March in the Philippines Travel Guide: Weather, Where to Go, Festivals

March in the Philippines Travel Guide: Weather, Where to Go, Festivals

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Vayang Rolling Hills in Batanes and Banul Beach in Coron PalawanThe Philippines has gained recognition as one of the best tropical destinations in the world because of its stunning beaches and summer weather almost all year round. One of the most ideal months to explore the best Philippine beaches and islands is in March, which is also part of the peak season in the Philippines. 

March also marks the peak of summer or dry season in the Philippines, so expect warmer and humid days. Though there might be occasional rain, it's not as heavy as during the rainy season in the Philippines. Because of the ideal weather during March, it’s one of the best months for exploring the stunning beach destinations in the Philippines.

During March, you will be able to explore the majority of the most popular Philippine tourist spots and join fun March festivals in the Philippines. Some of the must-visit places in the Philippines during March include the white sand beaches of Boracay, the natural wonders of Bohol, like the Chocolate Hills, and the breathtaking islands of Palawan

The Philippines, one of the biggest Catholic countries in the world, observes Holy Week in March or April. During peak season and the Holy Week observance in top Philippine churches, hotel bookings and flights to the Philippines are pricier, especially with many local travelers going on vacations, leading to fully-booked hotels and expensive flights.

If you want to know where to go in the Philippines in March, take a look at this guide to help you plan your trip.

Philippines Weather in March

View of Lake Caliraya in Lumban, LagunaMarch falls within the dry season in the Philippines, with warm weather and less rain compared to the rainy season. This month also kicks off the summer season in the Philippines, making it a great time for outdoor activities.

What season is March in the Philippines?

March in the Philippines is part of the dry season, marking the beginning of summer. Expect hotter days than usual. There might be a bit of rainfall, and one tropical cyclone could happen during this time.

Philippines Temperature in March

In March, temperatures in the Philippines vary depending on your location. In Manila or the National Capital Region, it can range from a cool 19.5°C (67.1°F) to a warm 36.2°C (97.2°F). 

Other parts of Luzon experience temperatures between 12°C (53.6°F) and 38°C (100.4°F), while the Visayas see a range of 19°C (66.2°F) to 36.7°C (98.1°F). In Mindanao, temperatures can fluctuate from 13.8°C (56.8°F) to 38.5°C (101.3°F). 

These are general ranges, and actual temperatures typically fall somewhere in the middle. March is generally considered one of the best time to go to the Philippines.

What to Wear when Visiting the Philippines in March? 

Woman in Sugba Lagoon, SiargaoWhen traveling to the Philippines in March, make sure to pack lightweight or breathable clothes like cotton or linen shirts, shorts or skirts that are perfect for the summer weather. T-shirts, tank tops, and swimwear are great options for beach trips. 

Don't forget a hat, sunglasses, and comfortable footwear for walking. A light jacket or shawl might be useful for cooler evenings. Be prepared for occasional rain with a compact rain jacket. Respect local culture by wearing modest clothing at religious sites during Holy Week. For more information, check out our Philippines packing list guide.

Where to Go in the Philippines and Best Activities in March 

If you’re planning a March vacation in the Philippines, take notes from our list of recommended places to go and activities to add to your itinerary. Explore stunning beaches and natural wonders or attend Philippine festivals at the best family-friendly destinations in the Philippines.

Visit Boracay’s white sand beaches

White Beach, BoracayBoracay, one of the most popular beach destinations in the Philippines, should be on top of your list when planning a March Philippine holiday. Boracay’s White Beach, one of the best white sand beaches in the Philippines, is known for its long stretch of powdery white sand beach and clear waters. 

Beyond White Beach, you can visit other pristine beaches in Boracay, like Puka Beach, a more secluded beach spot, or try thrilling water sports at Bulabog Beach. Meanwhile, Diniwid Beach is known for its beautiful sunsets. Each white sand beach in Boracay has its own unique charm that you can explore with our Boracay tours

To enjoy the beauty of Boracay’s White Beach, book Boracay hotels that are located on the long stretch of the white sand beach. Check out our Boracay tour packages that are inclusive of hotels and airport transfers for a hassle-free getaway. 

