Kawasan Falls Cebu

Best Time to Travel to The Philippines: Dry Season, Lean or Cheapest Months

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Boat approaching Bacuit Bay in El Nido PalawanThe Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,600 islands, so it’s not a surprise that its most popular destinations and top attractions are mostly outdoors. Some of the best places to visit in the Philippines are White Beach on the island of Boracay, Kawasan Falls in Cebu, and the Chocolate Hills in Bohol. Apart from these tourist spots in the Visayas, other popular attractions are the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Luzon and the surfing spot Cloud 9 in Siargao, Mindanao. 

With so many places to visit across different island regions, it’s important to plan your trip to the Philippines carefully, especially when deciding when to go. 

The Philippines only has two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season usually falls from December to May, while the wet season usually lasts from June to November

If you are going to explore the natural wonders of the Philippines, it’s best to travel during the dry season, which is typically sunny and warm, with March to May being the hottest months. While rain is still possible during the dry season, there is a smaller chance for typhoons and other weather disturbances. On the other hand, the wet season sees an average of 9 typhoons, which can greatly affect your experience. 

Wakeboarding in PhilippinesBut, it’s also worth noting that since the Philippines is an archipelago, the weather throughout the whole country is not the same, and you may still enjoy specific destinations during the rainy season in the Philippines

So, if you have destinations in mind already, it’s best to research beforehand what the weather will be like for that specific location at a specific period in time so you can plan accordingly.

This article can help you determine the best time to travel to the Philippines, depending on your intended destinations and planned activities.

When is the best time to visit the Philippines? 

Urbiztondo Beach La UnionStrictly speaking, there is no best or worst time to visit the Philippines. The best time to go to the Philippines varies depending on your travel preferences. Below are our recommendations depending on what you want out of your trip to the Philippines.

Best time to visit the Philippines: If you want sunny weather 

Camiguin Island

  • The dry season usually falls from December to May, which can be divided further into the cool dry season (December to February) and the hot dry season (March to May).

Diving in Tubbataha Reef

  • For the cool dry season from December to February, you can enjoy other outdoor activities like sightseeing tours, as the weather will allow you to explore sites and attractions without the scorching heat of the sun. Hiking in the Philippines is also recommended during this period, as it is safer compared to the wet season and more comfortable versus the hot dry season. 

Hiking in Mt Pulag

Boracay White Beach

  • There are plenty of tropical destinations you can visit during this time, including some of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. The majority of these destinations can be found in the Visayas region. Boracay is the most popular, with its white sand beaches and endless water activities, while Bohol has its islands and countryside attractions like the Chocolate Hills. For a food trip in the Philippines, you can visit Cebu and sample some of its famous dishes, including lechon Cebu, while soaking up the sun on some of its beaches.

Chocolate Hills Bohol

You can also visit some tourist spots in Luzon during this period. Palawan, for example, is home to several tropical destinations, the most popular of which are El Nido, Puerto Princesa, and Coron. Another emerging destination in the province is San Vicente, home to the longest beach in the Philippines.

Puerto Princesa Underground RiverYou can also visit Albay to get a glimpse of the stunning Mount Mayon. But if you want a more peaceful retreat, you can head to Batanes and see its postcard-worthy rolling hills. 

Batanes Vayang Rolling Hills

If you are an experienced hiker, you can head to Davao, where you can hike the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Apo. This 2,956-meter mountain is also one of the top Mindanao tourist spots.

Mt. Apo infront of Lake Venado in Davao

  • The dry season is the best time of the year to visit the Philippines for those who want to enjoy warm weather, but make sure you plan in advance as this also coincides with the holiday season in December, Philippine festivals in January, and Holy Week in March or April, when locals also take the time to travel domestically. 

Sinulog festival masks

Best time to visit the Philippines: Cheapest or lean months 

Sandbox Pampanga

  • While the wet season from June to November has more rainfall and an increased chance of typhoons, traveling to the Philippines during this time can be advantageous because flights and hotel accommodations are generally cheaper compared to the dry season.

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor

National Museum of Anthropology

Surfers in Siargao

  • Those who want to try another extreme watersport can also visit Cagayan de Oro, which is known for its whitewater rafting. For an adrenaline-pumping ride, try this activity sometime between July and December, when the Cagayan de Oro River offers a more bumpy experience. You can also try other Cagayan de Oro tours during your stay.

Whitewater rafting Cagayan de Oro

  • If you’d rather just relax, you can do so at several hot springs in the Philippines. Because of the unique Philippine geography, you’ll find that there are plenty of places where you can enjoy a warm dip, but if you’re staying in Metro Manila, you can visit Laguna hot springs or Puning Hot Spring in Pampanga, which are just a drive away from the city. If you are traveling to the Visayas, you can visit Red Rock Hot Spring in Negros Oriental. Those visiting Mindanao can head to Camiguin and take a dip at Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort.

Hidden Valley Springs

  • While the wet season is generally the cheapest time to go to the Philippines, a trip during this time should still be planned carefully, as the increased possibility of typhoons also means increased chances for flight delays and cancellations. It must also be noted that some outdoor activities and tours may also be canceled in case of bad weather. For your own peace of mind, book your tours and other travel services with reputable travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines so you can reschedule or claim refunds in such cases.

Plan your trip to the Philippines now!

Kawasan Falls CebuIf you’re trying to figure out when is the best time to visit the Philippines, the answer depends on what activities you plan to do during your trip. While tropical activities like Philippine island-hopping tours are best done during the dry season, the same period might not be the best time for those looking for cheap Philippine holiday packages.

That being said, you can book Philippine guided tours year-round, but note that for certain activities, the weather might affect your experience. Wherever your travel preference may be, you’ll have a more enjoyable and hassle-free time if you plan your vacation ahead.

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