March 05, 2016

The Chocolate Hills in Carmen Remains a Picturesque Landmark of Bohol

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    Bohol may be known for a lot of things– its new Bohol-Panglao International Airport near the booming island getaway of Panglao, the many beautiful resorts therein, and snorkeling and diving at Balicasag and Virgin Islands.

    However, one thing that will always serve as an identity of Bohol in Cebu is the glorious Chocolate Hills in Carmen and the ever-interesting theories of how it came to be.


    The Chocolate Hills quietly transition from green to brown in time for summer.

    To know more about it, you need to go to Carmen which is approximately an hour and 30 minutes away from Bohol-Panglao International Airport and approximately an hour away from Bohol’s capital city of Tagbilaran.

    Reaching the natural monument, you need to go up a flight of stairs consisting of exactly 214 steps to reach the viewing deck, 210 feet above the ground. Upon your last step up, a panoramic view of Chocolate Hills that stretch towards the towns of Sagbayan and Batuan can be seen.

    Step up to witness one of the greatest views in the Philippines!

    Upon estimate, the cone-shaped hills, which resemble literal chunks of chocolate more so during the rainy season, are over 1,200 in number! Located in the viewing deck is a theory of how they were formed.

    Once Upon a Time

    The Chocolate Hills’ history dates back some 2 million years ago when Bohol island is submerged under the sea with its seafloor covered in coral reefs.

    Through time, and mostly during storms, corals and shells are washed on the land and formed layers, causing the land to rise, followed by the emergence of coral reefs from the sea, taking up the initial formation of the Chocolate Hills.

    Take the long and winding road from Panglao to Carmen, surrounded by the Chocolate Hills.

    No wonder this natural wonder became the 3rd National Geologic Monument of the Philippines and is one of the must-see destinations in the country!

    People gather on the viewing deck to witness nature’s masterpiece.

    What’s in It for the Adventurous?

    The adventurous pepper the place for its Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP), located at Camanayon, Brgy. Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol which opened in 2014 for the adrenaline junkies. This is located just 6 minutes away from the Chocolate Hills viewing deck.

    CHAP’s “The Rush”- a bicycle zipline 150 feet in the air that spans two hills 550 meters apart is prominent among tourists, as well as rope courses and rope climbing.

    “The Rush” (Php 450)

    A visit to CHAP is available at Bohol Tours and Nature’s Wonder Travel and Tours upon the visitors’ request. It is also a part of Nature’s Wonder’s Countryside Tour Package.

    How to get here:

    The spot featured here is included in the Countryside Tour provided by Bohol Tours and Nature’s Wonder Travel & Tours, Inc. 

    For a complete list of their itinerary, you may visit their website at Bohol Tourism Philippines. You may also visit them at 0573 N.A.J. Bldg., CPG North Ave., Tagbilaran City, Bohol or call them at 038-422-8321 / 0926-750-4755.

    Chocolate Hills Information:

    Address: Chocolate Hills Complex, Loay Interior Road (Chocolate Hills Adventure Park), Camanayon, Brgy. Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol
    Operating Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m (CHAP); 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Chocolate Hills Complex)
    Contact Information: CHAP – 0932-667-7098 / 0932-042-4779; Chocolate Hills Complex0919-6800-492
    Website: www.chocolatehillsadventurepark.com (CHAP)
    Entrance Fee: CHAP- Php 60; Chocolate Hills Complex- Php 60 (Adult); Php 10 (children ages 10 & below); Senior Citizen discounts apply. Please bring ID.


    A version of this appeared in Philippine Primer Japanese (Vol. 133) and English (Vol. 38) magazines.

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