Before I even begin, the very name conjures up magical thoughts. Hills made of chocolate? Or muddy hills? Childhood memories watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came back. I thought of all these things before my arrival at Chocolate Hills in the Philippines. What are the Chocolate Hills exactly? And How do you get there?
OK, so to get to the Chocolate Hills, first up you want to head to the gorgeous island of Bohol in The Philippines, a paradise within a 2 hour ferry ride from the mega sized Cebu City. Once you arrive on Bohol, yes there are a lot of tourists, but this time it’s definitely for a good reason and it’s easy to escape the tourist crowds and chill out.
You will more than likely arrive on Bohol island by ferry to the port of Tagbilaran, the island’s hustling and bustling capital. Locals know all the tourist spot and with very little organisation or even travel experience, you will find it EASY to do all the sightseeing in and around Bohol Island. So to Chocolate Hills…
Bang in the middle of Bohol are these miniature hills, all fairly similar in shape, all sprouting themselves up from the earth like little drops of chocolate. Or equally they could be brown drops of chocolate that have fallen from the sky. Sounds amazing! Well yes, it is and I won’t deny this is a special place, but don’t get your hopes up too much. When I went (December 2012) they were more like green nipples on the top of a lime or lemon. The chocolate season must have passed them by – so time of the year can vary the size, colour and appearance of such hills.
I did like them to be honest, but they are not really “chocolate” colour! Green grassy hills. Plenty of good viewing points and photos to be taken and the best thing of all is the price. In essence you could do it for free by simply climbing a hill and looking at the nearby Chocolate Hills. But I like to be in touch with the locals and I know Philippine people work hard (having worked with a load of them over the years) so we went to the official viewing point and paid 50 Philippine Pesos each. A steal really – over $1 US Dollar but still less than a British pound for the best vantage point over these hills!
Crazy photo opportunities are there at the Chocolate Hills, jumping for joy in the heat and pretending to pick them up were a few of the photo opportunities I took. While Chocolate Hills is a big tourist pull on Bohol, and worth seeing, I’ll let you all into a secret – there’s plenty of other, even better tourist activities on Bohol and neighbouring Panglao island (reached by boat). But still, as a traveller this was well worth the trip.
What is it? – 1200 hills some of which resemble chocolate drops
Where is it? – In the middle of Bohol Island, Philippines
Admission Price – Free to see them anywhere, 50 Pesos from the Tourist Viewing Point (I’d recommend paying the 50 Pesos – locals need the money and it’s the best view )
How to get there –
1. From Tagbilaran catch a bus TOWARDS Carmen, but ask to jump out at the Chocolate Hills Viewpoint
2. Arrange your own motorbike or car from your hostel
3. Do it as part of a day long tour of the island of Bohol
(to be honest option 1 is the cheapest, but option 3 is the most popular and its what I did – that way you don’t miss the other sights as your driver will take you to them all!)
Essentials to bring – Bottled water, a camera, sun cream
Nationalities Met – Philippeno, United States, English
My Videos from the Chocolate Hills:
Kylie Minogue – Chocolate: