|View of the Chocolate Hills from Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) in Carmen, Bohol.|
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol and the central Visayas region only damaged a few of the 1,776 Chocolate Hills – the unique geological wonder that has put Bohol on the tourist map. While the Chocolate Hills Viewing Deck has been destroyed, the new viewing deck at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) provides an alternative vantage point of the endless verdant hills of limestone while the former view deck will be rebuilt.
|Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) in Brgy. Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol|
The park entrance has souvenir stalls and a small restaurant fronting a natural pond. A small bridge leads to a boardwalk that meanders over a brook. This pathway takes you by a Philippine long-tailed macaque fastened to a tree, and a “serpentarium” that exhibits not only snakes but hedgehogs and sugar gliders as well.
A 248-step stone pathway leads to the wooden view deck along a hill slope. Compared to the Old Viewing Deck, the CHAP view deck offers a pretty view of the Chocolate Hills albeit of less grandeur. From this vantage point, one could see the hill with the damaged view deck. Here, the Chocolate Hills are much farther away compared to the postcard panorama we’ve been accustomed to seeing from the old lookout. Some trees also obscure the view of the better-formed hills to the left of the viewing deck. Nonetheless, CHAP is a decent and safe alternative to the damaged lookout, which will hopefully be rebuilt by the provincial government sooner than later.
Besides the viewing deck, CHAP will soon offer thrilling outdoor attractions that will set it apart from the popular viewing deck, such as a zipline, Burma rope, canopy walk, hiking trail, camp site and bike ride, as well as native-style bungalows for travelers wishing to spend a restful night or two with a view of the Chocolate Hills.
|A green Oriental whip snake at the serpentarium of Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)|
HOW TO GET THERE: Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) is located at Brgy. Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol. off the National Highway between Tagbilaran City and Carmen town, before the junction to the Chocolate Hills Old Viewing Deck. Mobile: +63 9173041341 and +63 9326677098. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Entrance fee: PHP 60 per person.
This trip was made possible by Visit Bohol 2014, a media tour held from December 17 to 19, 2013. The event was organized by the Department of Tourism, Province of Bohol, Bohol Tourism Council and USAID-Compete to help revitalize and rehabilitate the tourism industry in Bohol, Philippines.
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