Chocolate Hills (Carmen Chocolate Hills Complex)

Updated: September 20, 2017
When I was a kid, I really thought these hills are made of chocolate.  By the time I learned that they are not, I started wondering why they are called chocolate hills.   I've wanted to see them before my eyes, and when I finally did, I was so awed and amazed. They really are wonderful! One will really wonder how great nature can be.  Now I understand why it's one of the natural Wonders of the World.
Photos taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photos taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
There are several legends as to how these Chocolate Hills were formed. One is that they were formed from the hurled rocks, boulders, and sand to each other by the two giants fighting.  Their fighting last for days, got tired and made up, and left, but forgot to clean the mess they made, thus the Chocolate Hills. Another legend is that they came from the tears of the sobbing giant when the simple mortal girl he loved died. He could not stop crying from so much agony. When his tears dried, the Chocolate Hills were formed. The other legends are also about giants, probably because they are the only one who can create or do things that can come up with these hills.
Photos taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photos taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
Scientifically, these Chocolate Hills were formed ages ago by the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rain water and erosion.  They are made of grass-covered limestone.  During the dry season, they dry up and turn into chocolate brown. They look like rows of chocolate kisses, the branded confection behind its name. The Chocolate Hills are included among the country's protected areas. Chocolate Hills and areas within, around, and surrounding them were established as a natural monument to protect and maintain its natural beauty. They are the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol and featured in the provincial flag and seal.  They are declared as the country's 3rd National Geographical Monument, and proposed for the inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Photos taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photos taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
However, there are 3 hills among the 1,776 that were developed into a resort for tourism purposes.  The first and original resort can be found in Carmen and called Chocolate Hills Complex and recent at Sagbayan, called Sagbayan Peak. They are the best places to view the rows of Chocolate Hills.
When I first visited Bohol it was during the rainy season so the hills are in their green chocolate form.  Nevertheless, the view is still spectacular! Chocolate Hills Complex is a lot higher than the Sagbayan Peak.  I think a lot of visitors come here rather than the Sagbayan Peak.
Composed of the two chocolate hills developed years ago, this complex offers 360-degree observation deck.  The view deck was severely damaged during the 2013 earthquake and was totally changed. The nearest viewing deck that we've been too in 2012 was closed and they created a much higher decks but farther and I think better. Even the stairs going to the view deck was changed. Although, it feels a lot higher, but I know it's just the same. The complex also offers restaurant, conference room, swimming pool and other tourist attraction.  We didn't think of checking these other attractions because we too engrossed looking at the chocolate hills.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
There are two levels on the complex where you can view the chocolate hills.  The first plateau after climbing stairs is higher than the other one.  It has a wishing well and a grotto. But if you want to get closer to the hills, the 2nd level is the best one.  It's a few steps down from first plateau, but you have to wait for your turn if you want to take pictures.  I really wished I be close to just one of the hills, but this is the closest one I can see. I'll come back here when it's summer so I can see how the real Chocolate Hills look like!
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
After 3 years and the earthquake, I was able to go back to Bohol and I see firsthand how the quake damaged the viewdeck and some of the hills. Nevertheless, they have never fail to amaze me!

Address: Buenos Aires, 6319 Carmen, Bohol, Philippines
Mobile#: +63(919)680-0492
Entrance Fee: Php50.00

6 comments:

  1. Nice! However, the view deck looks different now since it was hit by the earthquake last year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Artz! I went there last year before the earthquake and really sad about what happened. And just read on the newspaper that some of the old churches might not be restored, and will stay as ruins. Stil, I will go back there!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is very nice. Really. It is so beautiful. It is a pity that I haven't visited it when I was in the Philippines.
    Take care Menchu. I am glad that I know you.
    Yours,
    Michel

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Michel! There's always another time, so when you visit Philippines, make sure to visit this one! Glad of knowing you too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Artz! I went there last year before the earthquake and really
    sad about what happened. And just read on the newspaper that some of the
    old churches might not be restored, and will stay as ruins. Still, I
    will go back there!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks, Michel! There's always another time, so when you visit
    Philippines, make sure to visit this one! Glad of knowing you too!

    ReplyDelete

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