The Chocolate Hills - Only in Bohol, Philippines

Published: 23rd January 2007
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One of the reasons why millions of tourists continue to flock to Bohol every single day is these unusual geological formation composed of around 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills of about the same size.





Sometimes considered the "Eighth Wonder of the World", the Chocolate Hills has been declared the country's 3rd National Geological Monument and proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. You can see pictures of the chocolate hills at http://www.chocolate-hills.com





This is the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol. Among the 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills which abound in Central Bohol, two have been developed into a resort. On top of the hills is a complex that offers accommodation, conference rooms, restaurants, and a view deck.





The Chocolate Hills is a rolling terrain of haycock hills - mounds of general shape which are conical and almost symmetrical. Estimated to be at least 1,268 individual mounds to about 1,776, these cone-shaped or dome-shaped hills are actually grass-covered limestone hills.





The large and numerous perfect domes vary in sizes from 30 meters to 50 meters high with the largest being 120 meters in height. Aesthetically extensive, they are scattered throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan in Bohol. Bohol's "main attraction", these unique mound-shaped hills are scattered by the thousands on the island's central plain, concentrated near the town of Carmen.





At dawn or at sunset, the Chocolate Hills are an alluring sight; the whole area picturesque amidst the rice fields and the clusters of houses made of the diamond patterned sawali or bamboo slats





During the dry season, the precipitation is inadequate such that the grass-covered hills dry up and turn chocolate brown. This transforms the area into seemingly endless rows of chocolate "kisses"., hence the name in reference to a branded confection.





Geologists have actually long debated about the formation of the hills, resulting in various ways the origin of the Chocolate Hills are stated or explained. The one written on the bronze plaque at the viewing deck in Carmen, Bohol states that they are eroded formations of a type of marine limestone that sits on top of hardened clay. The plaque reads: "The unique land form known as the Chocolate Hills of Bohol was formed ages ago by the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rain water and erosion."





Another statement says: "the grassy hills were once coral reefs that erupted from the sea in a massive geologic shift. Wind and water put on the finishing touches over hundreds of thousands of years."






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