Explore the islands of Palawan

Hidden Beach El NidoAnother must-add to your March itinerary in the Philippines is the beautiful island province of Palawan. The best activity to explore the islands and beaches of this destination is by joining an island hopping tour in Palawan. You can begin your Palawan adventure in Puerto Princesa with an island hopping tour of Honda Bay, then travel to El Nido and explore its pristine beaches, lagoons, and islands with El Nido island hopping tours

Continue to San Vicente where you can visit the longest beach in the Philippines, aptly named Long Beach, check out other San Vicente tourist spots, or explore the emerging beach town of Port Barton. Cap off your Palawan adventure in Coron, where you can explore incredible shipwreck diving sites or go on Coron island hopping tours to visit the popular Kayangan Lake. 

For a hassle-free trip, check out our curated Palawan packages:

Travel to breathtaking Batanes

Vayang Rolling Hills BatanesBatanes, a remote Philippine island located in the northernmost part of the Philippines, is a must-visit for its breathtaking landscapes, from rolling hills to rocky coasts. Aside from stunning views, visitors can also immerse in the rich culture of Batanes, visit the traditional stone houses, and try local dishes.

Due to its location, storms often pass through the island, leading to flight cancellations. It's best to visit during the dry and summer season when there are fewer storms and fewer chances of flight cancellations, with March being one of the best months to visit. 

Once you’re in Batanes, you can explore iconic Batanes tourist spots like the Basco Lighthouse, see unique Ivatan houses, and try local dishes. For a complete vacation in the province, there are Batanes tour packages with homestays you can check out.

Go strawberry picking in La Trinidad

Strawberry Picking in La TrinidadBaguio, a city in the North Luzon region of the Philippines, is renowned for its cool weather, vibrant culture, and breathtaking mountain views, earning it the title of the "Summer Capital of the Philippines." One of the top things to do in Baguio is to visit the strawberry farm in nearby La Trinidad. 

Located just 30 minutes from Baguio town proper, La Trinidad in Benguet is known for its hectares of strawberry fields, making it a popular attraction in most Baguio tour packages. The Strawberry Festival in Baguio is held in March so this is the best time to go.

For a unique experience, head to the La Trinidad Strawberry Farms for strawberry picking in March. Grab a basket, pick your own strawberries, and gain a deeper appreciation for the hardworking Ibaloi farmers. You can also purchase fresh flowers and vegetables and indulge in treats like Strawberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Taho.

Join the Holy Week Moriones Festival in Marinduque

Moriones Festival in MarinduqueMarinduque, a Philippine island province, is famed for its natural wonders and for the Moriones Festival, one of the famous festivals in the Philippines that happens every year during Holy Week. It's a colorful event with people wearing special masks and costumes that look like Roman soldiers. This festival during Holy Week is all about remembering Longinus, a Roman soldier who became a Christian and later a martyr. During the festival, there are lively parades where people in these special costumes act out parts of Longinus' story.

If you decide to join the Moriones Festival during Holy Week, you can enjoy the lively street parades, try authentic Filipino food, and explore Marinduque tourist spots like the Boac Cathedral. It's a great chance to experience the local culture, join in the religious processions, and have a memorable time during Holy Week.

Explore Siquijor Island 

Salagdoong Beach SiquijorSiquijor Island, close to Dumaguete, is a must-visit destination known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Apart from its natural beauty, this Visayan island is famous for its mystical charm, steeped in folklore and healing traditions.

Siquijor is one of the best places to visit in March because of the Healing Festival. Also known as Pahi Uli, this festival during Holy Week brings together shamans from Siquijor. They unite to celebrate and showcase their distinct abilities.

While you’re here, don't miss the stunning tourist spots in Siquijor, such as Cambugahay Falls, Balete Tree, and Salagdoong Beach. This underrated island has much more to offer than meets the eye, and you can check out Siquijor tours to discover more fun-filled activities.

Lounge at Samal Island beaches

Aerial view of Malipano Island in Samal Island DavaoSamal Island, the largest resort city located in Davao, is home to some of the best beach destinations in the Philippines. It’s highly recommended to visit in March for the best weather and because of the Island Garden City of Samal Festival. It’s a celebration honoring the residents and cultural heritage of Samal Island.

While on the island, you can relax at Kaputian Beach, a local favorite with its white sand and clear blue waters, perfect for camping. You can also explore its underwater wonders, such as sunken ships and coral reefs, through scuba diving. 

Don't miss the Vanishing Island off Tambo, where you can walk on fine white sands during low tide and enjoy snorkeling. Talikud Island is another gem, featuring powdery beaches and opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling. When you go here, you can check in at one of the best Samal Island resorts in the area.

