Philippines: Chocolate Hills – A Complete Guide

If not, Bohol’s most famous attraction is the geological formation of more than 1,000 hills known as the Chocolate Hills, which are a fascinating sight throughout the year. Moreover, it is a famous tourist attraction that attracts attention for its unique and scenic features. But there is more to enjoy the beautiful views of this picturesque landscape. It is also important to understand why this long stretch of the grassy hill is known around the world.

When joining Chocolate Hills tours, it will honestly treat you to a picturesque view of a thousand beautiful cone-shaped hills spanning 50 square kilometers of land above the cities of Batuan, Carmen, and Sagbayan. This is the tourist spot that put Bohol on the map, and this has puzzled many geologists.

Chocolate Hills are considered one of the marvels of the Philippines. It has been visited by many foreigners and even locals like to visit it. If you plan to go there of you might just be curious about the page. I have prepared detailed information below for you to check.

Science About Chocolate Hills Bohol (How was the Chocolate Hills formed?)

During the rainy season, the grass covering the Philippines’ hills gives them a soft and lush appearance. In summer, the vegetation dies and turns chocolate brown, which provides them with their name. Geologists believe that the hills were formed by eroding that marine limestone carved into a layer of clay. Its color is the main reason why it is called Bohol Chocolate Hills. So if you are asking for the description of Chocolate Hills, this is the explanation.

Why Do They Call It Chocolate Hills? 

Despite the fun and exciting legends about the origins of the hills, the name is much simpler. As the land transitions from its usual tropical state to a dry season, the hills change their epic color from green to brown. According to locals and geographers, these now brown hills resemble pieces of chocolate. Now let’s discover more about the folklore behind Chocolate Hills.

Legends Behind Chocolate Hills

Filipinos are rather fond of folklore, so there are a few mythical origins of how the hills came to be. Yes! It’s pretty common for Filipinos to talk about legends and myths encircling a particular place, mainly if its origin is unknown or there is no single interpretation behind it. While some contend that these legends were only told to meet the curiosity of Filipino children, others insist that it is somewhat a half-truth story.  The story behind the origins of the Visayan pride is no exception.

According to legend, the hills were made up of two giants at war, throwing stones, sand, and boulders at each other. After the fight was over, this eventually led to a huge mess of hills, yes, the Chocolate Hills we know today. Another legend claims what actually transpired was that a melancholy giant cried a lot of tears, leading to the formation of these limestone hills. Though it is difficult to imagine for some, the third legend says these hills were also dried feces of carabaos.

What Makes Chocolate Hills So Popular?

Chocolate Hills was considered as one of the “Eight Wonder of the World” and has been acknowledged as the country’s third National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Sciences on the year 1988 June 18, in recognition of its unique characteristics, high scenic value, uniqueness, scientific importance; and as such is among the spot’s protected areas.

How Tall is Chocolate Hills?

The hills vary in size, about 98 to 164 ft. high, with the largest being 390 ft. in height. One of Bohol’s best-known tourist attractions, these unique mound-shaped hills are scattered by the hundreds throughout the towns of Sagbayan, Batuan, and Carmen in Bohol.

How To Get To Chocolate Hills?

There are several ways to get to Chocolate Hills in Bohol, do it yourself or with a tour. Most people book organized tours that include transfers to the Hills from either Tagbilaran or Cebu. Guided tours allow you to better understand the history and importance of the place and make the most of your day there. However, it is certainly possible to travel up the mountain yourself and try whatever activity and attraction you want.

If you’re already in Bohol, you’ve probably booked a hotel in Panglao. Organized tours include pickup directly from your resort. Otherwise, you will have to drive to Tagbilaran for 30 minutes and find a guide there. It will only take 60 minutes from Tagbilaran to the hills, so renting a motorcycle and doing it yourself is also a great option. Usually taking the bus is not a good idea in Bohol, as you risk wasting the whole day.

