Best Time to Visit the Philippines: When to Go & When to Avoid

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The Philippines is an excellent destination with so much to offer travelers. However, each season has its unique draws and drawbacks. We’re going over the pros and cons of each of the seasons in the Philippines to help you determine the best time to visit for YOU!

Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Two Wandering Soles

This island archipelago in the western Pacific has everything you could possibly want in a vacation. The Philippines has plenty of tropical islands with white sand beaches. Jungles that play host to myriad of different wildlife species. Mountains to climb, freshwater lakes to dive into, and even a large coral reef system beneath the sea.

In fact, this humble island nation gave us more to fall in love with than most places we’ve traveled.

Planning a trip here can be a bit confusing when trying to figure out when the best time to visit the Philippines is. There are two distinct seasons in the Philippines: the rainy season and the dry season.

This may sound pretty straight forward… you want to visit the Philippines during the dry season right?? Well, we think the answer is just a bit more complicated than that.

There are pros and cons to visiting during both seasons and as with any destination, the weather is never as predictable as we’d like it to be.

So this begs the question…

What time of year is best to visit the Philippines?

In short, you’ll have the best chance of comfortable weather during the coolest months of the dry season, December – February. It is advisable to avoid visiting from August through mid-October as this is Typhoon season.

Our personal pick would be to visit the Philippines during the shoulder season months of May and November as it is less crowded, but the weather is still good. 

Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Boracay Sunset Sailboats

Truthfully, as with all questions of this nature, there is no correct answer. Each month has its own unique draws (and drawbacks too).

But fear not…

We’re going to go over the pros and cons of visiting the Philippines during each month to help you decide which time of year is ideal for YOU.

Answer these questions to get started:

  • Do you mind a bit of rain?
  • Are you easily bothered by crowds?
  • Are you negatively affected by high humidity?
  • Do you prefer to spend your time outdoors hiking and cycling?
  • Are you into water sports such as scuba diving or surfing?

Thinking about your answers to these questions is going to help you start to determine when to visit the Philippines.

Guide to seasons in the Philippines

Overall BEST time to visit the Philippines

Want a quick recommendation? Jump down to see our personal advice for the best time to visit the Philippines. Plus, we’ll share what times of year we’d avoid visiting!

Be sure to download our complete packing list for Southeast Asia! It’s packed with good suggestions and insider tips to help plan your Mexico vacation. And it’s completely FREE, so why not!?

Southeast Asia Packing List Free Download | Two Wandering Soles

Our experience

We visited the Philippines in January

When: January (2015)

Our experience:

  • We had perfect weather on our 2-week trip!
  • We traveled to 3 islands, and had amazing weather on all! Bohol was the only one where we experienced (just a tiny bit of!) rain.

Would we recommend visiting the Philippines in January? 

Absolutely! It is one of the best months to visit!

Geography overview of the Philippines

Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Chocolate Hills in the Bohol province

The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia, filling the space between the South China and the Philippine seas of the western Pacific. It’s the 5th largest island nation in the world, made up of more than 7,600 islands. However, only 11 of these islands make up 95% of the landmass of the entire country.

The country is part of a system in the western Pacific characterized by active volcanos and also prone to earthquakes. Aside from the 22,500+ miles of coastline and narrow coastal plains, the vast majority of the country is mountainous jungles and forests with rivers that run south to north.

While the land plays hosts to an impressive number of exotic and endemic species, there is also an exciting world resting below the surface just off shore.

The Philippines sits within the “Coral Triangle,” also known as the global center of marine biodiversity. This makes the Philippines one of the best places to go scuba diving in the world!

Weather in the Philippines

Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Boracay Beach bar in Palawan

The Philippines enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year that can be roughly divided into a dry season (November – April) and rainy season (May – October).

Temperatures in the Philippines don’t fluctuate much throughout the year. However, you will experience more extreme heat from the months of March – May, and slightly cooler temps in December – February.

There is also a significant chance of typhoons during the rainy season because the Philippines is within the typhoon belt. The country experiences around nineteen typhoons every year, particularly during the months of August – October.

