The Chocolate Hills of the Philippines is an incredible formation of hills that sprawl out over a huge area in the center of the island of Bohol. Consisting of over a thousand nearly perfectly rounded grass covered hills, they get their name from the cocoa brown color they achieve during the area’s dry season. The Chocolate Hills are tied to several of the island’s local legends.
The area of the Central Bohol was inhabited for centuries before the Spanish arrived in the colonial era. According to one local tradition, the hills are the remnants of a great fight between two giants that hurled boulders at each other for days before calling a truce. Two other tales involving giants claim the hills are the remnants of tears, or possibly feces. Today portions of the hills are under the threat of development.
The Chocolate Hills, which number somewhere between 1,300 and 1,700 individual mounds, are actually the remains of an ancient limestone seabed, though there are other theories of how the hills were formed. The mounds are almost all grass-covered and bare of treed, while much of the space between the mounds is thick with foliage. During the dry season, the hills have been described as a field of giant Hershey kisses on a bed of greenery.
The Chocolate Hills are the most popular tourist destination on the island of Bohol. To date only part of the hills have been developed (there are actually two hills with hotels on them), but there are efforts to prevent further human development in the area. The hills are currently being considered for inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Web: www.chocolatehills.net (official website).