Information about Chocolate Hills
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.
To reach the Chocolate Hills, you must travel to the province of Bohol first. It is accessible by air if you are coming from Manila, Clark, or Davao, landing at the Bohol-Panglao Airport.
Upon arrival, you will then head to Dao Integrated Bus Terminal in Tagbilaran City, and ride a bus or van to the town of Carmen, where the Chocolate Hills Viewpoint Complex is situated. Another option to see the famous hills is at Sagbayan Peak, a mountain resort and park located in the town of Sagbayan. You can also ride a bus or van to get here from the Dao Integrated Bus Terminal.
If you are traveling by sea to Bohol, there are trips coming from Cebu, Dumaguete, Siquijor, Camiguin, and Cagayan de Oro, docking at the Tagbilaran City Seaport. From here, you can take a tricycle to Dao Integrated Bus Terminal and do the same process as mentioned above.
Tickets and Entry
Entrance fee at the Chocolate Hills Viewpoint Complex is 50 Php. Visitors then need to climb up around 200+ steps to reach the viewing deck, which is mounted on two actual chocolate hills, offering a 360-degree view of the magnificent hill formations. The complex also houses a restaurant and souvenir shop, as well as a conference room and activity area. Buildings with rooms for tourists who wish to stay overnight have also been built in the complex.
Those who prefer to view the Chocolate Hills at Sagbayan Peak will pay an entrance fee, which already covers entry to the private resort’s restaurant, butterfly park, playground, and of course, the viewing deck.
Best Time to Visit
The Chocolate Hills are named such because of their signature chocolate brown color, owing to the dried vegetation covering the hills, which can be best seen during the months of January to May. And as with the rest of the Philippines, Bohol enjoys both dry and wet seasons.
While considered the peak season of travel, visiting the area during the dry months of November until May also lessens the chance of experiencing cancelled flights and tours due to bad weather, which usually happens during the wet months of June until October. Not to say that the hills won’t look as majestic during these months, because their color turns into vibrant green.
Aside from the Chocolate Hills, other Bohol attractions and activities such as snorkeling, diving, and waterfall-hopping are also best enjoyed during the dry and hot months.
The best time to see the Chocolate Hills are during sunrise and sunset, especially if you are viewing them from the complex in Carmen.
Am I allowed to walk around the Chocolate Hills?Unfortunately, no. The hills can only be viewed from the platform decks, whether in the Carmen viewpoint or at Sagbayan Peak.
Are there any activities that can be done when visiting the Chocolate Hills?Yes! Good news for the adrenaline junkies, because you can view the hills while being suspended up in the air aboard a Bike Zip or a surf zipline at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP), an eco-tourism park located at the town of Carmen as well. ATVs can also be rented for a more thrilling experience, riding through the terrains at the foot of the Chocolate Hills.
What should I bring on the Chocolate Hills tour?Comfortable clothes. Make sure to wear light and breathable clothes when visiting the viewpoints of the Chocolate Hills as you will need to climb up stairs and walk around. It is also recommended to bring extra clothes for changing afterwards.
Water bottle. While bottled water is sold at the viewpoints’ restaurants and souvenir shops, it is always best to lessen plastic bottle consumption and avoid leaving them at these tourist attractions by bringing your own reusable water bottle.
Cash. ATMs and electronic payments are not available in either the Carmen viewpoint or at Sagbayan Peak so always be ready with cash to pay for entrance fees and buying refreshments or souvenirs.
What are other attractions nearby the Chocolate Hills?There is no shortage of scenic sights and wonderful attractions around Bohol, some of which you can visit before or after viewing the Chocolate Hills. On the way to Carmen, you will be passing by the Pilar Man-Made Forest, an enchanting area filled with towering white and red mahogany trees. Its canopy provides shade and a cool breeze, making it a comfortable and beautiful stopover to take pictures.
No trip to Bohol is complete without seeing the tarsiers, noted as the smallest primates in the world. Visit the Corella Tarsier Sanctuary or the Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc to get up close and personal with these charming creatures, and be more educated about them. Making any loud noise and touching are prohibited while in these areas as the tarsiers are prone to getting stressed with these activities.