Stats on Philippines Weather & Seasons

  • Warmest months in the Philippines: March/April/May
  • Coolest months in Philippines: January/February
  • Rainiest months in Philippines: July/August
  • Driest month in Philippines: February
  • Most crowded months in Philippines: December/January
  • Least crowded months in Philippines: June, July, August

Dry Season in the Philippines

The dry season in the Philippines runs from November through April and this is by far the most popular time for tourists to visit the region. December through February will be the coolest months, while temperatures reach their peak in May.

With unpredictable weather (likely due in part to the impact of climate change), it’s important to note that typhoons can occur sometimes as late as January. Although this is not typical.

Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Palawan island hopping

Dry season months at a glance

November: Officially the start of the dry season in the Philippines, however, there is still a chance of typhoons as weather can be unpredictable. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (30-31° C)  

December: Cooler temperatures and mostly clear skies (with the slightest chance of a typhoon) mark the start of the peak travel season. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (29-31° C)  

January: One of the coolest months in the Philippines means that temperatures will be cooler, without getting too cold. Peak of dry season means you’ll have great weather.

  • Average daily temp: ° F (29-31° C)   

February: Less crowded than January but with slightly warmer temperatures throughout the month. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (30-31° C)  

March: Temperatures are starting to get hot, but conditions are still great for travel around the Philippines his month. Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) is busy and best avoided if possible as accommodation will be scarce. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (32-33° C)  

April: This is the hottest and final month of the dry season, so temperatures will be at their peak. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (32-34° C)  
Best Time to Visit the Philippines | El Nido Palawan Philippines

Best places to visit in the Philippines during dry season

  • Panay Island: in January for Ati-Atihan festival
  • Cebu: for the Sinulog festival in January
  • Clark, Pampanga: They host the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in February
  • Boracay Beach: one of the best beaches in the world and a popular tourist draw to the Philippines. 
  • El Nido in Palawan
  • Sorsogon: to go swimming with whale sharks (November – June)
  • Apo Island for scuba diving
Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Boracay Beach in Palawan

Best things to do in the Philippines during dry season

  • Go island hopping around some of the Philippines best island destinations: Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Camiguin, Palaui and Siargao.
  • Go scuba diving: the Philippines is within the “coral triangle” and has some of the best scuba diving in the world.
  • Try a new water sport: Whether it’s surfing, SUP boarding, free diving, or snorkeling, there are so many fun water sports to try in the Philippines.
  • Ati-Atihan Festival (usually the second week of January): This is the largest festival in the country. Celebrating an ancient land pact between settlers and the indigenous Atis people with street dancing and wild costumes. 
  • Dinagyang festival (fourth week in January): A modern celebration of Ati-Atihan, including a parade on the Iloilo River. 
  • Sinulog (3rd Sunday in January): The largest festival in Cebu, celebrating Santo Niño. There is a huge street parade, live music and food and drinks.
  • Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival (April): Modeled after Hong Kong’s dragon boat races, this festival includes local and international teams competing in a course off White Beach. 
Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Boracay sailboats at sunset

Pros of visiting the Philippines during the dry season

  • Less likelihood of rain
  • Humidity is bearable
  • Mosquitoes/insects aren’t as big of a concern
  • Lots of festivals and events happening

Cons of visiting the Philippines during the dry season

  • Peak tourism season (particularly December – February)
  • Accommodation prices will be higher, and harder to come by
  • Major tourist attractions such as beaches will be very crowded 
  • The hottest months of the year are March – May

Rainy Season in the Philippines

The rainy season in the Philippines runs from May – October, and vegetation is often at it’s most lush during the months of May – June. The majority of typhoons occur during the months of August – October and can cause road closures and flight cancelations. So its not ideal to be traveling during this time. 

The wet season doesn’t mean a constant rainfall and you will still have the chance of sunny skies and warm weather during these months.

Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Man made forest in the Philippines

Rainy season months at a glance

May: Although its the technically the first month of the wet season, there is still a likelihood that you will encounter nice weather. The temperatures during the month are at their highest, so it’s a good time to visit the mountains or stay near the ocean. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (33-36° C)  

June: The rains begin to make their way through the country this month. Starting in the north and making their way down. However areas around the central part of the country (Cebu) will still be dry for the most part. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (31-32° C)  

July: Rainfall gets heavier, especially in the north. However, the central region (around Cebu) is still mostly dry. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (31-32° C)  

August: Typhoon season begins towards the end of the month and heavy rainfall can be expected. Best to avoid this month if you are hoping for clear skies on your holiday. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (31-32° C)  

September: Typhoon season is in full swing and it is unadvisable to travel during this month. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (30-32° C)  

October: Most of the rains will have cleared up by the end of the month, however there is still the chance of the occasional typhoon. It would be best to avoid traveling in the beginning of the month. 

