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

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

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Pinagbuyatan Island and Surfers in Siargao main bannerThe Philippines is arguably one of the top tropical destinations in the world. Thanks to the distinct Philippine geography, the country is chockfull of islands, beaches, lagoons, coves, and falls, perfect for those looking for a warm getaway. While November is not the warmest month in the Philippines, it signals the start of the dry season in the Philippines. This means that the weather is generally dry, but you can still expect some rain and storms.  

For November, among the best places to visit in the Philippines are Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, and Bohol, which are home to some of the best white sand beaches in the Philippines. You can also enjoy outdoor activities in other destinations, like surfing in Siargao or La Union, enjoying an ATV ride around Mayon Volcano, or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro. There are also cultural activities in the Philippines that you can enjoy in November, including attending festivals like Sagada’s Festival of Lights, Rizal’s Higantes Festival, and Baguio’s Art Festival.

Do note that there are usually several holidays and long weekends in November and that the Christmas season in the Philippines starts as early as September. Because the holidays are close, hotel bookings in the Philippines may be more expensive compared to the lean months but still cheaper than the upcoming peak season. Note that this rate may also apply to flights to the Philippines.

This article is a guide for those planning to visit the Philippines in November. 

Philippines Weather in November 

Since it is just the beginning of the dry season, November in the Philippines is generally warm, but it can still experience rainfall. During this month, you can expect one or two tropical cyclones to enter the country.

Is November rainy season in the Philippines?

No. November weather in the Philippines is a mix of dry and wet since the end of the rainy season and the start of the dry season fall in this month. On average, there are more than 20 dry days for this month.

Philippines Temperature in November

Mines View Park BaguioThe temperature in the Philippines in November can vary depending on where in the country you are. In Manila and the rest of the National Capital Region, temperatures can reach a low of 20.7°C (69.26°F) and a high of 36.1°C (96.98°F).

In Luzon, the coolest temperature during this month is 12°C (53.6°F), while the hottest is 36.8°C (98.24°F). For Mindanao, the temperatures can range from 15.5°C (59.9°F) to 36.6°C (97.88°F), while in the Visayas, it’s 18.4°C (65.12°F) to 38.2°C (100.76°F).

Note that these are just the lowest and highest temperatures. Usually, the temperatures during November in the Philippines fall in the middle of these ranges.

What to Wear when Visiting the Philippines in November? 

The weather is mostly dry during November, so pack dry-weather clothes. If you’re planning to go out often to enjoy November activities in the Philippines, like swimming, surfing, and whitewater rafting, make sure to bring swimwear, and if you have them, aqua shoes.

Note that you may still experience a few days of rain and storms, so it's still advisable to bring an umbrella whenever you go out.

Where to Go in the Philippines and Best Activities in November

Kayaking in Coron PalawanIf you want to experience different activities in the Philippines, November is a great time to visit the country as you will be able to enjoy popular tropical activities like island-hopping as well as rainy-season activities in the Philippines like surfing and whitewater rafting.

Witness Sagada’s Festival of Lights on All Saints’ Day

Sagada Village

Also called the “panag-apoy,” the Festival of Lights in Sagada happens on November 1, on All Saints’ Day, usually in the afternoon or the evening. Instead of candles, locals visiting tombs light pine twigs to remember their departed loved ones. Note that this practice is a private and solemn event, so make sure you keep your distance and ask permission before taking photos. While here, you can also explore other Sagada tourist spots, including the Hanging Coffins and Mount Kiltepan viewpoint.

Join the Higantes Festival in Rizal

Tinipak River in Rizal

Rizal is a popular place for a quick retreat, especially for those coming from Metro Manila. There are several Rizal tourist spots you can enjoy here, including the Masungi Georeserve and the Pinto Art Museum. But if you’re visiting in November, you should definitely experience the Gigantes Festival, which happens in the municipality of Angono. The festival is held to honor Angono’s patron saint, Saint Clement. A parade of giant figures or higantes happens on the Sunday before November 23.

Explore the top diving spots in the Philippines

A whale shark swimming near the surface

November is also a good time to visit the best diving spots in the Philippines. Since the country is part of the Coral Triangle, it is home to a rich marine biodiversity, which you can explore when you visit dive spots like Tubbataha Reefs National Park in Palawan, Balicasag Island in Bohol, and Malapascua in Cebu. You can also see World War II shipwrecks when you go diving in Coron, Palawan.

