It was my very first time in the island of Bohol, so naturally tops on my places to visit was the Chocolate Hills. I know they were damaged during the earthquake as were the many historical churches all around Bohol.
After our delayed flight getting into Tagbilaran Airport, we had a late lunch then proceeded to the Chocolate Hills with a stopover at the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary. Lots of tour operators can take you around with a trip from downtown Bohol to the Chocolate Hills taking a little over an hour.
First stop was the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary, it’s located on the Loay Interior road going to the Chocolate Hills. You pay an entrance fee of P50 per person to enter the sanctuary. There will be a guide to show you around the small place where you can look and be amazed at how small the Philippine tarsier is. All these photos of the tarsier are taken using a zoom lens without flash. It is disappointing to see other people not heeding the instructions to not use flash to capture these delicate creatures.
There was even 1 tarsier hiding under some leaves. A trip around the sanctuary will take you at most 30 minutes depending on how fast you ascend the steps and take photos. A series of gift/souvenir shops are located near the exit.
We boarded out van again and headed for the Chocolate Hills. I was anticipitating it to be a letdown because of the damage I saw in photos.
We passed thru the Man Made Forest which provided lots of shade on the way. If no one told me this was a man made forest, I would have thought it was natural. I wished more places of could do this to replace all the forest cover we’ve lost.
We finally arrived after a short drive from the tarsier sanctuary thru zigzagging roads. If you get dizzy, be sure to take medicine before going on the tour.
To reach the summit of the viewing deck takes 214 steps with a couple of rest stops along the way. It took Richie and me a while before we reached the top and as you can see we are horribly out of shape. I had to catch my breath for about 10 minutes before I had a chance to take out my camera to snap a few pics.
Finally getting my second wind, I scanned around and was astounded that the hills looked the same as the postcards and not like the post earthquake pics. The only difference is that there are patches of green. It was a beautiful sight and one thing I can cross off my local travel bucket list. I can imagine it would look even more magical during sunset and sunrise.
It was time to go back down to the van to head to Bellevue Bohol. It was definitely much easier going down than going up, the only thing I was focusing on was not to misstep and roll down the steps.
We bought a few refreshments at the rest stop near the parking area before boarding our van.