Discover the natural wonders of Bohol

The Chocolate Hills on Bohol IslandBohol, one of the largest islands in the Philippines, is famous for its natural wonders. Some of the top tourist spots in Bohol include the iconic Chocolate Hills, the historic Baclayon Church, and man-made Bilar Forest, which are featured in most Bohol countryside tours.

It’s also famous for having some of the best dive spots in the Philippines. Two of the best dive sites include Balicasag Island, which is popular for its barracudas and sea turtles, and Pamilacan Island, which is known for its dolphins and whale sharks. 

Other dive sites featured in most Bohol diving packages include Cabilao Island and Napaling which both have a steep wall with black corals. Tangnan Wall, on the other hand, is easy for beginners, especially when it's windy. 

Happy Wall, Arco Point, and Cervesa Shoal have unique sea creatures, while The Habagat Shipwreck is an easy dive with diverse marine life. Garden Eels is great for night dives, while Doljo Point has a stunning wall dive with hammerhead sharks. Lastly, Danao Beach Reef is a nice spot for families, perfect for Bohol tour packages.

You can swim with a school of jacks, sea turtles, barracudas, and more marine animals on the waters of the island. 

Escape to Siargao Island

Maasin River, SiargaoSiargao, a surfing spot in the Philippines, is a must-visit for its stunning beauty and laid-back vibe. Famous as the "Surfing Capital," it attracts surfers to its legendary Cloud 9 break. Most tour packages in Siargao feature pristine white-sand beaches like Naked Island and other Siargao tourist spots like Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Rock Pools.

Siargao's friendly locals, delicious food, and untouched landscapes are perfect for a relaxing getaway in March. Whether you're looking for a place in the Philippines to travel alone, seeking a romantic destination for a Philippine honeymoon package, or planning to spend time with the whole family, it’s highly recommended to include Siargao on your travel bucket list.

March Celebrations and Events in the Philippines 

There are a lot of March festivals and holidays in the Philippines, making it one of the best months to go to the country if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture. Don't miss out on these March events during your Philippine holidays!

Holy Week 

Cebu Simala churchHoly Week is a significant holiday in the Philippines, lasting about four days in March or April. As a predominantly Catholic country, locals take a break to visit top destinations for Holy Week and practice Holy Week activities, such as Visita Iglesia or the Lenten tradition of visiting at least seven notable churches in the Philippines. This Philippines holiday in March or April is also an opportunity for international travelers to experience the country's unique culture through pilgrimage tours, regardless of their religious affiliation.

Moriones Festival in Marinduque

During Holy Week in the Philippines, many go to Marinduque to partake in the weeklong festivities of the Moriones Festival, centered around St. Longinus. Blending Catholic traditions with local mysticism, participants dress in centurion costumes and helmets. 

This Holy Week event in the Philippines includes a theatrical play where a resident takes on the role of St. Longinus, hiding among the houses while others try to find him. It's a way to recognize the religious importance of the Holy Week celebrations in Marinduque. You can book Philippine holiday packages in Marinduque to enjoy this festival in March or April.

Strawberry Festival in La Trinidad

Strawberries from the Strawberry festivalIn La Trinidad, Benguet, the yearly Strawberry Festival celebrates the town's delicious strawberries. Started in 1981, the festival includes a lively parade with floats adorned with fresh strawberries, a Strawberry Lane and Trade Fair offering strawberry-themed products, and activities like contests and sports events. Visitors can enjoy tasty strawberry treats, buy fresh produce, and experience local culture through traditional dances and live concerts. It's a fun and vibrant March celebration in the Philippines that brings the community together.

Tips when Traveling to the Philippines in March

Islas de Gigantes in IloiloHave a hassle-free March vacation in the Philippines with these important travel tips:

Crowds in March 

March is part of the peak season in the Philippines. It's the start of the summer season, making it ideal for outdoor adventures such as island hopping and scuba diving in the Philippines. Expect a lot of tourists, especially in hotspots like Bohol and Boracay, where these activities are quite popular.

During the Holy Week season, be prepared for crowds as well. Expect both locals and international tourists around churches as many people participate in Holy Week observances. If you're not taking part in these events, it's advisable to steer clear of places where observances are happening to avoid potential travel delays.

Driving in the Philippines in March

Driving in the PhilippinesIn March, particularly during Holy Week, places like Pangasinan and other Holy Week destinations in the Philippines can get pretty crowded. Plan your routes carefully to avoid the traffic. If you're traveling by land, consider renting a car in the Philippines for a smoother trip. Use navigation apps to avoid congested areas. With a bit of planning and a reliable car rental service, your Holy Week observance will be much smoother. 