Surf in Siargao or La Union

Surfers in Cloud 9, Siargao

Siargao and La Union are two of the best surfing spots in the Philippines, and November is a great time to catch their waves. Experienced surfers will be better suited to visiting Siargao in November and catching the swells in Cloud 9, one of the top Siargao tourist spots and the most popular Mindanao tourist spots. Beginners can improve their skills in the waves of La Union. During surf breaks, you can visit La Union tourist spots like Tangadan Falls, one of the popular waterfalls in the Philippines.

Visit Boracay’s white sand beaches

Puka Beach Boracay

You can also visit Boracay in November. The island is one of the top Visayas tourist spots and is home to some of the best Philippine beaches, including the famous White Beach. If you want to visit a quieter beach, you can choose from Puka Beach, Diniwid Beach, and Bulabog Beach.

Go island-hopping in Palawan

Cadlao Island Palawan

Palawan is one of the top tourist spots in Luzon, as it is home to stunning beaches, breathtaking lagoons, and some of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. For those who want to experience island-hopping in the Philippines, Palawan in November is a great choice as there are many options, and thanks to its location, while it can experience intermittent rains, the province is not usually affected by typhoons. 

You can join popular Philippine island-hopping tours in El Nido, Puerto Princesa, and Coron, or if you prefer less crowds, you can enjoy it in San Vicente. Maximize your visit by checking out inland tourist spots in Palawan.

Enjoy the cool weather at Baguio City

Pine trees in Baguio

Baguio is a popular destination for those seeking respite from the hot and humid climate in the city, and it is especially popular during the dry season, as you can enjoy cool temperatures with less chance of rainfall, allowing you to explore outdoor Baguio tourist spots hassle-free. You can also experience the Baguio Arts Festival, which happens from November to December. It showcases several types of art, including sculptures, paintings, photography, performing arts, and music.

Experience a countryside tour in Bohol

View of the iconic Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Philippines

While Bohol is one of the popular beach destinations in the Philippines, it is also home to iconic inland attractions like the Chocolate Hills. You can visit Bohol and November and see the hills and other attractions like the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary and the Bilar Man-Made Forest when you book Bohol countryside tours. It is also usually paired with a Loboc River cruise, where you can enjoy a buffet lunch aboard a boat making its way down the river.

Explore Cebu’s beaches and try outdoor activities

Clear and turquoise waters around Sumilon Island in Cebu, Philippines

There are many Cebu tourist spots you can visit, including stunning beaches like White Beach in Moalboal and Lambug Beach in Badian. But there’s more to the province than just Cebu beaches. There are many adventures to be had in Cebu in November, and you can go on Cebu canyoneering tours, Oslob whale shark watching tours, and Moalboal island-hopping tours, where you can experience the famous sardine run.

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro is the whitewater rafting capital of the Philippines, and this activity is best done during the rainy season when the water levels of the Cagayan de Oro River are high. November is usually on the tail end of the rainy season, so you still have time to try whitewater rafting at this time. 

You’ll ride a raft that will pass through several rapids, and you can expect to get wet and possibly even fall off. Don’t worry, though, as this activity is generally safe if you wear the proper safety gear and follow your guide’s instructions. After going on this adventure, you can maximize your visit by checking out other Cagayan de Oro tourist spots.

Dip in Camiguin’s hot springs

Ardent Hot Spring Camiguin

Camiguin is a volcanic island, which means here, you can find some of the top hot springs in the Philippines. These hot springs are perfect for a soothing dip during cool days. The most popular of these hot springs is Ardent Hot Springs, which is located on the slopes of Hibok-Hibok Volcano. The water in the pools here can have temperatures ranging from 33°C to 40°C. During your stay in the province, you can also check out other Camiguin tourist spots.

Ride an ATV near Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano is one of the most picturesque tourist spots in Albay, and while you can see its almost perfect cone from several viewing spots in the province, one of the best ways to see it up close is going on an ATV ride near its base. 

When you go on a Mayon ATV ride, you won’t only see the volcano’s famous vista but also Albay’s diverse landscape including hills, swamps, rivers, and lava walls. This activity is open for those aged 15 and above, but everyone must be able to show good performance during the practice drive. 

November Festivals and Events in the Philippines

Filipinos celebrate several festivals in the Philippines in November, but you’ll have to choose which one you want to attend, as these happen across the archipelago. There are also a few Philippine holidays that happen in November. Note that locals use these long breaks to travel and go out, so avoid traveling on these dates if you are not a fan of crowds.

Higantes Festival in Rizal

In the municipality of Angono, the Higantes Festival is held on the Sunday before November 23. The festival is held in honor of Angono’s patron saint, Saint Clement, and its highlight is the parade of giant figures, which are called higantes by locals.

