The Chocolate Hills in Bohol are considered one of Philippine’s natural. They look like giant mole hills, or as some say, women’s breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child’s drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact.
Legend has it that the hills came into existence when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they made friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made. For the more romantically inclined is the tale of Arogo, a young and very strong giant who fell in love with an ordinary mortal girl called Aloya. After she died, the giant Arogo cried bitterly. His tears then turned into hills, as a lasting proof of his grief.
Numerous waterfalls and caves are scattered across the island, including Mag-Aso Falls in Antequera. Mag-Aso means smoke in the native tongue. The water is cool and often creates a mist in humid mornings which can hide the falls.
How to get there
Bohol is located in the central Philippines, and can be conveniently reached by air and boat. If you come via Manila, you’ll probably want to take a connecting flight to Tagbilaran, which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes., if you come via Cebu, you can take the one and a half hour trip with a fast boat to Tagbilaran.
Plenty of tourist guides and tour operators will be happy to bring you to the chocolate hills, either as a separate trip or as part of a day tour. However, if you want to go here on your own, from Tagbilaran, you will have to go the integrated bus terminal in Dao and catch a bus going to Carmen. If you look like a stranger, you will have a hard time not finding one. At the entrance of the bus terminal people will point you to the right bus. Make sure it is the first one to leave, and ask the driver to drop you off at the Chocolate Hills complex, about 4 kilometers before the town of Carmen. From there it is a 10 minute walk along a road winding up to the complex.