Somehow whenever I thought about the Philippines, my mind would eventually drift to the Chocolate hills in Bohol. I had seen so many posts in various travel groups about them and I have to admit my curiosity was piqued. The questions however lingered. Was it worth traveling all the way to Bohol to visit them? What made them so special? Should we add them to our itinerary?
GETTING TO THE CHOCOLATE HILLS
The Chocolate hills lie in the middle of the island of Bohol in the Philippines. There are a number of ways in which you can get there. You can hire a driver, take a tour or rent a motorbike. We chose the latter and we loved the freedom that it gave us. The roads are in a rather good condition so that did not worry us too much. It did get cold in bits and we wished we had carried our jackets. Then again, the weather was rather dull on the day that we visited the Chocolate Hills. An impending typhoon was the root cause of it.
THE CHOCOLATE HILLS AND GEOLOGY
If you find geology interesting, then the Chocolate hills is definitely a spot that you should visit. The hills were formed because of the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rain water and erosion. The hills are scattered across the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayam. Interestingly, the 1268 mounds that have become famous all share a similar general shape.
CATCHING A VIEW OF THE CHOCOLATE HILLS
Heading up to the view point of the Chocolate hills.
As you meander down the road you will definitely realize that you have entered the chocolate hills area. The large conical masses draw your attention immediately. To get a proper view of this geological phenomenon, you do require a higher vantage point. Luckily there is a proper viewing deck at the top of one of the hills that gives you the vantage point that you desire. The catch is that it has an entrance fee. Luckily the entrance fee isn’t much. Adults have to pay 50 PHP and children get their tickets at 10 PHP. The entrance fee is paid at the bottom of the hill. You still have a drive up. The timings that you can visit are between 6 am and 6 pm. Which made me think that it would be a great place to visit and catch the sunrise.
There is a nice parking lot where you can park your motorbike. Since you have already paid an entrance fee, there is no further parking charges. A number of vendors have occupied different parts of this area. You can even catch a snack while you take in the view. There are clean toilets that are available near the parking lot too.
Don’t stop yet. A short climb upwards will treat you to a view of the sprawling hills around. It does get crowded but it isn’t too hard to get a good vantage point for yourself. We spent a little while looking around and trying to see which part gave us the best view. Ironically, it seemed as if every side a view that was equally captivating!