at the Chocolate Hills complex, about 4 kilometers before the town of Carmen. From there it is a 10 minute walk along a road winding up to the complex.

To get back to Tagbilaran, you will have to walk back to the main road, and wait for a bus to pass by. The last bus from Carmen to Tagbilaran leaves at four P.M. Alternatively, you can use the services of the motorcyclists who often wait here for tourist, and ride 'habal-habal,' or motorbike taxi.

If you're coming from Tubigon (arriving from Cebu by boat), a few buses go to Carmen daily, but sometimes you'll have to wait for some time for the bus to fill up. When you arrive in Carmen, you can catch the next bus or jeepney in the direction of Bilar, Loay or Tagbilaran, or ask a 'habal-habal' driver to bring you to the Chocolate Hills Complex.

Where to stay

If you would like to stay in the Chocolate Hills, you have very little choice. The only facility is the Government run Chocolate Hills resort. Currently, this hotel is undergoing renovation and extension, but, since funds have run out, work on this is suspended, and you'll have to deal with the mess of a half-completed resort. However, the staff are friendly, and if you stay here overnight, seeing the sun rise over this bizarre landscape is worth the inconvenience. The place also has a still functional and maintained swimming pool, which is behind the unfinished building, a little bit downhill.

Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

Joy wrote:
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:08:32 PHT
Van/car for rent in Bohol with driver and fuel included. Just call/text me at this number 09422592116 or you can email me at boholtour33@yahoo.com for more details!!!
RJ_poy wrote:
Monday, 7 April 2014 11:58:27 PHT
When travelling to Bohol, never missed to visit this place. You'll be amazed upon seeing it.
RJ_poy wrote:
Monday, 7 April 2014 11:55:52 PHT
Looking for a reliable Bohol tour operator for your visit to this magnificent Gods creation? Waste no time. Call us for details through this number 0917 324 5488 or email us at info@boholdaytour.com
Maria Veronica Arca wrote:
Sunday, 23 February 2014 07:10:44 PHT
Che, npuntahan nnyo pa rn ba ang chocolate hills?maganda parn ba cya ng dati kaht nadaanan ng lindol?been there thrice already i really love the plAce but this time we were planing to ha ve a vacation again there this summer but i dont know if it is still worth .please send me your ideas.thank u so much
Dirk wrote:
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 19:39:23 PHT
We love traveling to the Filippines. We are from Belgium and we where in the Filippines at 22 november 2013 after the Tyfoon Haiyan. Read our travelogue in dutch and use google translation, and see our many pictures of the Philippines. We have been on the islands of Cebu, Negros and Bohol. We where do suba diving and have drawn around. I advice to visite Negros and Bohol. Don't go only for scuba diving, but visit also the main land and the people. This is my privately non commercial page http://www.adcdiving.be/filippijnen-duiken-cebu-2013.html Lots of fun with watching our pictures.

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