  • Do-It-Yourself: if you prefer to visit Chocolate Hills Do-It-Yourself, it’s actually best to rent a bike or scooter in the central tourist spot of Panglao and make the 1 hour and 30 minutes hour drive to Carmen. Scooter rentals in Panglao are just 300 to 350 Php per day or $6 to $7
  • Tour: you can book a Bohol Chocolate Hills tour, a full-day tour from Panglao for around $30 or 1200 Php. This tour includes Chocolate Hills, Loboc River Cruise, Tarsier Sanctuary, Bilar Man-Made Forest, & Baclayon Church.

Best Time To See The Chocolate Hills

Although the Chocolate Hills got their name from their color during the dry season. The lush green grass gave them a more chocolate minty look. But of course, you want to see the hills when they are chocolate brown; This is the dry season in the Philippines. This season starts at the end of November and lasts until May. However, it is best to look for weather updates in the Philippines, as the weather often becomes unpredictable. As for where to get the best views of the hills, there are two areas to consider: the observation deck of the Chocolate Hills Complex at Carmen and Sagbayan Peak.

If ever you are staying in Carmen, it’s easier to visit for sunrise or maybe a sunset, that both should be beautiful. The clearer the sky, the more evenly the photo is lit. So avoid clouds if possible. You’ll also avoid crowds by staying away from the hordes of midday tour buses coming and going.

Where To See Them

As soon as you enter Bohol, you will find that hills are everywhere. You can probably look left and right and see a few if you’re driving on the main road. However, to get a good view, head to one of the observation decks. The first is the Official Complex of Chocolate Hills in Carmen. The entrance is 50 Php or about $1, and there’s a short set of stairs up to the viewing deck. 

Where To Stay In Chocolate Hills?

Booking overnight is perfectly reasonable. You can just stay at some of the hotels or resorts at the Chocolate Hills Complex or at some municipalities such as Carmen or Sagbayan. Of course, the selection is limited, but hotels are pretty good and not too expensive compared to Mactan or Panglao. Moreover, it will also allow you to explore the area more thoroughly and try out more activities.

What To Do In Chocolate Hills?

In addition to walking through the hills and admiring the unique landscape, many attractions are quite limited. Therefore, your best bet is to combine a visit to the Chocolate Hills with other popular tourist spots in Bohol, such as the Tarsier Sanctuary and the Loboc River.

Chocolate Hills ATV Tour

Renting an ATV (4×4) is the most popular way to explore the hills. Suitable for the whole family, everything can get muddy and dirty on this extreme ride. First, you have to go to Buenos Aires Barangay in Carmen because the rental offices are located there. The guided tour lasts 30 minutes or an hour, depending on your choice. Both include 3 Sisters Hills, and the longer route also takes you through the 8 Sisters. You can just choose between an ATV or a bug car, both compatible for 2 people. The buggy is safer for beginners, has a roof, and is more like a car.

A professional guide will accompany you, and you will be equipped with the necessary safety equipment. The guide will help you drive and give you an idea of ​​the places around you. Make sure to bring extra clothes and remember that children under 10 can only ride in the back. Just listen to the guide’s instructions, and I guarantee that you will have an exciting but safe experience!

The Adventure Park

This is a site owned by Camanayon Hill Development Corp and a popular attraction with locals. The park has 30 various activities that you can participate in. The most popular attraction is the zip line, which offers a fantastic view of the hills. There is also a zip line bike and canopy climbing, horseback riding, and other extreme adventures.

Overall, the park is a great place for families and couples to hang out and enjoy some fun activities. Of course, there is an entrance fee of 60 Php or $2, and then just pay more for any ride you wish to take. However, just remember that most of them are prohibited to children under 6 and people weighing over 200 pounds or 90 kilograms.


The Chocolate Hills that is placed in Bohol, Philippines, is considered one of the many beautiful sightings in the country. Many tourists like to watch the view of it. There are many interesting things that you can do there like ATV view. Come to the Philippines and enjoy the picturesque view of the place.

Regina and Joe

Hello! It's Regina and Joe here. Like many other couples, we met online and after a long-distance relationship, Joe decided to move to the Philippines, where we married and live together since 2017. In this blog, we will teach you how to enjoy the Philippines to the fullest and what to expect from Filipino culture. Who more than us can understand both the West and the East?

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