TargetWoman - Portal for Women

Chocolate Hills

TargetWoman is a portal dedicated to Women - Pages of lasting value on issues women care about.

No, they are not made of Chocolate.


The story goes that many years ago, two giants threw stones and sand at each other and their fight lasted for days. Finally, exhausted, they made friends and left the island but the mess they made remains as Chocolate Hills.


There is yet another native legend, the tale of Arogo, a young and strong giant who was handsome and though a favorite among female giants was a loner and spent time pondering and watching the night pass by near the river. Arogo fell in love with a native girl called Aluya with black hair. When news reached Arogo that Aluya would soon marry a man of her parents' choice Arogo kidnapped Aluya.

Aluya was a mortal and died in the giant's cave. Arogo cried for months and the bitter tears of Arogo, after Aluya died turned into hills, a lasting proof of his love and grief. After sometime, Arogo's tears hardened and became what we know today as Chocolate hills, a witness of unrequited love of the years.


A geological miracle

There is no consensus among geologists about how these were formed till day, although some opine that these hills are weathered formations of a kind of a marine limestone on top of an impermeable layer of clay. These are geomorphologic structure known as a 'mogote'. Each hill is called a 'karst' which consists of limestone and is covered with topsoil and grass. This topographic Karst is formed when layers of soluble bedrock, are eroded by a process called dissolution.


The unique shape of the mountains is also because of the erosion of the surrounding farmland that has led to the formation of underground springs, rivers and caves. A movement of tectonic activity might have also given the shape and structure to these hills. There are marine deposits like coral, algae, and mollusks in these hills. The hills have massive and towering domes, perfectly round. In fact, it is difficult to believe that they are not man-made. They appear too perfect to be the produce of time and erosion.


Signature destination of Bohol

The world renowned flagship tourist destination of Bohol, the cone shaped Chocolate Hills resemble a small child's sketches, but these are not man-made artifact but natural wonders. They are Nature's expression of beauty, mystery and romance. Located in the Bohol Province, Philippines, they consist of 1268 hills spread over 50 square kilometers which are interestingly uniform in shape and range between 30 and 50 meters tall. They are distributed over 18 miles in the towns of Butuan, Sabayon, Bilar, Sierra, Bollones, Valencia and Carmen.


Covered with grass, these hills turn chocolate brown during the dry season and hence the name 'Chocolate' Hills. At other times, they are green and it may be a bit difficult for the tourist to associate with the name. The giant chocolate-like Hills form a rolling terrain of haycock hills.


A famous attraction featured as prime tourist destination in the Philippines, Bohol's Chocolate Hills is a signature featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province. They have been declared as the country's third National Geological Monument in 1998 and UNESCO has also declared these hills as a World Heritage Site. Yet, despite efforts by the government, these hills are used by many locals as a viable site for quarrying.


Island of Bohol

Bohol is a small island and is ideal for touring on motorbikes and scooters which can be rented in Tagbilaran or Panglao. Pension houses can be seen along the market towns and people here are surprised and happy and share a taste of local Boholan lifestyle, much simpler and less costly than the resorts.

The Chocolate Hills are an amazing site, with giant grass-covered, dome shaped mounds. It is awesome to see the grass-covered limestone' looming in stark contrast to the flat rice paddy lands around them.


Reaching the Chocolate Hills

Bohol is accessible via air and sea links from Manila and nearby Cebu. From the Island capital of Tagbilaran, you can reach the integrated Bus Terminal in Dao and ride a bus headed for Carmen. From Manila, you can fly to Tagbilaran airport, Philippines airlines or Cebu Pacific airlines offer direct flights. You can also travel through the Visayas, with frequent ferries running between Cebu city and Tagbilaran. Buses and taxis go to the interior of the island in a few hours depending upon the route. On return, it is from Carmen to Tagbilaran. Alternatively, motorcycles are available for tourists to ride 'habal-habal' or take a taxi. A few buses also ply to Carmen.


For travel within the area, you can try public buses, cabs and taxis. You can either choose to go with a tourist guide or customize your own tour. On the main island of Bohol, you can find the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in the municipality of Baclayon. The original structure was said to be constructed around 1595. Its stained glass windows and checkered floors are reminiscent of an earlier time. There is a small museum of religious artifacts nearby.

Take the Loboc River Cruise to slowly glide through the tree-lined route of the Loboc River. You can catch low waterfalls, floating bamboo decks and a mini sanctuary for tarsiers, tiny nocturnal primates.

If you take the Countryside Tour with a guide, you will see the Butterfly Garden, Tarsier Park and have lunch on the floating boat along the river. You can check out the snorkeling and skin diving activities.


Stay at Chocolate Hills

For those who wish to stay at the Chocolate Hills, there was a Government run Chocolate Hill resort facility which was severely damaged by the earthquake and hence closed. For economical accommodation, small hotels and guest houses can be found in and around Carmen and Sagbayan.

