to Carmen to tour the famous Chocolate Hills – more than 1,268 grass-covered
limestone domes that are nearly symmetrical in shape and height. The picturesque
hills turn a distinct shade of brown during the dry season and give them
a passing resemblance to a certain confectionary treat, hence their name.
To give your sightseeing an extra kick, try touring the hills by ATV.
Another popular tourist spot is the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary
in Corella. Drop by the park for a rare chance to get up close to the
Philippine tarsier in its natural habitat. At just three to six inches
tall, this animal is one of the smallest primates in the world. With gaping
eyes, miniscule proportions and a sensitive nature, the tarsier certainly
has a quirky charm.
For a unique cruise experience, there’s Loboc. As you slowly drift
down the Loboc River, you can enjoy a delicious Filipino buffet and a
serenade from a local community.
The Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park also offers a zipline and an open-air
cable car ride, both providing impressive aerial views of the river.
More thrilling exploits also await at E.A.T Danao. Ask what the “plunge”
is when you get there — and see if you’re brave enough for
Baclayon is a great stop for people who enjoy historical architecture.
The Baclayon Church is a well-preserved edifice that was declared a national
historical treasure in 1995. Its antique décor and religious relics,
some of which are on display in the church museum, date back to the 16th
Baclayon’s main road is also home to over 65 Spanish-Filipino ancestral
homes – some of which were built as far back as 1853!
Cap your visit with a stop at the Aproniana Gift Shop, which carries
everything from local delicacies to tarsier plush toys.
Nearby Pamilacan Island has made a name for itself with its move from
destructive fishing practices to sustainable eco-tourism and marine preservation.
Most people head here for dolphin-and-whale-watching tours, but the island
also has accessible white sand beaches, excellent dive sites and even
a centuries-old Spanish fort.