Philippines // The Visayas //

The Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills are renowned throughout the Philippines and one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions. Some geologists believe that these unique 40-metre mounds – there are said to be 1268 of them if you care to count – were formed from deposits of coral and limestone sculpted by centuries of erosion. Most locals, however, will tell you that the hills are the calcified tears of a brokenhearted giant while others prefer the idea that they were left by a giant carabao with distressed bowels. What you think of the hills will depend largely on the time you visit. During the glare of the day the light casts harsh shadows and the hills lose their definition. But at dawn or dusk they look splendid, especially during the dry season (Dec–May) when the scrub vegetation that covers the hills is roasted brown, and they really do resemble endless rows of chocolate drops.