The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation of as many as 1,776 conical hills in Bohol, spread over 50 sq km across the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. The hills are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season of February to June, transforming them into rows of seemingly chocolate-covered mounds. One can view the hills spanning far into the horizon from the elevated overlook decks in Carmen and Sagbayan.
Standing 30 to 50 m high, scientists attribute their formation to rain and groundwater erosion on the limestone plus the tectonic uplifts of coral deposits. Between the hills are flat plains with caves and springs.
Local lore has a few legends for their origin. One tells of two giants who hurled boulders while feuding and did not tidy up. Another tale of a giant in love with a mortal woman points to his tears as what caused the rifts and valleys on the earth. There is also the story of a village feeding spoiled food to a destructive giant carabao, which eventually spewed out the food all over the town. The resulting mess formed the Chocolate Hills.
The most visited concentration of hills is a government-owned complex in Carmen, 55 km from Tagbilaran, and 75 km from Panglao Island. It is ideal for a quick visit to take photos, whereas the other expanse of hills in Sagbayan houses a private resort with a restaurant-cafe, butterfly dome, and a playground.
Buses and jeepneys to the hills are easily available. Private vans can be hired to visit other attractions nearby. These include the Butterfly Garden and Tarsier Sanctuary.