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Among the must-see wonders of the province are the iconic Chocolate Hills.
While the Chocolate Hills can be admired from various viewpoints, one of the most popular and comprehensive destinations to experience these geological marvels is the Chocolate Complex in Carmen.
In this travel guide, we will take you on a virtual tour of the Chocolate Complex and provide you with all the information you need to plan your visit.
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Chocolate Hills Complex Hilly backdrop for the family pix
2. The Chocolate Complex:
The Chocolate Complex is a sprawling eco-tourism park nestled in the heart of Carmen. It offers a wide range of attractions and activities centered around the magnificent Chocolate Hills. Here are some highlights of the complex:
a. Chocolate Hills View Deck: Start your visit by heading to the Chocolate Hills View Deck, where you can witness the awe-inspiring sight of hundreds of cone-shaped hills stretching as far as the eye can see. Take in the panoramic view and snap some memorable photos to capture the natural beauty of the landscape.
Chocolate hills in verdant colors
b. Chocolate Hills Adventure Park: For adrenaline junkies, the Chocolate Complex is home to the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, where you can engage in thrilling activities such as zip-lining, bike zip, rope courses, and ATV rides. Test your courage and enjoy a unique perspective of the Chocolate Hills from high above.
c. Butterfly Dome: Step into a world of enchantment at the Butterfly Dome, where you can witness a vibrant display of colorful butterflies fluttering amidst lush greenery. Learn about the life cycle of these delicate creatures and appreciate their beauty up close.
d. Chocolate Hills ATV Tour: Embark on an exciting ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) tour that takes you on an off-road adventure through the Chocolate Hills. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate through the hills, immersing yourself in the natural surroundings and marveling at the unique geological formations.
e. Tarsier Conservation Area: Just a short distance from the Chocolate Complex, you can visit the Tarsier Conservation Area, which is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the endangered Philippine tarsier. Observe these tiny primates in their natural habitat and learn about their conservation efforts.
Road going up the Chocolate Hills Complex
1. Getting to Carmen:
Carmen is located in the central part of Bohol and can be easily reached from other major towns and cities on the island. The most convenient way to travel to Carmen is by hiring a private car, joining a guided tour, or taking a local bus or van from Tagbilaran City. The journey usually takes around 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.
Going up Chocolate Hills Complex
Viewing Deck on top of Chocolate Hills Complex
3. Exploring the Surrounding Area:
While the Chocolate Complex is the main attraction in Carmen, there are other notable places to explore in the surrounding area. Consider including these destinations in your itinerary:
a. Sagbayan Peak: Located nearby, Sagbayan Peak offers another spectacular viewpoint to admire the Chocolate Hills. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views, enjoy the landscaped gardens, and savor local delicacies at the restaurant perched atop the peak.
b. Inambacan Falls: Take a refreshing break from the hills and visit Inambacan Falls, a hidden gem in Carmen. Immerse yourself in the cool, cascading waters and enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings.
c. Punta Cruz Watchtower: History enthusiasts shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit the Punta Cruz Watchtower in Maribojoc. This centuries-old watchtower offers panoramic views of the coastline and provides insights into Bohol's maritime history.
and up ...
4. Tips for Visiting the Chocolate Complex:
To make the most of your visit to the Chocolate Complex in Carmen, here are some essential tips:
a. Best Time to Visit: The Chocolate Complex is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. The weather is more favorable, with fewer chances of rainfall, ensuring clear views of the Chocolate Hills.
b. Wear Comfortable Clothing: Since you'll be exploring outdoor attractions and engaging in adventure activities, it's important to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Opt for lightweight and breathable attire, as well as sturdy shoes or sneakers for walking and hiking.
c. Bring Sun Protection: Bohol's tropical climate can be quite sunny, so it's essential to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from harmful UV rays.
d. Stay Hydrated: With all the walking and outdoor activities, it's important to stay hydrated. Bring a refillable water bottle and drink plenty of fluids throughout your visit to the Chocolate Complex.
e. Follow Safety Guidelines: When participating in adventure activities, such as zip-lining or ATV rides, always follow the safety guidelines provided by the park. Pay attention to the instructions given by the staff and ensure that you are properly equipped with safety gear.
f. Respect the Environment: The Chocolate Complex is situated in a natural setting, so it's crucial to respect the environment and wildlife. Avoid littering and dispose of waste properly. Keep noise to a minimum to avoid disturbing the animals and other visitors.
g. Engage with Local Guides: Consider hiring a local guide who can provide you with valuable insights about the Chocolate Hills and the surrounding area. They can share interesting stories, folklore, and historical facts that will enhance your experience.
h. Capture the Moment: Don't forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking beauty of the Chocolate Hills. There will be countless photo opportunities, so take your time to frame the perfect shots and create lasting memories.
A little brown on the side
Taking some memorable shots @ Chocolate Hills Complex
Grotto halfway up towards the top of the Chocolate Hills Complex
A visit to the Chocolate Complex in Carmen, Bohol, promises an unforgettable experience surrounded by the natural wonders of the Chocolate Hills. From panoramic viewpoints and thrilling adventure activities to serene butterfly gardens and tarsier conservation areas, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your trip, follow the tips provided, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Bohol's chocolatey landscape. Make memories that will last a lifetime as you explore this enchanting destination in the heart of the Philippines.