When to go to the Philippines?

The best time to visit the Philippines is from January up to April. The weather is dry, the temperature the most convenient and this is the off-season for typhoons!

It can be wise to avoid traveling to the Philippines from July to October. This is for the most part of the country the rainy season and during this time of the year it is most likely that a typhoon will hit the country.

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Best time to visit Best time to visit Best time to visit Best time to visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit Better not visit Better not visit Better not visit Better not visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit
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The best time to visit the Philippines

The best time to visit the Philippines, for the most part of the country, is during the period stretching from the middle of December to the middle of May. This is the time when the weather is comparatively drier (less rain) and the temperature is more convenient, than during the other months. More importantly, this is the off-season for typhoons! Since the seasons don’t always follow the standard pattern, to be on the safe side, the absolute best time to travel to the Philippines is from January to April. This period coincides with both the “cold season” and the “hot season”. Note that the ‘hot season’ (March to May) normally is a bit more humid than the ‘cold season’ (December to February). For more explanation of the seasons and weather, see the weather and seasons section.

Unsurprisingly, the best time to go to the Philippines also is equal to the tourist ‘high season’. Most foreign tourists fly in the country from January to March, while most domestic tourists hit the road in April and May. The good news: in the Philippines it is never hard to escape other tourists if you want to, even in the ‘high season’. As in most other countries: high season results in higher prices for accommodations and tourists related services.

Please, be advised that for some part of the country the seasons are actually reversed. For example, in much of the eastern part of the Philippines (Eastern Mindanao, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar and Southeast Luzon), the seasons are usually reversed. This means that it is rainy from December to March and dry during the rainy season in the other part of the country.

In a few (central) parts of the country (e.g. Bohol, Cebu and Negros), seasons hardly have any impact on the weather. This means that you can travel to these regions year-round.

There are a large number of festivals which are held during this ‘cool season’. For more details, see the best time to visit specific destinations of the Philippines section.

The neutral months to visit the Philippines

The ‘neutral’ months to visit the Philippines are May, June, November and December. These months are referred to as the ‘shoulder season’. Most part of the country is in the transition from the ‘hot season’ to the ‘rainy season’ (May and June) and vice versa (November and December). Since seasons don’t start and end on an exact date, there is a fair chance that the months December and May are very reasonable to travel around in the Philippines.

Better not to go to the Philippines

When planning your visit to the Philippines, the weather is by far the most important factor to take into consideration. The most critical aspect which you have to take into account is the months when typhoons are liable to lash the islands.

Typhoons in the Philippines mostly occur during the rainy season, stretching from June to November. The chance of a typhoon hitting the Philippines is at its peak during the months of July, August, September and October. It is recommendable to avoid traveling to the Philippines during this period of the year.

You are advised to avoid visiting Manila in the month May, the heat can make your stay rather unpleasant.

Philippines tourism
Philippines tourism

The best time to visit Philippines
Best time visit Philippines
Amazing Philippines
Amazing Philippines

Beautiful Philippines
Beautiful Philippines

Weather and seasons of the Philippines

There are three main seasons in the Philippines, below you find the seasons and when they occur for the most part of the country:

  • Hot season (Tag-init): March to May
  • Rainy season (Tag-ulan): June to November
  • Cold season (Taglamig): December to February

For most of the country, the wet season starts in June, peaks in July to September, and fades out in October. Typhoons are common from June to November with storms raging up the east coast.

The maximum temperature reached during the hot season can be as high as 100°F or 38°C, while it can be as low as 77ºF or 25°C during the winter season. There is no need to carry any woolens on your visit to the Philippines during the ‘cool season’ (or any other time of the year).

There are two distinctive weather patterns in the Philippines:

  • Southwest monsoon: runs from May to October and brings the rain
  • Northeast monsoon: prevails from November to early May, causing the dry season

The weather over the whole country is not always the same at any particular period of time. For example, during the period from December to March it may be dry and warm in most parts of the country, but the eastern regions of Samar and Mindanao, the southeastern region of Luzon and the southern region of Leyte may be facing heavy rainfall (reversed season).

On the other hand, the seasons are not as pronounced in the central regions of Bohol, Negros and Cebu. The seasons hardly have any impact on the weather, this means that you can travel year-round to these regions.

The weather overview pictures below (both °F and °C) perfectly show that there is not much variation in temperature during the year. During the hot season only (March to May) the temperature goes a bit up in the Philippines. The main drivers of choosing the best time to go to the Philippines are the amount of precipitation and whether or not it is the typhoon season. From January to April the Philippines is receiving the least rain and is therefore the the best time to visit (exceptions can be found elsewhere on this page).

