We were a little out of breath after climbing all 438 steps towards the viewing deck of the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park. Since the massive earthquake destroyed parts of the old viewing deck in the town of Carmen, the one at CHAP’s became the de facto viewing deck before the old one reopened.
I have been to both decks, and even though the original one has a much grander view, this new one has much more up its sleeve than just a panoramic view of the hills.
The Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, more commonly known as CHAP, is a Bohol destination specifically made for people whose middle name is adventure. Besides the viewing deck, the sprawling four-hectare compound has a nine-course rope challenge, hiking trails and a very unique bike zip line dubbed as The Rush.
But before switching to adventure mode, our group opted to go for food-trip mode first. It was already way past lunch when we arrived at CHAP and we haven’t had anything else besides breakfast at the Astoria Bohol Resort.
Good thing the buffet table at the park’s open-aired restaurant was still brimming with shrimps, crabs, barbecues and pancit. Everyone agreed that their crabs and barbecues rock!
After stuffing ourselves silly, a few wandered to the nearby souvenir shops to bring a few pasalubongs back home. There’s the usual t-shirts plastered with cute tarsier characters, ref magnets and key chains. I begged off from buying some since I was too excited to try CHAP’s zip line.
Blood pressures were measured and helmets were passed around. No one was allowed to navigate the park’s obstacle courses without passing the BP test and signing a waiver. The park is very particular about safety. A locker was provided for our bags and off we went, rockin’ and reelin’ at the two-stage hanging bridge, the first of CHAP’s aerial walks.
One can opt to continue the obstacle walk towards the Islands in the Sky, which requires a bit more effort but we decided to pass off. I have tried such obstacles fairly recently at the Alviera Sandbox and it left my body aching all over. Slow claps for my companions who pushed to go through the aerial walk.
The nine-course aerial walk comprises of traversing two hanging bridges, then going through the wooden planks of the Islands in the Sky, then to the ropes of Burma Loops, the wooden strips of Burma Planks, the Earthquake, the Vine Walk, Jacob’s Walk, the Tyrolean and finally into the zip line.
These walks are divided into three categories of easy, medium and hard. And you can stop anytime, anywhere.
I asked one of our companions who did the easy canopy walk course on how it was. There was absolutely nothing easy about it, came her gasping reply.
Well, I guess I made the right decision after all, eh? :P
Descending towards ground level, we proceeded to navigate a planked pathway that snakes through the adventure park. From here I can see how the developers took extra care in planning the development of the park, incorporating their designs to fit with the existing environment. Everything looked very natural, no artificial pillars or post can be seen anywhere.
Before arriving to the steps leading to the viewing deck, we passed by a serpentarium housing a few snakes found through the area during the construction of the park. Besides their pythons and green whip snake, I also saw some sugar gliders and hedgehogs.
And then it was time for the grand finale, the bike zip line. Everyone was looking forward to riding CHAP’s zip line but eventually that number began to dwindle to less than the fingers off my hands.
From the viewing deck, one still has to climb a 20-foot or so tower before being strapped in and launched into, well, into nothingness. I can definitely empathize with those who chickened out.
In less than a minute of climbing the tower, I was strapped, helmeted and pushed towards the nothingness of air. My fingers were so tightly wrapped around the handlebars I was only able to take a total of one photo during the whole two-way trip. I’m not a person particularly afraid of heights and the previous zip lines experiences I’ve had bordered on being a bore, but CHAP’s The Rush is exactly as it is; an ultimate rush!
CHAP Chocolate Hills Adventure Park
Address: Brgy. Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol
Contact Number: (0917) 304-1341 | (0932) 667-7098
Entrance fee: Php60.00 per person
Facebook: Click Here
GPS Coordinates Map: 9°49'27.2"N 124°11'52.6"E