Millions of tourists travel to Bohol every year to feast their eyes on the legendary Chocolate Hills. A popular tourist attraction dubbed the third National Geological Monument of the Philippines. These 1296 hills earned their name through turning chocolate brown during the dry season and stretch out over a 50 square kilometer area. The Chocolate Hills can be viewed on the Chocolate Hills View deck located in the town Carmen.
Do brace yourself! Even though most of the perfectly cone shaped hills are only 30 to 50 meters high, it takes a 214 step climb to the picture perfect view on top. If you are not much of a climber, but do long for a spectacular adventure then you can try renting a quad or ATV to cruise between the hills. There, the guides creatively make use of the hills for taking some very memorable pictures!
The Chocolate Hills are part of the tour package “Countryside Tour”!
Geological Origin of Bohol's hills
When German geologist Dr. Rer Nat Frithjof Voss came to Bohol in 1986 he had but one purpose: to unravel the mystery of the Chocolate Hills. After extensive research he discovered unearthed fossils of marine life within the hills that were millions years old! This made him believe Bohol was once covered by sea waters. Volcano eruptions under the surface of the ocean resulted in the 1296 hills. The ocean tides then shaped these into perfectly round cones. These cones remained after the island rose from the ocean and became the island we know and love.
The locals have a completely different theory about how the Bohol Chocolate Hills came to be. Local stories tell about a handsome and powerful giant called Arogo who fell in love with a local mortal named Aloya. No matter how hard the female giants tried to capture the attention of the good looking giant, he was too mystified by the beauty of the Aloya. Enraged with jealousy and frustration the female giants started fighting, throwing large clumps of dirt at each other. The fight, which lasted for days, resulted in a gigantic field of dirt clumps which later became the Chocolate Hills.
Other locals romanticize that the death of mortal Aloya had giant Arogo weep so extensively that his tears formed the Chocolate Hills! These are only examples of the many legends surrounding these mystical hills.
Bohol Chocolate Hills: after the earthquake
In 2013 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Bohol. The inland tectonic plates that shifted were partially located in the town of Carmen which had disastrous consequences for the Chocolate Hills among which some collapsed under the force of the earthquake. Nevertheless, 3 years later the remaining hills look as glorious as they always did.