The Chocolate Hills is a group of perfectly cone-shaped hills that is located on the island of  Bohol, Philippines. This geological formation is highly unusual as the sizes of each hill are almost the same.

The hills are all covered in green grass, and during the dry season, the grass turns brown. This brown color is responsible for their name. There is not enough rain in Bohol during the dry season, so the mountainous grass dries up.

Looking from above, the hills, which look like hundreds of chocolate kisses lain on the ground, appear to have been made almost symmetrical by humans on purpose. For the first time, people who would see these small dome-shaped mountains would find it unbelievable that they actually are natural formations.

Aside from grass, these little mountains also grow sugar cane, flowers and ferns. The flatlands in between the hills are cultivated and used to grow rice and other crops. The Chocolate Hills are actually mounds of limestone covered in grass and the other above-mentioned plant life.

Importance of the Chocolate Hills

This natural wonder site is considered one of the top National Monuments in the Philippines. The spectacular landscape is being reviewed to be included in the list of Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

The sightseeing of this unique mountainous region is also an important source of tourism revenues for the island of Bohol.

History

Experts have a few assumptions of the origin and history of the magnificent hills' formation. Some of the theories included the seafloor's uplift, sub-oceanic volcanic activity, and the simple weathering of limestone. Many geologists have argued about the origin of the Chocolate Hills.

It says on plaques displayed all around Carmen, Bohol's viewing deck is that the hills result from a geologic uplift hundreds of years ago where coral reefs have erupted from the sea. With wind, rainwater, and erosion, the coral deposits formed the Chocolate Hills thousands of years after.

How to visit and see

An observation deck by the Chocolate Hills.
An observation deck by the Chocolate Hills. [CC] credit.

Although Bohol eventually became popular with tourists for its white-sand beaches, it was this beautiful landscape that became known worldwide. A great area for viewing the hills, if not on an aircraft over the vicinity, will be in the Carmen viewing deck.

At present, two of over 1,200 monticules have been turned into resorts, allowing visitors, Filipinos and foreigners alike, to experience and enjoy life in the hills first hand and not just look at the hills from a distance. One of the resorts is the Chocolate Hills Complex, which includes a hostel, a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a viewing deck that rises about 210 ft. above ground. The viewing deck is set on the highest of the rounded mountains in Carmen, so you get a 360 degrees viewing angle for a spectacular panorama.

The other resort is the Sagbayan Peak, which offers a view of the Chocolate Hills and the blue sea that separates Cebu and Bohol. The resort, which also has a restaurant and swimming pool, the peak has a children's park and will soon include a tarsier sanctuary, butterfly dome, and a golf course and driving range.