Long before the beautiful white sand beaches of today, the Chocolate Hills were the ultimate tourist attraction that put Bohol on the tourist map. Until now, the famous hills still reign supreme among all the tourist destinations in Bohol that provide an awesome sight.
Here is a guide to the most typical questions you would want to ask about the famous hills in Bohol:
1. What are they?
The hills are about 1,268 hills in number that vary from 30 to 120 meters in height. During dawn, they provide a spectacular view that seems to be waking up each of these dome-like hills to a brand new day. It’s quite a spectacular sight to see that nature can create such large and numerous perfectly-shaped domes.
2. Where are they located?
They can be found on the island of Bohol in Central Visayas, Philippines, scattered over an area of 50 square kilometers. Baranggay Sagbayan, Sierra Bullones and Carmen encompass the entire bulk of the hills.
3. Where did it get its name?
Towards the end of the dry season, the grass that is grown all over each hill dies off and turns into a shade of brown. This leaves the hills covered in a burnt, dark brown color, hence its name.
4. How were they formed?
There are dozens of theories said about the formation of the hills; the most familiar belief was that they were originally an olden coral limestone reef that was formed by many thousands of years through erosion of wind and water. Others believe that the hills seem to be cone- like karst hills such as the limestone regions of Croatia and Slovenia without any caves.
5. Like any other tourist attraction, are there any legends to the hills?
Aside from reasons of geology and science, there are also supernatural stories for the existence of the hills.The first legend tells about two feuding giants that battled each other using hurdled rocks, boulders and sand to try to destroy one another. The fighting lasted for days and exhausted both foes. During their exhaustion, they forgot about their intense feud and suddenly became friends. They eventually forgot about the mess of the battlefield that then produced the hills of Chocolate.
A much more romantic legend tells about a giant named Arogo who was extremely youthful and powerful. Arogo then fell in love with a simple mortal named Aloya. Aloya’s death caused so much pain and misery for Arogo that he couldn’t stop crying after it. His dried tears then became the perfectly dome-like hills.
6. How do I get there?
The main viewing area of the site is at the Chocolate Hills Resort located 5 kilometers from Baranggay Carmen. From Tagbilaran, catch a bus headed to Carmen that will take around 2 hours. Get off at the Chocolate Hills Resort, which is located before Baranggay Carmen. Ask the driver to drop you off the site. Once dropped off, follow signs to go up hill and be ready to be astonished.
As the top tourist destination of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills remains an absolutely stunning site that is often mistaken as man-made rather than a product of nature. That common and erroneous assumption alone confirms how magnificent these hills are and how worthwhile they can make any visit to Bohol.