The Chocolate Hills in Bohol are one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Philippines. Around summertime, the grass on the mounds disappears, producing its trademark chocolate brown color.
How to Get There
The hills encompass an area over 20 sq mi (50 sq km). The 1,776 hills are concentrated around the municipalities of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan. They can also be found around Valencia, Sierra
Bullones and Bilar.
From Bohol’s capital Tagbilaran, head to the bus terminal at Dao. Board a bus headed to Carmen. Kindly ask the driver to take you to the hills’ complex. This is four km before Carmen is reached. Now you just have to take a 10 minute walk leading to the site. There are also jeepneys and other motorized vehicles that can take you to the hills’ complex.
To many, the Chocolate Hills in Bohol resemble large mole hills. What makes the hills striking is the uniformity. The height ranges from 30 to 50 meters (98 to 160 ft). The highest hill measured is 120 meters (390 ft).
The hills are not always brown. They are covered with grass but turn brown upon the dry season’s culmination. If you visit before the end of the summer, the hills will be green.
There are many theories as to how the hills were formed. The prevailing opinion is that they emerged from some type of marine limestone. The limestone may be resting on clay layers. Legends however, say the hills emerged from the battle between two giants.
The giants began throwing sand and stones at one another. They eventually became friends, but didn’t bother to clean the stones and sand. From this emerged the hills. Another explanation is that these were coral reefs lifted from the ocean by an undersea explosion.
There are many guided tour packages available. The average cost is about $3 to $5 daily per person. The rates per head, however, will vary depending on how many people are gong. Rates are often lower if traveling in a large group. A whole day tour will cost more than a half day affair.
These tours are usually not limited to Chocolate Hills in Bohol. It will often include a river cruise lunch, a tour guide and cover the entrance fees to other nearby tourist sites. The amenities vary though. It is best to check the different offers before committing to one.