Best Time to Visit the Philippines

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

The Philippines is one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse countries, offering a dreamy tropical escape for all types of traveller. Whether you’re interested in exploring its vibrant cities, relaxing on the stunning beaches, or experiencing rich culture and history, there’s always a good time to visit the Philippines.

The varied climate means that there’s always somewhere to go, no matter when you visit. It’s a great year-round destination which is one of the reasons the country has become increasingly popular over the last few years. There really is no bad time to visit the Philippines.

However, it’s important to do a little bit of planning before you decide on your final itinerary. For example, certain activities and experiences are best enjoyed at particular times of year. In a nutshell, the best time to visit the Philippines depends on your travel plans and the specific destinations you wish to visit, what you want to see and what kind of activities you are interested in. When you’re planning your holiday to the Philippines, remember to make sure your passport is in order, take out some travel insurance and check the visa situation. There’s nothing worse than arriving in a new country to discover you’ve forgotten one of those key elements.

Whenever you decide to travel, bear in mind that the Philippines has a tropical climate, which means that the key factor to consider is the rain. More on that below!

Best time of year to visit the Philippines: Beach at El Nido
Beautiful El Nido

Best months to visit the Philippines

Here’s a handy rundown of the seasons in the Philippines, to help you plan your trip.

December to May 

The dry season, which runs from January to May, is the best time to visit the Philippines for beachgoers and honeymooners. The weather is generally warm and dry, making it perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and diving.

This is the ideal time to visit if you want to spend your days lounging on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or exploring the country’s many outdoor attractions. The coast is at its finest, and the clear water makes for superb tropical fish and coral reef viewing.

Just remember that if you’re visiting during March or April, this is peak tourist season so it’s advisable to book your accommodation and flights well in advance.

Best time to visit the Philippines: Boracay
Sandy beaches in Boracay

June to October

If you’re interested in exploring the country’s many natural wonders, the rainy season between June and October is often seen as the best time to visit the Philippines. Don’t worry, it’s not wet for the duration. In fact, the rain usually comes in short bursts, leaving plenty of time in between showers for sightseeing and other activities. It keeps everything fresh, so this is also ideal for photography.

This period is the low season, which means cheaper prices for accommodation, tours, and flights. It’s also a good time to visit the country’s waterfalls and hot springs, when they are at their fullest. Trekking and hiking in the mountains come into their own in the wet season, as this is when the lush vegetation is at its most vibrant.

Best time to visit the Philippines: Tarsier on Bohol Island
Tarsier on Bohol Island

October to December

The months between October and December are considered to be the shoulder season, meaning it’s a transitional period between the rainy and dry seasons. It’s really the best of both worlds and is a popular time to travel for savvy explorers looking for balanced experiences and great deals.

This is a great time to visit the Philippines as the weather is still relatively dry, and the prices are lower than during the peak season. It’s also an ideal time to go island hopping and to see the beautiful beaches, as the water remains warm, and the crowds are smaller.

Best time to visit the Philippines: Mt Mayon Volcano
Mt Mayon Volcano

When to go to the Philippines for specific events and activities

If you are heading to the Philippines for certain destinations, festivals, or activities, have a look at the following.

Specific destinations 

If you’re planning to visit particular destinations in the Philippines, it’s important to note that the weather can vary greatly between regions. For example, the island of Palawan is known for its long dry season, making it a great location for beachgoers all year round. Meanwhile, the rice terraces of Banaue are at their most picturesque during the rainy season.

Festivals

If you’re interested in taking in some of the country’s many celebrations and events, the best time to go is between January and May. This is when the most famous festivals take place, such as the Ati-Atihan Festival in Aklan, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, and the Kadayawan Festival in Davao. These events are a great way to experience the country’s rich heritage and are also a lot of fun.

Diving and snorkelling

For those interested in diving and snorkelling, the best time to visit the Philippines is from March to June. This is when the water is at its warmest and the visibility is superb. Marine life is also more active, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore the country’s many dive sites and coral reefs.

Best time to visit the Philippines: snorkelling with whale sharks in the Philippines
Snorkelling with whale sharks

Christmas and New Year holidays

Another good time to visit the Philippines is during the Christmas and New Year holiday periods. The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, and Christmas is an important event that is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Many cities and towns have elaborate Christmas light displays, and numerous festivals and parades take place during this time. If you want to experience the country’s vibrant culture and festive atmosphere, come at Christmas!

So now you know the best time of year to visit the Philippines

Ultimately, the best time to visit the Philippines depends on your travel plans and the specific destinations you wish to visit. The dry season, which runs from January to May, is the perfect time for beachgoers to head to the sandy shores. Meanwhile, the rainy season, from June to September, is ideal for waterfall and hot spring enthusiasts and for those looking for lower prices on accommodation, tours, and flights.

The shoulder season, between October and December, is a transitional period in the middle of the rainy and dry seasons and is a great time to visit the Philippines for most activities and destinations. It’s important to note that the weather can vary greatly depending on the region, so remember to check this before booking your trip.

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