Philippines in September Travel Guide: Where to Go, Weather, Best Activities, Festivals, Tips

Philippines in September Travel Guide: Where to Go, Weather, Best Activities, Festivals, Tips

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Boracay and SiargaoThe Philippines is known as a top beach destination for travelers across the globe, thanks to its breathtaking shores and tropical climate. While there's no doubt that it's best to visit the Philippines during the country's summer months (March to May), it remains a welcome vacation spot for many, even during rainy months like September. 

This season is particularly popular for international travelers coming from colder countries as well since the weather in September still usually never goes below 25°C despite it being the middle of the rainy season. 

While the rain might not always be favorable for some, visiting during September lets you enjoy lower hotel prices and discounted tours as this is considered the lean season for tourism. If you opt to take advantage of the cheaper fares, there are still a wide array of activities you can try in the country, such as visiting Philippine beaches, surfing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and joining September celebrations in the Philippines.

Philippines Weather in September

Paraws sailing during sunset in BoracaySeptember in the Philippines often comes with rainfall, as the dry season generally starts in November. Despite this, there are still great places to visit in the country that usually have fewer chances of strong showers, such as the southern islands in the Visayas and Mindanao region, since typhoons passing through the Philippines historically enter through the east and make their way north or west.

It is also highly recommended to have a flexible Philippines itinerary in case the rain causes the cancellation of flights and other activities. 

Is September rainy season in the Philippines?

Yes, September still falls within the local rainy season, which usually lasts until the early weeks of November. Typhoons are also a large possibility this month, so it's best to watch local weather reports during your trip. 

Philippines Temperature in September

Twin Lagoon in CoronThe temperature in the Philippines in September usually bounces between 25°C and 32°C, so it is still relatively warm during days with no rainfall.

What to Wear when Visiting the Philippines in September?

During a Philippine vacation in September, always pack a waterproof jacket that you can easily put on when the rain starts. For footwear, it's highly recommended to opt for water-resistant sneakers or boots, so they're easy to wipe clean and will keep your feet from getting wet. 

Where to Go in the Philippines and Best Activities in September

Kayangan Lake, CoronWhile there are smaller crowds in the Philippines in September, there is definitely no shortage of activities and places to explore despite the rain. Many of the best places to visit in the Philippines in September are scattered throughout the country's southern region, such as Siargao, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Palawan, Bicol, Boracay, Bohol, and Davao

Surfing in Siargao

Surfing in SiargaoAs the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao enjoys the constant swells caused by the stronger winds during this time. Many surfers also fly to Siargao in September for the annual Surfing Cup held at Siargao's Cloud 9, one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines and a top Mindanao tourist spot. You can also book Siargao tour packages that include island-hopping and inland tours for a more memorable trip. 

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Water Rafting, Cagayan de OroAside from surfing, river activities also take advantage of the September weather since the rain increases the water levels in the local rivers. One of the must-try river activities in the Philippines is whitewater rafting. Those curious about whitewater rafting should visit Cagayan de Oro, where you'll ride across rapids surrounded by lush forests. 

Explore Cebu's beaches and outdoor activities

Cebu Kawasan Falls CanyoneeringFor travelers wanting to explore beaches and go on outdoor adventures, Cebu in September is a great place to visit. The province’s Bantayan Island is known for its white sand beaches and majestic caves. You can also go island hopping in Moalboal and whale shark watching in Oslob, which are included in many Cebu tour packages and Cebu day tours

Meanwhile, anyone interested in canyoneering will find the best experience in Cebu's Kawasan Falls. During a Cebu canyoneering tour, you'll hike, cliff dive, and swim as you make your way through one of the best waterfalls in the Philippines

Island hopping in Palawan

Pinagbuyutan Island in El NidoPalawan is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, making it an ideal place for island hopping in the Philippines year-round. The best places to go island hopping in the province include El Nido, Coron, Puerto Princesa, and San Vicente. If you want to explore breathtaking lagoons, we recommend going on El Nido island hopping tours and Coron island hopping tours

Visiting Coron and El Nido in September also lets you enjoy cheaper hotel prices. You can also book a Coron to El Nido package to visit both areas in one trip. Apart from island hopping, you can visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Puerto Princesa and Long Beach in San Vicente.


