Sep 08

Chocolate Hills, Bohol PhilippinesOn the Philippine Island of Bohol, just South of Cebu in the Central Visayas, there is a ‘Magical Place on Earth’. An Area of low, conical and dome-shaped hills, known as the Chocolate Hills. They are an unusual geological formation which is composed of almost 1.300 perfectly cone-shaped hills of various sizes (30-120 meters high), spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers.

These Hills are covered with a carpet of rough grasses that are green when it rains but turn brown during the dry season, between February and May – hence, the name. They look so perfectly shaped that one can easily get the idea, that they are man-made.

The mounds are packed together on a limestone plateau in central Bohol. Their origin is a mystery, they surprisingly have none of the features associated with limestone landscapes elsewhere in the world, such as caves or karstic formations.

It is said, that there is no comparable natural formation like that in the whole world!

The accepted scientific explanation at present is that they have been eroded by rain; however local legends tell a different story.

One tells how 2 angry giants hurled rocks at each other, but eventually were reconciled and the rocks just were left where they fell. Another recounts the story of the giant Arago, who fell in love with and kidnapped a mortal girl named Aloya. Separated from her family, Aloya became desperately homesick and died. The Chocolate Hills have been eroded by the inconsolable Arago’s torrents of tears.

Of course, some people also say, the Hills look like women’s breasts – and for sure, there is some truth in it as well. ;-)

SagbayanPeak Bohol ChocolateHills PhilippinesHow to get there?

There are busy ferry connections from Cebu to Tagbilaran/Bohol. Bohol isn’t such a huge island. Wherever you stay for the night, in the capital Tagbilaran, on Alona Beach on Panglao Island or in any other place – you can reach the Chocolate Hills by bike in about 2-3 hours from any location on the island, or by bus in maximum 4 hours.

Tarsier Monkey on BoholI remember that the hill-top station at Sagbayan Peak is a great place to enjoy the whole scenery, although it’s almost always under construction. From here you have a 360 degree view of the area and the Hills will be all around you. Getting there is easy as well, as you drive through the villages and smaller towns on the island, just ask the locals for direction. They will happily point you the right way. The other option is to get a bus from Tagbilaran to the town of Carmen and view or explore the Hills from here.

I wouldn’t recommend to go from Cebu to Bohol just for the Chocolate Hills or on a day trip only, as it will be quite hectic and the island has so much more to offer, a bustling capital city (Tagbilaran), a curvy Jungle River, hundreds of Caves, old Spanish Churches, the Tarsier Monkeys (the World’s smallest monkeys), as well as nice beaches with hotels in every price range. There is great diving around Alona/Panglao Island, or at closeby Balicasaq, Pamilacan and Siquihor Island or Cabilao Island closer to Tagbilaran.

Here is the official Bohol Website and the one about the Chocolate Hills.

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written by Chris

12 Responses to “The Magic of the Chocolate Hills”

  1. DerBoBNo Gravatar CHILE Says:

    Hi Chris,
    that’s a very good post, good job!

    I have been there on my Bohol Trip, during my trip round the world. You are right “Bohol” is an awesome and unique Spot! …but one of the Spots with already many (nearly too much)tourists. The Philippines have so many island to discover – who knows what other alien-like animals and mystic mountains are out there :-)

    Greetings from the Chile-Expat

  2. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Yes, I’ve heard all of that story, too!

  3. jessica marfeNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    u have a nice and a wonderful , I like the chocolate hills And the panglao bach

  4. bohol boyNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    i love bohol……

    i grew up there..

    and there is no other place on earth like boholllllllllllllll,,,,,,,

  5. geralyn lopezNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hello to all boholanos and boholanas!!! im proud to say that my family is from cabilao and i love to leave there…

  6. Steph GapudNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    What kind of grass do you think is in these hills?
    Are they cogon grass?

  7. Karaoke - dirty little secret or Asia’s favorite pastime? | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] had my first experience with Karaoke about 7 years back on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. Besides beautiful beaches and the magic ‘Chocolate Hills’ the […]

  8. eccenNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi i just wanna ask how much will be needed for going there..from cebu to chocolate hills ..included the fair and all the expenses…

  9. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    eccen, the ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran will cost between 300-500 Pesos one way, depending on how early in advance you can book. In Tagbilaran you could rent a motorbike for 150-350 Pesos a day to drive up to Carmen (about 2-3 hours). Or you can also go there via bus or tours, which are probably more expensive. Entrance fee is something like 20-50 Pesos per person, if I’m not wrong. The rest is all up to you. ;-)

  10. sovong thipNo Gravatar CAMBODIA Says:

    chocolate hill can make the people around the world know philippine and my country has Angkor Wat with the natural resource

  11. LucNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I wish i could go there, im so courius bout its origin.

  12. Josh The ExplorerNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Thank you for this information about Bohol, Bohol is such amazing Tourist spot in the Philippines. God bless you!

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