When is the Best Time to Visit the Philippines?

When is the best time to visit the Philippines? One might be tempted to say any time; after all, this archipelago doesn’t lack for spectacular white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

However, this tropical paradise has a long typhoon season, so planning when to arrive here is a must to ensure you enjoy your Philippine holiday.

When Should I Travel to the Philippines

There are a few factors that may influence the time in which you want to travel to this Southeast Asian country. Besides the weather, you may want to consider the cheapest time to visit.

The Philippines has become a more popular destination in recent years. As a tropical country, it may be impossible to completely avoid the rain. Instead of letting it defeat you, adapt to the uncertainty. Arrive in the country with an open mind, and you will be able to enjoy your time here all the more.  

Dry Season in the Philippines

Most travelers head to Southeast Asia looking for warmth and sunshine. If that’s the case, then you might want to travel to the Philippines during dry season.

Dry season takes place between November and April.

Taken during shoulder season in Boracay.

Are Dry Season and High Season the Same?

They are almost the same. High season, which is when most travelers head to the Philippines, takes place during the months of December to April. Most people want to avoid the rainy season, and try to visit the Philippines throughout this period.

The most pleasant and coolest months are December to February. Keep in mind, however, that flights and accommodation rates will be higher for special holidays, including New Year and Holy Week (Easter).

Typhoon Season in the Philippines

The word typhoon may sound scary, but in reality, it’s just a tropical storm. There are different levels of severity. Typhoons typically can happen in the Philippines any time between August and January.

The upside to traveling during typhoon season is that you will find more affordable accommodation and fewer visitors.

Shoulder Season in the Philippines

Shoulder season refers to the time between high and low seasons. In the case of the Philippines, shoulder season occurs in May and in November.

In May, temperatures begin to rise around Manila and everywhere else. Meanwhile, in November, accommodation rates will be higher.

Low Season in the Philippines

The upside to traveling during low season is that most accommodation prices drop significantly. Travelers on a tighter budget will easily find hotels or hostels. However, it’s low season for a reason. From June to September, typhoons may cause torrential rain.

To avoid the typhoons, you may want to head to the eastern part of the country, which is less affected by the tropical climate.

Kayangan Lake
The most photographed lagoon in Coron.

Best Places to Visit in the Philippines During High Season

Choosing what to see in the Philippines will be a challenging task, that’s simply because there’s much to do and see! From strolling through charming old colonial towns to photographing emerald rice fields to diving with turtles, the options are limitless.

However, some of the most popular places in the country include the following.

  • Siargao is considered the surfing capital of the Philippines and awarded the “Best Islands in the World” by Condé Nast readers in 2018.
  • El Nido in Palawan province is home to incredible white-sand beaches and stunning island views.
  • Coron is the place to go for an unforgettable diving experiencce. Marine life is rich, and you’ll find wrecks to explore.
  • Cebu is the Philippines number one tourist destination. It offers visitors a wide range of activities, from spotting thresher sharks and swimming with millions of sardines, to cliff jumping and mountain climbing. Make sure you indulge in some of Cebu’s local food, too. You won’t regret it.
  • Bocaray Island and Aklan must be what paradise looks like. Here, there are endless dining options and a uniquely white sandy beach.
Mantigue Island Camiguin
Beautiful Mantigue Island in Camiguin.

Recommendations When Traveling to the Philippines

Traveling allows us to discover the world, and learn about a culture and their heritage. Thinking about the weather is an important first step when organizing a trip to the country.

Here are other tips you may want to consider for your trip to the Philippines:

  • There are plenty of connecting flights from Manila to other destinations but keep in mind travel time and flight delays.
  • To make the most of your trip, track weather disturbances. Stay flexible to adjust your trip.
  • On small islands, rent a motorbike so you can visit tourist spots easily. They’re quite cheap at US$10-15 a day. Alternatively, you can also hire a private vehicle. In small islands, like Camiguin, for example, there is public transport but can be unpredictable the later in the day it gets.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Most of the country practice Catholicism, but in Muslim areas, avoid wearing revealing clothing.
pansit batil patong manila
Don’t forget to sample local food!

Safety Advice for Your Trip to the Philippines

Although most foreign visitors experience trouble-free travels in the Philippines, please be mindful of the following:

  • Terrorist groups plan kidnap operations against Western nationals. Risks are higher in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. Keep this in mind when deciding where to go in the Philippines.
  • Major cities like Manila and Cebu have their share of street crime. Be mindful of your personal belongings.
  • The Philippines has zero-tolerance for drug use. Prison sentences are harsh. If caught with drugs, a traveler could be detained for a long period of time until a court hearing takes place. Penalties for illegal drug use are extremely severe.
  • Smoking in public places is not allowed throughout the country. If you must smoke, find a smokers area.

An advantage of traveling in the Philippines is that most Filipinos speak English. They will be more than willing to help you out if you get lost or have any questions.

However, be mindful that as with any other country, there are opportunistic people in big cities, too. Read tips on avoiding common scams to make sure your Philippine travel is full of good memories.

With this information on the best time to visit the Philippines, you’ll definitely be prepared for your tropical adventure!

Aleah Taboclaon
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