  • Average daily temp: ° F (31-32° C)  
Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Banaue Rice Terraces

Best places to visit during the rainy season in the Philippines

  • Mindanao: This region sees the least rain during wet season, so it’s a good time to go without the crowds.
  • Visayas and Palawan are less prone to the dangers of typhoons than other areas in the Philippines.
  • Banaue: Visit the rice terraces during May when it’s too hot in the lowlands, but temperatures are reasonable in the mountains and the vegetation is lush.
  • Bacolod: For the Masskara Festival in October.

Best things to do during the rainy season in the Philippines

  • Take a cooking class
  • Get a massage, or go full-out and pamper yourself with a spa day!
  • Flores de Mayo (May): A religious celebration of the coming rains. Processions happen all over the country, sometimes lit by candle light after dark.
  • Masskara Festival (third Week of October): This festival in Bacolod boasts of colorful masks donned by dancers parading around the town.
Best Time to Visit the Philippines | Island hopping around Palawan

Pros of visiting the Philippines during the rainy season

  • The possibility of rain deters some travelers from visiting, so the Philippines tends to be less crowded.
  • Typical tourist attractions such as beaches will be less crowded than in dry season.
  • Traffic on the roads won’t be quite as busy as the typical hustle and bustle of high season.
  • The weather is still fairly good and you can have plenty of rain-free days, particularly in May.

Cons of visiting the Philippines during the rainy season

  • Torrential rains and thunderstorms are commonly experienced July – October
  • The country experiences around nineteen typhoons every year during the rainy season
  • Mosquitos…eek!
  • Decreased visibility at dive sites due to weather makes it not the optimal time for diving

In our opinion…

In our opinion, the best time to visit the Philippines would be during the “shoulder season” months of May and November. Here are our primary reasons for choosing this time:

  • Accommodation prices are not at peak rates
  • Weather is mostly dry and less humid than the peak of rainy season
  • Not too crowded
  • Good sea conditions for diving/surfing/snorkeling
  • Reasonable airfare can be found (Hint: Use these hacks for booking cheap flights!)

What to pack for your trip to the Philippines

We know it can be overwhelming packing for a trip to a new destination. That’s why we spent hours creating this super helpful PDF just for you.

In this free SE Asia packing list PDF download, we’ve provided packing checklists for everything from clothing and toiletries (for both women and men!) to what shoes to pack and extra medicines you may want to have on-hand just in case.

Plus, we’re sharing tons of packing hacks and tips for traveling in SE Asia that you won’t find anywhere else!

SE Asia Packing List PDF download | Two Wandering Soles

Are you planning a trip to the Philippines?

We have ton of resources on travel in the Philippines and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

Save this article for later on Pinterest!

Best time to visit the Philippines | Two Wandering Soles
Best time to visit the Philippines | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

We hope this article has helped you decide which is the best time to visit the Philippines for YOU. If you are planning a trip to the Philippines and still have questions, comment below and we’ll do our best to find you answers!

Comments (8) on “Best Time to Visit the Philippines: When to Go & When to Avoid

  1. Zoe says:

    Hi there,

    Where would you suggest starting on 3 week trip to the Philippine’s? I’m travelling with my husband, hopefully in June, if not next April.

    Many thanks,

  2. kuwait airways says:

    Your suggestion about the shoulder season months to visit Philippines is very nice. Is it possible to save money on these bookings like I did on kuwait airways by booking through Cleartrip. I am a prudent soul and always enjoy saving money on travels. The images you have shared are colorful and energizing. Loved perusing your blog.

  3. Kay says:

    Hello, can you please share an updated version of the 2 week itinerary? I am sure post pandemic much has changed.

  4. Michael Allen says:

    Yes going in August On the 13th hoping to have a good time still even tho it still will be the raining seasons I am also traveling with my son whom is Autistic want to go and get married out there Im just looking for a good time in shopping and and eating some many good different foods..Praying on the weather to just enjoy my life and my to be…Thanks…

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