Festival of Lights in Sagada

Officially, the “panag-apoy” is not a festival but a tradition practiced and upheld by the locals in Sagada. To commemorate their departed loved ones, locals light pine twigs instead of candles. This creates a bigger flame and emits a pine sap scent.

Local holidays

Filipinos celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2. Many flock to cemeteries and columbariums to commemorate their departed loved ones. Meanwhile, Bonifacio Day is held at the end of the month, on November 30, to celebrate the birthday of Filipino patriot and revolutionary Andres Bonifacio. Note that in some years, the holiday can sometimes be moved by the Philippine president to a Friday or a Monday to create a long weekend for Filipinos. 

Tips when Traveling to the Philippines in November 

Kayangan Lake CoronMake the most of your visit to the Philippines in November by taking note of these travel tips:

Crowds in November

Filipinos have the most festive Christmas celebrations, and since November is close to the holidays, more people may be out and about preparing for December. There are also a few holidays you need to take note of. All Saints Day and All Souls’ Day fall on November 1 and 2, respectively, while Bonifacio Day is celebrated on November 30. Expect many locals traveling during these dates, especially if these holidays create a long weekend.

Driving in the Philippines

Cars along Edsa

While November is usually the start of the dry season in the Philippines, the earlier days of the month can still bring rain. If it rains while you are driving, exercise caution, as some roads easily flood, even with light rainfall. Even without flooding, rains usually mean a heavy traffic buildup, especially in the cities. With the holiday rush, it is possible to be stuck on the road for hours.

If your route involves driving on mountain roads, you would also need to watch out for landslides. For a hassle-free experience, it’s best to book a Philippine car rental that is either an SUV or a van.

Boat tours during rainy days in the Philippines may be canceled

Aerial view of Big Lagoon

While the chances of boat tours being canceled decrease as you go later into November, it’s still best to keep in mind that in case of heavy winds and rain, boat tours and other out may be canceled. Tour operators follow the guidelines of local authorities, and for island-hopping tours and other boat tours, the directive should come from the Philippine Coast Guard.

For a hassle- and stress-free experience, book your tours with reliable travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines, which allow you to get full refunds for tour cancellations brought about by force majeure.  

Prepare for power interruptions

In case your visit coincides with a typhoon or a tropical storm, be prepared for power outages. Most big hotels will have their own backup power generators, but if you have booked a stay with smaller accommodations, it is best to always keep your electronic devices charged, including your power banks.

Expect travel delays

During heavy rains, flights and sea transfers may be delayed until better weather comes or even canceled completely. This may cause you to experience long waits at airports and seaports, so make sure you have time allowances for your Philippine itinerary.

Recommended Philippines travel itineraries in November 

Woman trying ATV ride on a riverThere are lots of things to do in the Philippines in November, so no matter what your travel preferences are, it would be easy for you to create a travel itinerary. For a fuss-free visit, you can also check out Philippines itinerary holiday packages.

If you have plenty of time to spare and want to visit several destinations in the country, a 1-month Philippine itinerary tour package that will take you to the cultural and outdoor attractions of Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Baguio, Bohol, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Boracay, and Siargao.

For those who have 21 days to spare, you can book this 3-week Philippine itinerary tour package that will take you to the historical and cultural attractions of Manila, Ilocos Norte, Vigan, and Baguio, as well as the beaches, islands, and other natural attractions of Bohol, Cebu, and El Nido. You’ll even get to visit one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, the Puerto Princesa Underground River.  

Boracay sunsetFourteen days is still plenty of time to explore the Philippines, and a good package to book is this 2-week Palawan tour package that will take you to some of the best beaches, islands, and natural wonders of Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa.

If you have around seven to eight days on your Philippine vacation, you have plenty of itinerary options. This 1-week Philippine best islands tour package will take you island-hopping in Siargao, Cebu, and Boracay, while this 1-week Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, and Bukidnon tour package is perfect for adventure-seekers who want to explore Mindanao. This itinerary includes whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro and outdoor tours in Bukidnon and Camiguin. If you’d like to see the attractions of North Luzon, you should check out this 8-day Baguio, Sagada, and Banaue tour package, which includes spelunking and hiking tours.

Start planning your November trip to the Philippines

Rice terraces in Sagada

The Philippines is one of the best places in Asia to visit in November, as it can let you experience the warm tropical climate the Philippines is known for without it being too hot. November will also allow you to be able to try rainy-day activities early in the month, so you can experience surfing and whitewater rafting if you wish. 

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