A restaurant, resort and a view deck have been built on two of the area's highest hills for the tourists. This complex is located in Carmen town. This includes an air conditioned restaurant, souvenir shop, and a hotel.

The more recent one in Sabayan is called the Sabayan Peak. This is the other way to view Chocolate Hills, from a mountain resort in Sabayan town about 75 km northwest of Tagbilaran City. An unobstructed view of the Hills can be had from this deck. Situated on the mountain top is a 12 acre resort and recreation center and its viewing offers a 360 degree perspective of the Chocolate Hills and the blue sea that separates Bohol and Cebu.

Although viewing the Chocolate Hills from the observation deck is interesting, nothing beats zipping on trails between the hills on an all-terrain vehicle. Packages including guides will lead the discerning traveler through a number of suggested trails.


Top of the Page: Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills
More on Travel Pages Travel Plan Recreation Guide
Travel Plan
Camping Checklist
Vacation Condo Rental
Rental Travel Trailer
Yacht Charter
Cruise Travel Guide
Travel Insurance
Tipping Etiquette
Budget Vacation Tips
Winter Vacation
Spa Vacations for Women
Vacations for Single Women
Winter Resorts
Backpacking Holiday
Golf Vacation Package
Cheap Holiday Package
Low Cost flights
Budget Motels

American Destinations American Destinations Banff National Park
Amelia Island Florida
Sanibel Island
Finger Lakes Trail
San Diego Attractions
Fort Lauderdale Travel
Orlando Florida Vacation
Colorado Vacation
Florida Keys
Maine Vacation
Travel to Salt Lake City
Travel to Newark
Fort Myers Travel
Tennessee Vacation
Alaska Adventure Travel
Yellowstone Vacation
Nags Head
Lake Tahoe Ski Resort
Grand Canyon Tour
Yosemite National Park
Ottawa Vacations
Summer Holidays in Montana

Adventure holidays Adventure holidays Ecotourism Holidays
Madagascar Travel Guide
White Water Rafting Holidays
Lake Titicaca Islands
Kayaking Trips

Travel Destinations Travel Destinations Palawan Philippines
Cameron Highland
Visiting Cayman Islands
Seychelles Vacations
Dominican Republic Vacation
Cartagena Colombia
Galapagos Vacation Packages
Machu Picchu Travel
San Juan Puerto Rico
Victoria British Columbia
Tenerife Holiday
Fiji Vacation
Fall Foliage Tour
Quebec Travel
Saltspring Island
Argentina Travel Guide
Jerusalem Tour
Petra Jordan
Via Dolorosa
Amsterdam Vacation
Bermuda Cruise
Halifax Tour
Niagara Falls Canada
Tropical Getaway
Mexico Travel Package
Hawaii Travel Package
Tahiti Vacation
Barbados Vacation
Cyprus Holidays
Egypt Holidays
Travel to Costa Rica

Family Vacation
All Inclusive Family Vacation
Vacation with Kids
Holidays with Pets

Beach Vacation Beach Vacations Laguna Beach Hotel
Travel to French Polynesian Islands
Myrtle Beach Resort
Daytona Beach Florida
Panama City Beach Florida
Orient Beach
Sunset Beach NC
Bondi Beach

Australia Travel Destinations
Great Barrier Reef
Australia Cruise
Tasmania Australia

European Tour European Tour Mallorca Travel Tips
Travel to Budapest
Jungfrau Top of Europe
Travel to Chamonix
Antwerp Tourism
Poland Travel
Turkey Travel Planner
Prague Travel Guide
Monte Carlo Monaco
Ireland Vacation
Pisa Italy
Florence in Italy
Croatia Beach
Lanzarote Canary Islands
Genoa Tour
Malta Holidays
Venice Vacation
French Riviera Vacation
Travel Package Portugal
Travel to France
Andorra Tourist
London Travel Package
Cardiff Tourist Information
Weekend Break in Scotland
Helsinki Finland
Liechtenstein
Scandinavian Cruise
Madrid Vacation
Belarus Tours
Luxembourg Travel Guide
Latvia Tourism
Estonia Vacation
Albania Tours
Bulgaria Vacation

Asia Holiday Destinations Asia Holiday Destinations Laos Sightseeing
Chocolate Hills
Guimaras Island
Borneo Eco Tours
Sightseeing Japan
Cambodia travel
Saigon Vietnam
Bhutan Travel
Macau Tour
Guangzhou China
Shenzhen China
Hong Kong Vacation
Lantau Island Hong Kong
Dubai Shopping Festival
Kuala Lumpur Tour
Singapore Tourism
Bali Indonesia
Phuket Thailand
Bangkok Vacation
Mauritius Holidays
Goa Holidays
Nepal Holiday
Maldives Resort

Top of the Page: Chocolate Hills