Best Time to Visit The Philippines
Planning your next holiday to the Philippines can be quite overwhelming at the start, with more than 7,000 islands, making it the fifth largest island nation in the world, there are many things to consider. Tropical monsoon, tropical savanna, tropical rainforest, humid subtropical, and oceanic climates are the five types of climates found in the Philippines. This implies that although the country’s north may be experiencing the dry season, the opposite end may be experiencing very different weather patterns. So instead of thinking about the weather of the entire country, it is advisable to look into the specific locations of where you’ll be traveling.
Both seasons have advantages and disadvantages, and as with any location, the weather is never as reliable as we’d like it to be. Here is our guide to the ideal time to visit the Philippines, whether you’re looking for the best time to hit the beach, dance the night away at a festival, or simply escape the worst of the tourist crowds.
High Season: November – April
It’s a festive and exciting time of the year to travel to the country because of the celebrations around Christmas, New Year’s, and, particularly, Holy Week leading up to Easter, but keep in mind that many resorts increase their rates during these busy times. During this time you can access some of the most isolated locations and islands because rainfall is at its lowest. If you’re the adventurous type that is after a holiday filled with hiking and sightseeing, then this is the perfect time of the year to visit the Philippines as it is ideal weather conditions. The high season typically draws a lot of tourist to the popular beach destinations like El Nido and Coron.
- Less chance of rain
- Humidity is more tolerable
- Insects/mosquitoes aren’t as much of an issue.
- Many celebrations and festivities are taking place.
- Peak season for tourism (particularly December – February)
- Accommodation costs will increase, and rooms will be more difficult to find.
- Beaches and other popular tourist destinations will be extremely congested.
- March through May are the hottest months of the year.
Best things to do during the high season
Many people visiting the Philippines during the high season will find themselves island hopping and visiting some of the greatest islands that the Philippines has to offer such as Cebu, Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Siargao and many more! One of the most popular activities this nation has to offer is scuba diving. The “Coral Triangle,” commonly referred to as the global hub of marine biodiversity, includes the Philippines. As a result, the Philippines is among the world’s top destinations for scuba diving!
If diving isn’t quite up your alley, you could try a variety of other water sports on offer such as: surfing, SUP boarding, free diving or snorkelling. The high season also has the biggest celebration in the nation, which is the Ati-Atihan Festival. This takes place during the second week of January and celebrates an old land agreement between settlers and the local Atis people in the form of street dancing and extravagant costumes.
Shoulder Season: May and November
In the Philippines, shoulder season is often short and sweet, lasting only one month on either side of the busier rainy months and popular dry season. If you plan ahead, you can save money on accommodation and avoid the tourist crowd; however, it should be noted that the end-of-term school holidays in April and May are when domestic travel is at its peak.
- The cost of accommodation is cheaper.
- Compared to the height of the rainy season, the weather is mainly dry and less humid.
- Not overly busy
- Suitable sea conditions for snorkeling, surfing, and diving
- Flights are more affordable
Low Season: June – September
When to visit the Philippines depends a large part on the weather. The wet season, which lasts from June to September, would be best avoided due to the high likelihood of typhoons. The majority of typhoons happen from August through to September, and they can result in travel cancellations and road closures. However, there is still potential for sunny skies and mild weather during these months, even if it is the wet season.
- The Philippines tends to be less busy since some visitors avoid destinations where it might rain.
- Beaches and other popular tourist destinations will be less busy than during the dry season.
- The amount of traffic on the roadways won’t be quite as heavy as it is during high season.
- There are still many days without rain, and the weather is still relatively good.
- Thunderstorms and torrential rainfall frequently occur between July to September
- During the rainy season, there are around 19 typhoons in the nation each year.
- Mosquitos.. Need I say more?
- It is not the best time to dive due to decreased visibility at dive locations caused by the weather.
Best things to do during the low season
Depending on where you are located in the Philippines during the low season, can depend on the type of activities you can do. If you are fortunate enough to find an island with the sun shining then you can take part in some of the watersport activities mentioned for the high season. However, there are still great activities to do even if the weather is less than favourable.
Taking part in a local cooking class is a great way to indulge yourself into local culture and learning a way of life from the locals. This is also a fantastic opportunity to give back to the smaller communities who may struggle with lack of tourism during the low seasons. During the month of May, there is a large religious celebration called the Flores de Mayo, this celebrates the impending rains. All around the nation, there are procession events that are sometimes lit at night by candles. Alternatively, if the rainy weather has settled in for the day, then It would almost be rude not to treat yourself to a massage or an entire spa day.
There’s never a bad moment to grab a beach towel and head to the pristine beaches of the Philippines. Even in the height of the rainy season, you will more than likely locate an island where the sun is shining as the nation is known for its stretches of golden beaches. However, it is always best to determine where you’re going and what matters to you before you leave. Low prices but unpredictable weather, or expensive costs but better conditions and more tourists.
If you’re looking at travelling to the Philippines during the dry season, but wanting to avoid those hefty resort prices, you can alternatively join us on our 10 day Philippines Tour or our 14 day Philippines Tour.
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Philippines - 14 Day Tour
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Discover incredible Palawan and Coron Island. Enjoy beach bonfires at sunset, snorkel with reef and wrecks, cook with the locals and island hop on some of the most beautiful islands worldwide.