ATV in Mayon Volcano

Woman driving an ATV across a river in AlbayFor travelers looking for a more rugged and off-the-beaten-path adventure, consider riding an ATV around Bicol's Mayon Volcano, a popular Luzon tourist spot. Rain or shine, this activity offers a thrilling experience as it will let you ride across shallow rivers, rough terrain, and open fields. 

Visit Boracay's white-sand beaches

Aerial view of Boracay's White BeachAnother top beach destination you can visit is Boracay, which is popular for having the best white sand beaches in the Philippines. When you go to Boracay in September, the crowds are smaller, even at popular attractions like White Beach, one of the top tourist spots in Visayas

With fewer people on the island, you can better enjoy the sunset at White Beach and go island-hopping in Boracay. For a hassle-free trip, you can opt for Boracay tour packages and Boracay tours as well. 

Countryside Tour in Bohol

Bohol's Chocolate HillsAside from beach getaways, travelers can find relaxing getaways in the Philippines' countrysides, like Bohol. During a Bohol countryside tour, you'll visit top Bohol tourist spots like the iconic Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Sanctuary, Bilar Forest, and more.

You can also add a Loboc River Cruise to your itinerary for a tasty buffet while you sail down an idyllic waterway lined by a verdant forest. Apart from touring the countryside, you can also explore Balicasag Island, one of the best diving spots in the Philippines

Relax at Samal Island resorts in Davao

Villas of Pearl Farm Beach Resort on Samal IslandIf you want a relaxing getaway in September, consider traveling to Samal Island in Davao. Located just off the coast of Davao City, you’ll find several top Samal Island resorts that feature gorgeous beaches and top-notch amenities. Along with luxurious accommodations, you can find waterfalls, mountains, and caves nestled in the island's forests that you can explore in Samal Island Davao tours

Take a dip at the best Philippine hot springs

Hidden Valley Springs' pool areaTo warm up during the rainy season, take the time to visit the many natural hot springs in the Philippines. Several of these springs are among the top geographical features of the Philippines since they're naturally heated by geothermal heat from the volcanoes in the Philippines

If you're staying in Luzon, you can choose from several hot spring resorts in Laguna, Pampanga, Bicol, and Coron. As for those traveling around Visayas, you can check out the hot springs in Negros Oriental and Cebu. Meanwhile, those exploring Mindanao can take a dip in the hot springs of Camiguin and Sultan Kudarat.

Visit indoor museums and playgrounds

Aerial view of the National Museum ComplexIf you're traveling with kids, a great alternative for rainy days is visiting the local museums and indoor playgrounds like Manila Ocean Park, Dessert Museum, Gootopia, or Bakebe for a fun day of learning about the Philippines. The best museums in Luzon are the three National Museums in Manila which focus on Natural History, Fine Arts, and Anthropology. 

In Visayas, you can check out the National Museums of Cebu and Bohol. Then in the region of Mindanao, you can browse through the exhibits at the D'Bone Collector Museum in Davao and the Capitol University Museum of Three Cultures in Cagayan de Oro, among others. 

Go on a food tour

Boodle fightA great way to make the most of a rainy day is by visiting the top culinary destinations in the Philippines and feasting classic Filipino comfort food. When going on a food trip in the Philippines, a must-visit stop to include in your itinerary is Pampanga, the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. 

Stop by the local Pampanga restaurants in the province to taste iconic Filipino favorites like sisig and halo-halo. For a more hearty dish, don't miss out on sampling Cebu's lechon, Iloilo's La Paz Batchoy, and Bicol's Laing. 

September Festivals and Events in the Philippines 

Christmas lanterns in PampangaAlong with exploring the vast outdoors of the country, another great way to make the most of your trip is by taking part in cultural activities in the Philippines. After August, there are three September festivals in the Philippines that you can join to see the Filipinos come together to celebrate their culture with colorful costumes and lively dances.

Bicol Food Festival

The famous Bicol Food Festival is a month-long celebration that showcases the region's best dishes and culinary traditions. 

Tuna Festival (General Santos City) 

Held in General Santos City, you can join the Tuna Festival since the city is well known as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines. 

Peñafrancia Festival (Naga City)

For devout Catholics, September also relates to Naga City's Peñafrancia Festival, which honors the province's patron saint. 

Start of Christmas season in the Philippines

For many locals, Christmas in the Philippines starts in September. By September 1, families start putting up parols (Christmas lanterns) and Christmas lights while malls play holiday classics like "All I Want For Christmas Is You." This penchant for the holidays generally stems from the Filipinos' deep ties with Catholicism. 

