Quad-biking through the Bohol Chocolate hills

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
7
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
2
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
8
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
6
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
2
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
9
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
75 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Asia
country
Philippines
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 60
Time of year visited
May
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
All Tags
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
76th/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 30% SUMMARY RATING: Superb

Summary

The Chocolate Hills are 1,776 grassy hills in the centre of Bohol Island that turn brown during the dry season, hence the name, and look a hell of a lot like the hills in Super Mario on the Super Nintendo.  They’re nice to look at, but you’ll probably be a bit bored of them after a look from the view point and quick wander around near them.  To make this more fun, and to go more towards that Super Mario vibe, ride around them in quad bikes with a guide – way more fun

 

Some tips:

 

  • Rent a taxi for the Chocolate Hills Loop – it’s easy to follow the Loop from Tagbilaran or Pangloa area.  To give yourself more independence, and to generally avoid the mass-tourism tours, rent a taxi and make your own way round
  • The Quad Biking – there will be people offering quad biking near the entrance to the Chocolate Hills main viewpoint.  Expect to be away for an hour or so
  • Make sure on the Chocolate Hills loop to visit the Tarsier Sanctuary where you can see the smallest, and very delicate, primates
  • Stay on Pangalao Island – Tagbilaran didn’t look too appealing.  We splurged a bit and stayed at the South Palms Resort, which was great and would recommend
  • If staying on Panglao Island, make sure to do some diving or snorkelling at Balicasag Island, just 6km to the west of Pangalao.  Some gorgeous tropical reefs there and more info in this post Diving off Balicasag Island
  • Getting to Bohol from Cebu City is relatively straightforward, but its not a bad idea to ask your hotel / hostel to help you with getting the ferry tickets you want

highlights

#1 The quad-biking itself, great fun

#2 The view across the 1,776 Chocolate Hills from the lookout point

#3 Getting the chance to zip through some of the nearby villages and generally get out into the tracks

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone