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Chocolate Hills, Carmen, Bohol
Part 4 of the Libotero Bohol Series
You can never say that you’ve been to Bohol if you haven’t seen with your two eyes the world-famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol and while the Sagbayan Peak allows you to do that, the real deal is actually in the nearby town of Carmen.
The Chocolate Hills is a unique natural wonder as it is an unusual geological formation that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The most recent accurate survey says that there are 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers or roughly the size of the whole city of Paranaque! The hills are mostly uniform in shape and have varied heights, between 30 and 50 meters.
And while they’re not at all eatable or fudge-y, the grass-covered limestone hills are a captivating asset that we should value and preserve for the generations and generations to come!
What’s in a name? Chocolate Hills? For one, they do look like Hershey’s Kisses. Some say that the hills look like women’s breasts but they can’t be named Breast Hills for the most obvious reasons! On the other hand, while the hills are green on my photos, they are chocolate brown most of the year, especially during the dry season, thus the name, Chocolate Hills!
The best place to view and appreciate the Chocolate Hills is the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, Bohol. Located in Barangay Buenos Aires (what a name, LOL), 5 kilometers away from the town proper, the complex is wholly owned by the government. The complex is a joint venture between the municipal government of Carmen and the Bohol provincial government with the former managing the operations and getting 70% share of its net income. The complex is complete with amenities featuring a restaurant, souvenir shops, a hotel with swimming pool and a viewing deck featuring the natural wonder.
From Sagbayan Peak, we drove more or less 18 kilometers to reach the Chocolate Hills Complex. For those without their own service vehicle, buses can drop you off at the entrance of the complex along the national highway. From there, you’ll be walking for at least 10 minutes an a long and winding road up towards the complex.
Meanwhile, here are some panoramic shots of the Chocolate Hills, taken from the observation deck which is elevated 214 steps from the parking area…
After appreciating the beauty of the Chocolate Hills and giving in to some photo opportunities, we went back down the steps and had lunch at the complex’s restaurant. And then, we hit the roads again towards our next destination…
(…to be continued)