Saturday 31 January 2015 07:13:30 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
, 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...

self drive car bohol philippines 1500 wrote:
Thursday, 20 November 2014 15:07:17 PHT
"SELF DRIVE CAR" PRICE STARTS-1500/2000/2500-24 HOURS- MANUAL OR AUTOMATIC CARS- SUV CALL 0906-5077848 FOR RESERVATION AND -PICK UP- DELIVER- PORT/HOTEL/RESORT NEW IN BOHOL If you love the thrill of adventure and the beauty of nature, then the Danao Eco-Adventure Tour is for you. Go river trekking, root climbing, rappeling, root climbing and ziplining. Bohol Countryside Tour Chocolate Hills. Itinerary Blood Compact Shrine (Tagbilaran City) Baclayon Church (Baclayon) Largest Python in Captivity (Alburquerque) Tarsier Sanctuary (Loboc) Loboc River (Loboc) Hanging Bridge (Loboc) Man-made Forest (Bilar) Butterfly Garden (Bilar) Chocolate Hills (Carmen) Aproniana Souvenir Shop (Baclayon) RENT A CAR WITH DRIVER AND FUEL COUNTRY SIDE DAY TOUR Car Rental for 8 hrs. Bohol Countryside Tour (up to 4 pax) 1-4 pax P new 2,000/reg 1800 Van Rental for 8 hrs. Bohol Countryside Tour (up to 14 pax) 5-14 pax P 2,500/2300 Coaster Rental for 8 hrs. Bohol Countryside Tour 25 pax capacity P 5,000 Bus Rental for 8 hrs. Bohol Countryside Tour 8000 55 pax vi Selfdrive Car Brandnew Kia Rio Php2500 for 24 hours Suzuki Escudo A/T Php2500 for 24 hours Nice Car Php2000 for 24 hours Honda xrm Php 500 for 24 hours Van Rental for 8 hrs. Bohol Countryside Tour (up to 14 pax) 9 pax to 14 pax Php2500 5 to 8 pax Php 2300 Nice Van rate 15pax - 18 pax Php 3000 Coaster Rental for 8 hrs. Bohol Countryside Tour 25 pax capacity P 5,000 55 pax Capacity Tourist Bus Rental for 8 hrs Bohol Countryside Tour Php8000 Island Hopping Tour Dolphin Watching Go on a fantastic and memorable island-hopping tour to Balicasag Island and other islands of Bohol. Watch the friendly dolphins as they jump and play in the blue sea. See the large whales with the help of expert spotters who are former whale hunters. Go snorkeling and explore Bohol's beautiful marine habitat. Cap off the trip with a rendezvous to Virgin Islands with its white sand beaches and pristine waters. Point of Origin: Alona Beaches, Bohol Beach Club, Dumaluan Beach Resort.If the point of origin is Tagbilaran City you have to rent a transportation going to Panglao for car Php1000 rountrip for Van Php1200 round trip. Itinerary Dolphin and Whale Watching Watch the playful dolphins and whales in their natural environment. Our experienced spotters will help you find the dolphins and whales while you ride our safe and comfortable pumpboats. Balicasag Island Snorkeling Bohol is famous for its diverse and exotic marine life. See all kinds of colorful fishes and corals in Balicasag Island's famous marine sanctuary. Virgin Island The Virgin Island is an open secret of Bohol tourism. With its white sands and untouched natural environment, the Virgin Island is a must-visit. Bask in the sun and relax in the sand on Virgin Island. Rates Pumpboat rental only 1-4 pax Php 1,800 5-10 pax Php 2,000 11-15 pax Php 2,500 FOR BOOKING AND PICK UP CALL 09065077848..
Thomas wrote:
Wednesday, 6 August 2014 03:33:48 PHT
Hello, the last answer for Ubay to Chocolates Hills is from 2005. It is still relevant? I would like to know if it's possible to go to Chocolates Hills from Ubay one way and wich company is doing this? Thanks a lot.
rent a car self drive for convenient hassle free drive your own destinations for bohol tour wrote:
Friday, 1 August 2014 13:03:14 PHT
rent a car self drive for convenient hassle free drive your own destinations for bohol tour Bohol Speed Rent A Car is your friendly travel partner to Bohol. We offer safe and comfortable tour and travel services to Bohol's top tourist destinations such as the Chocolate Hills and Panglao Island. We also provide car rental services for those looking to rent a car, van or motorcycle anywhere within Bohol. C call sms 09065077848 or 09276307926
Tony wrote:
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 00:15:07 PHT
We are a DOT accredited travel agency and tour operators. Our cars , and tour guides are DOT accredited. All our tours are private and exclusive and we professionally conduct our tours. Contact us at Green earth Tours and Travel, Inc. 09189028738 email:
Ariel Tabat wrote:
Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:24:05 PHT
I was Inlove w/ this place....boholanos is nice....

Read all 277 comments by readers.

Also give your comments on this article

your name
your e-mail address
show email address
your comments on "The Chocolate Hills"

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments posted on this website. Please read our conditions of use for details. You can use <i>italics</i>, <b>bold</b>, <p> new paragraph, <a href="url">link</a>. Other markup will be removed. Use of the forums for advertising is prohibited. Enterprises located in Bohol can request to be added to the business directory.