The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in Bohol Province, Philippines.
There are at least 1,260 hills (and maybe more) spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometres (20 square miles).
The domes vary in sizes from 30 to 50 metres (98 to 164 ft) high with the largest being 120 metres (390 ft) in height.
They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name . This transforms the area into seemingly endless rows of Hershey’s “chocolate kisses”. The branded confection is the inspiration behind the name, Chocolate Hills.
The Chocolate Hills are a phenomenon known to be present in only three other places in the world – the limestone regions of Slovenia and Croatia, northern Puerto Rico, and Pinar del Río Province, Cuba.
The Chocolate Hills probably started as corals growing in a warm, shallow sea about two million years ago. The hills consist of sandy to rubbly marine limestones. These limestones contain abundant fossils of foraminifera, coral, molluscs, and algae. These conical hills were created by limestone dissolving in rainfall and groundwater. There was erosion by rivers and streams after they were lifted above sea level. The hills are separated by flat plains and have numerous caves and springs. The Chocolate Hills are a remarkable example of conical karst topography.
The Chocolate Hills is a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They are featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province.
In 1988, the Chocolate Hills were declared the Philippines’ third National Geological Monument.
They have also proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Two hills have been developed into tourist resorts.
Few legends explain the formation of the Chocolate Hills.
One legend tells the story of two feuding giants who hurled rocks, boulders, and sand at each other. The fighting lasted for days, and exhausted the two giants. In their exhaustion, they forgot about their feud and became friends, but when they left they forgot to clean up the mess they had made during their battle, hence the Chocolate Hills.
A more romantic legend tells of a giant named Arogo who was extremely powerful and youthful. Arogo fell in love with Aloya, who was a simple mortal. Aloya’s death caused Arogo much pain and misery, and in his sorrow he could not stop crying. When his tears dried, the Chocolate Hills were formed.