The holidays also signal reunions for many families as thousands of overseas Filipino workers take a break from work to come home. The Philippines holds the record for the longest celebration of Christmas in the world. 

Tips when Traveling to the Philippines in September

Aerial view of Magpupungko Rock PoolsFor a hassle-free vacation in the Philippines, take note of these essential travel tips: 

Crowds in September 

Since September is part of the lean season of tourism in the Philippines, tourist spots may not have the large crowds that are usually seen during the summer season. While there is always a chance of rain, traveling in September also means enjoying the top attractions like Boracay's White Beach and the Puerto Princesa Underground River with fewer people. 

Driving in the Philippines in September 

Cars along EDSA in Metro ManilaIf you opt to rent a car for your Philippine vacation, take extra caution when driving in September, as the rain makes most roads slippery. Some roads also flood easily after hours-long rainfall in some areas so make it a habit to check your route beforehand on navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze. 

In light of possible floods, it's best to opt for SUVs, vans, or crossovers when picking a Philippine car rental since they can better handle driving through light floods.

Boat tours during rainy season in the Philippines can be canceled

Boat docked at Payong-payong beachSince boat tour operators follow the guidelines of the Philippine Coast Guard, tours or transfers requiring sea transit may be canceled when the weather is deemed unsafe by the coast guard. To ensure that you can reliably refund your payment when a tour gets canceled, it's highly recommended to book with reputable travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines that grant refunds in case of force majeure. 

Prepare for power interruptions

While hotels are equipped with their respective generators, it's still best to be prepared for any possible power interruptions due to heavy rains. It's also highly recommended to charge your devices during idle times at the hotel and bring a power bank or two with you on the trip. 

Prepare for travel delays

Rainy days can usually cause travel delays, so it's best to have a flexible itinerary for your vacation so you can make the most of your September vacation in the Philippines. 

Recommended Philippines travel itineraries in September

Bantayan Island, CebuWhen traveling in September, travelers can enjoy visiting the best tourist attractions in popular destinations like Palawan, Cebu, and Siargao with smaller crowds.

To make the most of your trip, we suggest taking advantage of Guide to the Philippines’ all-inclusive Philippine vacation packages that already have pre-arranged flights, transfers, accommodations, and tours. On top of not stressing about the details, you can also depend on the travel agency to help you should you face any delays or cancellations caused by heavy rains during your trip. 

For travelers in Luzon who are keen on learning about Philippine history and are up for hiking mountains, you should consider the 1-Week Ilocos, Baguio & Mount Pinatubo Historical & Adventure Philippines Itinerary. If you want to go island-hopping and dive in the best spots in Palawan, we recommend the 12-Day Coron to El Nido Palawan Philippines Adventure Itinerary Tour, which will give you ample time to see the top attractions in both places. 

Snorkleling in El NidoIf you're traveling outside of Luzon, you can go on the 2-Week Bohol to Cebu to Boracay Visayas Philippines Itinerary Tour, which will take you across both provinces' countrysides and beaches. Meanwhile, those who want to visit the world-famous shores of Boracay can try the 9-Day Boracay, Bacolod, Iloilo, Guimaras Islands & Beaches Philippines Itinerary so you can venture to nearby islands as well. 

Lastly, those who want to take advantage of the intermittent rainfall and try water activities like whitewater rafting should plan trips to Mindanao. For whitewater rafting, we recommend booking the 1-Week Cagayan de Oro (CDO), Camiguin, Bukidnon Adventure Itinerary Mindanao Tour, as it also takes you to the nearby provinces of Camiguin and Bukidnon. 

And if you want to ride the best surfing waves in the country, the 1-Week Siargao to Cebu & Dumaguete Islands & Hot Springs Philippines Tour Itinerary is your best bet. 

Plan Your Philippines September Vacation Now

Cloud 9Take advantage of the lean tourism season in the Philippines by going on a tropical getaway here in September. When deciding on where to go in the Philippines in September, you'll still have many choices to choose from, such as top beach destinations in the Philippines and underrated places in the Philippines - all with fewer people and cheaper hotel prices. 

Make the most of your vacation by checking out our Philippine travel guide for more tips on exploring the country. 

While the best time to visit the Philippines is from March to May, there are more than a hundred islands in the country that you can discover even in September. For a hassle-free vacation, you can book Philippine vacation packages that already cover your flights, accommodations, and transfers.

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