Temperature and precipitation overview (°F) Temperature and precipitation overview (°C)
Weather of Philippines (°F) Weather of Philippines (°C)

Map and current weather of the Philippines

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.
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Best time to visit specific highlights of the Philippines

  • Banaue and Batad rice terraces: these terraces were carved out of the mountainside 2000 years ago by the Ifugao tribes, to grow rice. They look like giant steps, which reach out into the sky. The rice terraces in Batad are also very popular, because you can have a swim in the waters of the Tapia falls. December to May is the best time to go to Banaue and Batad.
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  • Boracay Island: this small island has lovely sugar white beaches where you can laze in the sun, walk on the beach and watch beautiful sunsets. It offers great adventure sports like para-sailing, cliff diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, horse riding and motor biking. You can go on exploration trips to remote coves and their lagoons with turquoise waters or some volcanic caves on the island. There are great resorts on the island and you can enjoy the nightlife after sundown, as bars and restaurants are open throughout the night. Any time between December and May is ideal to visit Boracay island.
  • Cebu: Cebu is an island province, consisting of the Cebu Island itself and of 167 surrounding islands. Cebu city is the capital of the province and also the oldest city of the Philippines. The Cebu area is a tropical area, which is hot and humid year-round. The best time to visit the Cebu islands is during the ‘dry season’, from December to May.
  • Chocolate Hills (Bohol): these unusual geological formations in the form of small mounds are spread all over the island of Bohol and are more than 1200 in number. The mounds are symmetrical and range between 98 to 164 Ft in height. They are covered with grass which turns into chocolate brown color during the dry summer season. The months of April, May and June are the best time to see the Chocolate Hills to see these brown mounds of earth sticking out among green foliage of the trees at their bases.
  • Dinagyang Festival: is held in the month of January in the fourth weekend in Iloilo city. The people wear colorful costumes and participate in chanting and frenzied feet stomping, accompanied by drum beats.
  • Malapascua Island: this Island has a large number of fishing villages dotted along the coast. The water here is completely clear and the shallow waters with their white sand bottoms are ethereal in their beauty. This is the only place in the world where you can come across 'Thresher sharks' almost regularly. Sometimes you also encounter 'Hammer headed sharks' and 'Manta Electric Rays'. The period from December to May is the ideal period to travel to Malapascua Island, to see these marine animals.
  • Manila: the capital of the Philippines, located on the island of Luzon. Most people go to Manila for the architecture, shopping, food and nightlife. The best time to visit Manila is from January to March. This is just after the crowded Christmas time and the weather also tends to become a bit cooler. With respect to shopping: January is also the time that the 'end of season' sales start! Try to avoid to go to Manila in April and May, although it is summer, the humidity and heat can make your stay less pleasant.
  • Mayon Volcano: this volcano is famous for its near to perfect cone shape, which rises more than 8000 feet (2400 meters) into the sky. The Mayo volcano, with its plume of smoke and gases, can clearly be observed from the ruins of Cagsawa, which is located near the base. You can go on hiking, trekking and camping expeditions in the area around the volcano. The best time to travel to the Mayon volcano area is during the period stretching from December to May.
  • Moriones Festival: held in the cities of Magpoc, Boac and Marinduque in April. This is one of the most famous festivals of the Philippines, people dress as Roman soldiers and enact the life of Longinus.
  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean river: this is supposed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world. The full 8.2 km (5 miles) of the river length winds its way underneath a limestone mountain. This is a World Heritage site, you can hire a boat for the ride down the river. The best time to visit the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is from December to May.
  • Sea off Donsol: the fishing village of Donsol is situated in the Sorsogon province. The sea near this fishing village is a place where you can see the 'Whale sharks' as part of your diving expeditions. Seeing these giant but gentle creatures in their natural surroundings is a novel experience. The best time to undertake this expedition is from November to June. The presence of 'Whale sharks' in the clear water increases from February to May, making this the absolute best time to travel to Donsol.
  • Sinulog Festival: in Cebu city is held during the third weekend of January. People from all over the Philippines come together in the city of Cebu to join in the procession and mass at the Basilica Church in honor of Sr. Sto. Nino.
  • Town of Vigan: this is a very old and well preserved colonial town, which is a legacy of the occupation of the islands by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. The cobblestoned streets are lined with houses of the Spanish era. This town has survived the ravages of typhoons and earthquakes and especially the World War II. The period from December to May is the best time to visit Vigan.
  • Tubbataha Reefs: these coral reefs stretch over an area of more than 130,000 hectares and are very popular because of the perpendicular reef walls, which suddenly disappear into the depths of the sea. The reefs are marked by the North and the South Atoll. The deep channel between these two Atoll’s is almost 8 km (5 miles) wide. This is an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving, and you can see a large number of marine life here. The best time to visit the Tubbataha Reefs to go for a dive is from late March to early June, when the sea is calm. You can also engage in bird watching at one of these Atolls.
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Holidays in the Philippines

Below you find 2 recommended travel adventures in the Philippines, organized by G Adventures.

Northern Philippines Adventure Southern Philippines Palawan Adventure
Northern Philippines Adventure Southern Philippines Palawan Adventure

People who want to leave shortly, can find good last minute deals here: save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages

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Pay special attention to

  • Clothing: try to wear loose clothes, which are comfortable in the warm weather and are acceptable in public. As the lowest temperature is 25°C during the winter months, no extra warm clothing is required.
  • Typhoons: typhoons can occur year-round, however it is least likely that you experience them in the period from January to April.
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Do you have a question about visiting the Philippines? Or do you want to share your knowledge of the Philippines with other travelers? Please, visit our Philippines forum.

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