With its breathtaking beauty, turquoise waters and delectable cuisine, the “Pearl of the Orient Sea” is a year-round destination: although most people tend to visit between April and November during the dry season.
However, the best time to visit the Philippines really depends on which island you plan on visiting and if you want the buzz of the high season or the more chilled out vibe of the low season.
The best time to visit the Philippines at a glance
|Luzon||November through April|
|Visayas||December through February|
|Mindanao||December through February|
The best time to visit the Philippines
The most popular time to visit the Philippines is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During March and April temperatures soar its incredible hot and sticky. So, the best time to visit the Philippines is during the cooler months from December to February. The wet season starts in May and lasts into October, but the rain isn’t constant and shouldn’t impact on travel plans too much. This is also the best time to get cheaper rates on flights and accommodation and there are fewer crowds too.
The best time to visit Luzon
Luzon is in the northern part of the Philippines and is the country’s largest and most populous island. This is where you’ll find Manila, the Philippines’s capital. Luzon is a full of cultural and natural delights and the hub of Filipino life.
The best time to visit Luzon is in the dry season between November and April, when the weather is hot and sunny. However, the from December to February the weather is a little cooler and slightly more comfortable especially for sightseeing in the city.
In terms of tourism, the busiest month in Luzon is November, followed by May and March. Hotels and flight prices are most expensive during these months. To save money, book well in advance. June and August are quiet months in Luzon and the least expensive too.
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The best time to visit Visayas
The Visayas, are a collection of islands located in the central Philippines. There are nine major island groups – Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros, Guimaras, Panay, Romblon, Samar, and Leyte. However, it is the small island of Boracay that is especially popular with tourists due to its beach life and parties.
Average temperatures in the Visayas vary very little. That is to say it is hot all year with a chance of rain throughout most of the year. The hottest months are May, April, and then June. However, the best time to visit Visayas is winter – December through February – as the temperatures are warm and the chance of rain is at its lowest.
The busiest month for tourism in the Visayan Islands is January, followed by September and May. June is the least crowded.
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The best time to visit Mindanao
Mindanao is known as the land of promise because of its rich biodiversity and natural resources. Here you can go hiking in lush forests, swimming under waterfalls and partake in plenty of adventure activities. One of the hottest destinations here is Palawan.
If you’re looking for the hottest time to visit Mindanao, the months of March, April and May are sweltering. However, the most pleasant and best time to visit Mindanao is the dry season between December and February.
The busy months are June to August and the quietest months are September through to November.
The best time to visit the Philippines for surfing
The best months for surfing in the Philippines are August through November. This is when there is the most typhoon swells and the best winds for catching some waves.
The best time to visit the Philippines for diving
The best time for diving in the Philippines is between November and June when water temperatures range from 24°C–30°C. However, all year round diving is possible in most of the Philippines.
The best time to visit the Philippines for festivals
Ati-Atihan is one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines. It is help in Kalibo in the Aklan province and usually takes place in the second week of January. Expect street dancing, elaborate costumes and parties for seven days.
The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City. It is a huge celebration which draws over a million visitor from across the world. Being one of the grandest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines expect plenty of wild costumes and dancing to the music sounded out by drums, trumpets, and native gongs.
Head to Davao City in Mindanao around the third week of August as this is when they have a week-long celebration for the Kadayawan Festival.