A holiday in Bohol is not complete without visiting the world famous Chocolate Hills, that’s what I told the Greek Mister when he moaned about getting out of the beach for the day. You see, the Greek Mister hates doing anything touristy. He hates going to tourist spots where a lot of other tourists will be just to take photos of it and most specially, he hates going on group tours. He doesn’t want to have a schedule of his day, he wants to have the freedom to choose what to do and where to go which is what my traveling style has been as well. Having said that, we initially wanted to rent a car that we can drive around the island of Bohol on our own but there seem to be a lack of car rental option in the island. Well to be very honest, we actually just asked the staff at our hotel if they can provide a car rental option for us which they declined. Instead, they offered us a car rental for 7 hours with our own personal driver. It’s either that or renting a motorcycle. The Greek Mister had an accident on a motorcycle before and he vowed to never ride one again, good enough for me. So with that in mind, we took Amorita Resort’s offer of a 7-hour car rental with our private driver for PHP2500.
The driver picked us up from our hotel at around 12nn and we immediately proceeded with our drive towards the Chocolate Hills. Our hotel was about 45 minutes away from this very famous tourist spot and the drive was quite scenic. Once we’ve arrived, we were instructed to go inside the restaurant on-site to pay to the municipality cashier for our entrance fee of PHP50 per person. Once paid, we proceeded on our hike to climb the 214 steps to reach the top of the viewing deck which offers an unobstructed view of the Chocolate Hills.
Chocolate Hills is named as such as it looks like small drops of chocolates during the summer season when all of the hills turn brown. During the rainy season though, it turns back to its original color of green. Nobody really knows how these hills were formed but it is for sure not a man-made structure. One of the most popular theory is that they are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of an impermeable layer of clay. Another theory which is unsupported by any published scientific research is that the grassy hills were once coral reefs that erupted from the sea in a massive geologic shift. Wind and water put on the finishing touches over hundreds of thousands of years. I think I like the latter’s idea better, it’s interesting to think that these small hills were once under the sea. 🙂
There are more than 1000 hills scattered around Bohol but the most famous cluster is the one that you can find in the town of Carmen. These areas where the hills are to be found are protected by the National Integrated Protected Areas System and are also declared as National Geological Monument in recognition of its special characteristics, scientific importance, uniqueness, and high scenic value. The hills aren’t tall, the highest hill barely reaches 120 meters in height. Well it isn’t the height of the hills which made it popular though, it’s the wonder as to how these hills came into existence and the awe it gives you as you admire its beauty. There wasn’t much tourists when we went so the Greek Mister enjoyed this little touristy activity just as much as I did. 🙂