Best Time to Visit the Philippines

The Philippines is blessed with tropical climate, it is warm and humid throughout the year. We’ve divided the best time to visit the Philippines into two main seasons – the dry season from November to May and the wet season from June to October.

Made up of over 7000 islands and spread over 150,000 square kilometres, it experiences a range of climates in different regions. Additionally, the wet season has a notorious reputation of occasionally ruining travel plans. However, reading through our blog on the best time to visit the Philippines will certainly help you. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are 3 main regions of this archipelago. So the best time to visit the Philippines revolves around the weather patterns in these regions.

Do not fear the wet season!, you just have to pick the right islands, sun bathing, scuba diving and all the island fun is still possible, just better rates.

the perfect filipino adventure Make sure you know just when to visit the Philippines for stunning views like this.

When to visit Luzon

Several outlying islands near mainland Luzon are considered to be a part of the Luzon island group. Just like the rest of the country, the best time to visit Luzon is between November and May, during the dry season. The winter months from December to February are wonderful, with cool temperatures.

Want to spend Christmastime on the islands? Then this is definitely when to visit the Philippines. Filipinos love Christmas and San Fernando City is probably the best place to experience this festival, ninty minutes north of Manila, it offers a one-of-a-kind, local experience while you get to witness the Giant Lantern festival.

Baugio and the mountain-town of Sagada experience pleasant and cool climates, nestled away at a higher altitude. They have all sorts of activities, such as trekking, climbing and spelunking. The Banaue Rice Terraces are also a popular choice. But make sure you visit before the month of April, which is when it gets too warm.

If you do plan on diving, Puerto Galera and Anilao in Luzon are the most famous dive destinations. They are accessible from November till May. By June, rain makes its way throughout most of Luzon. Beach bums and divers are likely to be disappointed if they’re in Luzon. However you can always get a tan in the relatively drier islands like Cebu, Palawan and Bohol.

Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines Nature-lovers and photographers head to the Banaue rice terraces for its stunning landscapes.

When to visit Visayas

The Visayas are a collection of 9 major island groups in the central Philippines. These are Cebu, Bohol, Guimaras, Panay, Romblon, Samar, Leyte, Siquijor and Negros. Again, it is hot and humid all through the year, with very little temperature variation. December to February is the best time to visit the Philippines if Visayas is on your list. For divers, November to May is fantastic here. Moreover, the serene waters of Moalboal, Malapascua, Bohol and Siquijor offer some of the most memorable dive seasons.

The small island of Boracay is probably the most popular one among tourists due to its exotic beach life and raging parties. But if you’re looking to avoid a whole lot of crowds, the dry months may not be the best time to visit. It can get pretty crowded during this time as hordes of tourists raid the island. Visiting Boracay in November is ideal. At this point, the weather starts to change, so you can beat the crowds and expect pleasant climatic conditions.

As mentioned above, the rains hit the Eastern Visayas islands of Samar and Leyte pretty hard. Avoid these during the wet months to stay safe. However, people do go to the relatively drier islands of Cebu and Bohol during September, as hotel prices are cheaper and negotiable. Despite the rainfall, there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy the weather. It just depends on your luck!

Boracay - best time to visit the philippines Boracay island draws crowds of tourists every year, so visit in November for the ideal experience.

When to visit Mindanao

Mindanao is the southernmost group of islands and the closest to the equator. This makes the months of March, April, and May extremely hot. December to February is the best time to visit this destination. The temperatures are pleasant and you can get the most out of diving and exploring islands like Siargao. Mindanao is also busy during the wet months of July and August, as the Southwest monsoon doesn’t affect it much.

Along with Siargao, the region’s most-urbanized city Davao, celebrates the Kadayawan Sa Davao festival in August. The festival features a series of street dances and parades. The highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo (also an active volcano) is just around 3 hours from Davao.

mindanao - best time to visit the philippines Surf or simply soak in the peace at this stunning island – Siargao.

The wet months – Are they really that bad?

In as few words as possible – NO! It’s important to know that the Philippines does experience tropical storms, heavy rainfall and typhoons. This happens between August and October. But these typhoons and storms mainly affect the eastern regions of Samar and Leyte. Other places affected by typhoons and rainfalls are Eastern Visayas and parts of Luzon. The central island of Cebu, Bohol, and the islands of Palawan are comparatively drier and are rarely affected.

Typhoons also periodically strike Manila, because of which flights, ferries and buses get cancelled during these months. If you are traveling during this timeframe, consider visiting the drier central islands and the northern Mindanao islands. Also keep your eyes out for weather warnings, so you’re prepared in case of unpredictable climatic variations.

As ferries are a common mode of transport, traveling during the drier months is definitely easier. However, the rains are very likely to be brief showers, that don’t really hamper your itinerary. Overall, the best time to visit the Philippines would be between November and May. That way, you can avoid the monsoons and get the most out of any activity you do. But there are plenty of places you can visit during the wet months too.

With cheaper prices in these months, you can considerably lower your cost of stay. And there will be far less tourists. Moreover, you can even find some cool places for surfing during the monsoon, due to the presence of some of the best winds for catching some waves.

Monsoon season in the Philippines Monsoon in the Philippines is manageable if you know exactly where to go and where to avoid.

TO sum it up

So these are the things you have to keep in mind when it comes to the best time to visit the Philippines. While picking the best time to visit don’t forget to read our travel tips on the best places to visit and the cost of travel. These will help you plan the perfect itinerary suited to your needs.

There are a ton of activities and memorable experiences to bag in the Philippines. If you don’t know what to look out for then, get in touch with us! We’ll help you plan your trip. We’ll curate a travel plan within this wonderful archipelago customized to fit your budget and cater to your  preferences – making sure that you don’t miss a thing. Plan your trip with us now!


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