If you’re not participating during the Holy Week, make sure to steer clear of expressways during the start and end of the Holy Week to minimize travel disruptions.

Pre-book hotels and tours 

Tagaytay view from a hotelIn March, especially during Holy Week, both hotels and guided tours in the Philippines get booked up fast. To avoid any problems, it's a good idea to book Philippine hotels and tours ahead of time. This way, you'll have a guaranteed place to stay and won't miss out on the experiences you want. Think of pre-booking as securing your spot, and going for private tours can make your trip even smoother. So, plan ahead to make your March travel hassle-free and enjoyable.

Expect Delays in Travel 

As many people head to Holy Week church destinations or go on long weekend vacations, anticipate longer lines at airports and transportation hubs such as bus terminals. To avoid stress, plan ahead and arrive early. Expect delays during check-in, security, and immigration, so be prepared. If possible, schedule flights or book public transportation tickets during less busy times. Consider pre-booking Philippine airport transfers for a fuss-free trip. 

Stay flexible with your plans in case of unexpected delays and keep your travel documents handy for a smoother airport experience.

Recommended Philippines travel itineraries in March 

Sardine run MoalboalIn March, the Philippines offers lots of exciting places to explore and activities to enjoy. Your ideal Philippine itinerary depends on your interests. To make your trip easy and stress-free, consider checking out Philippine itinerary travel packages perfect for March. These packages typically include accommodations, transportation, and tours, making your planning a breeze.

You can explore the Philippines in just a week with the best 1 week tours in the Philippines. If you want to discover beautiful Visayas and Mindanao tourist spots, consider booking the 1-Week Siargao to Cebu and Boracay tour package. Some of the activities include surfing in Siargao, island-hopping in Boracay, and experiencing the sardine-run activity in Cebu. In your leisure time in Cebu, you can also visit Kawasan Falls, one of the best waterfalls in the Philippines featured in most Cebu tour packages.

There are also longer multi-day packages available, such as 8-day tours in the Philippines and 10-day tours in the Philippines. Some of the popular packages include Iloilo tour packages and Albay tour packages that feature Mayon Volcano tours, one of the top hiking activities in the Philippines.

Other longer itineraries that are less than two weeks include a 12-day tour like the 12-Day Bohol to Cebu to Boracay tour package. This itinerary focuses on the best tourist spots in Visayas. In Bohol, you’ll be able to go on a Bohol island hopping tour at Virgin and Balicasag Island, with a chance to see dolphins. In Cebu, you’ll have a tour of Cebu City and the highlands. In Boracay, you can also go on an island hopping tour.

Aerial view of Nagtabon beach in Puerto PrincesaAnother long trip you can try is the 13-Day Palawan beaches and islands package. This is the best choice for exploring the stunning Palawan islands of Puerto Princesa, San Vicente, El Nido, and Coron. With this package, you’ll discover the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, see the beauty of the San Vicente tourist spot called Long Beach, and embark on island-hopping tours in El Nido. You’ll also be able to visit tourist spots in Coron, including Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, and other captivating spots.

For 2 week tours in the Philippines, you can try the 2-Week El Nido to Coron, Cebu, Siquijor and Boracay tour package. This is perfect if you want to visit the best beaches and tourist spots in Luzon and Visayas. You’ll be able to go on an island-hopping trip at the best beaches in El Nido and Coron, go on a whale shark-watching and island hopping tour in Oslob and Moalboal Cebu, check the best Siquijor tourist spots, and enjoy Boracay island hopping with a bonus snorkeling and Kawa hot bath activity. 

Enjoy the start of the summer season by visiting the Philippines in March!

Aerial view of Talikud Island in SamalIn March, the Philippines welcomes the start of the summer season, which is the perfect opportunity for outdoor adventures, island hopping, and cultural exploration. Thanks to the diverse Philippine geography, whether you're a beach enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone who appreciates rich culture, there's something exciting for everyone to experience during this sunny month in the Philippines.

It’s also highly recommended to visit the Philippines in another month. Visiting the Philippines in August offers you a chance to enjoy rainy season activities. When wondering where to go in the Philippines in September, you can explore underrated destinations for a unique experience. Planning a visit in October allows you to join vibrant Philippine festivals, like the Masskara Festival in Bacolod

There are also best places to visit in November and numerous things to do in the Philippines in December, such as celebrating Christmas with the family. The Philippines' weather in January is also ideal for a vacation in the Philippines. So pack your bags and get ready to make memories in this tropical paradise.

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