The Best Time To Visit The Philippines

(Last Updated On: 22/01/2020)

With over 7000 islands, choosing the best time to visit the Philippines can seem like a bit of a hassle. What about Cebu? What about Palawan? What about Northern Luzon? There are so many places you’ll want to take into account while you’re planning and I want to make your trip as stress-free as possible, so in this blog post, I am going to line out a full-on month-to-month guide on the weather in the Philippines so that you can plan your trip for optimal sunshine, low humidity levels, and the best weather conditions!

If you’ve been a loyal reader to my site, you’ll know that I love going into obnoxious detail for my blog posts, so prepare to take some notes and leave with more information than you intended! I throw in some of my travel experiences going through the region during March and April, so that will help give some insight into the busiest months of the year compared to the rest. Honestly, when I booked my trip, I didn’t know that March and April were super busy and I learned that the hard way! I wish I would have had a post like this to give me the 411! With all of that being said, let’s dive into the best time to travel to the Philippines, shall we?

This post does may contain affiliate links for the products or services I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.

Planning a trip to The Philippines? Check out these posts after reading the best time to visit the Philippines!

The Philippine’s Weather Overview

Since The Philippines is around 20 degrees above the equator, you can expect toasty, tropical weather basically year-round! Woot woot! While this country doesn’t experience traditional seasons like spring, summer, fall, and winter, it does experience two drastically different ones, the wet season and the dry season. This makes booking travel here stupidly easy if you want to avoid one or the other. If you want to save money and avoid the majority of the crowds during the dry season, the wet season isn’t a bad time to visit. I think the term “wet season” gives the region a really bad picture of it being a torrential downpour 24/7, but that really isn’t the case and it varies from region to region, year to year. So, if you don’t mind traveling in the offseason and getting your feet wet, consider traveling during the wet or shoulder season! Obviously, the dry season is dry and that comes with the crowds and “higher” pricing, but the weather is great! You can use the guide below to help you determine the best time to visit The Philippines.

If you do want a solid answer though,

I believe the best time to visit The Philippines is December through February.

 

High (Dry) Season | November – April

Low (Wet) Season | Late May – October

Shoulder Months | May + October

Hottest Months | March + April

Coolest Months | December – February

 


 

The Best Time of year to visit the Philippines

late October – early May

Lucky for you, the best time to visit the Philippines spans over the course of around six months, the dry season! In terms of crowds and prices, this is the more popular time to visit than they are during the wet season (for very obvious reasons lol), the other six months of the year, but all of the regions are beautiful this time of year which is great if you plan on island hopping or trekking in Northern Luzon the weather conditions are the utmost favorable during this time.

 

The Best Time Of Year to visit Cebu, Siargao, El Nido, Palawan, + other islands

November – February

The best time to visit the Visayas region of the Philippines is similar to the best time to visit the Philippines overall, but I have taken off the months of March and April simply because these months are brutally hot and the UV ratings are high as well. These months also tend to be the busiest months of the year because this is when summer begins in the Philippines, along with Holy Week thrown in there, so you’re going to find a ton of locals exploring their own country and a LOT of travelers also. This is why you’ll want to visit at the end of the year through the beginning of the next. The water clarity is favorable as well and the humidity levels are low, so these months are going to give you the best bang for your buck for your trip!

 


 

 

The Philippines Weather In January

MAX Temperature | 85 F (29 C)

MIN Temperature | 79 F (26 C)

January is right in the heart of the dry season with cooler temperatures and minimal rainfall. If you’re traveling in the Northern regions near Manilla, temperatures might drop significantly lower than they would in the Visayas, so pack a lightweight jacket if you plan on trekking around this region. Meanwhile, in the Visayas region, the lingering effects of the monsoon could be underway, so it’s worth packing a lightweight rain jacket or compact umbrella. Rainfall is not guaranteed as it varies year to year, but January still makes one of the best months to visit.

If you love to experience local culture, every January in Kalibo, the festival Ati-Atihan is held in honor of Santo Niño (baby Jesus). You’ll get to see tribal dances, indigenous costumes, and a parade through the street, and of course some tasty grub to accompany everything! This festival has inspired many other festivals around the Philippines, so if celebrations are your game, you’ll want to attend this!

Pros | mild weather, few crowds, + dry season

Cons | none?

 


 

The Philippines Weather In February

MAX Temperature | 86 F (30 C)

MIN Temperature | 79 F (26 C)

Sunshine and sea temperatures begin their rise again as we make our way into the Summer months of the Philippines. February is an optimal month for snorkeling, diving, and swimming as the waters begin to warm back up. These conditions are optimal for trekking around Northern Luzon, but it does continue to stay just a little cooler in that region so pack a lightweight rain jacket. The crowds in February are low and the weather is still hot, but nothing compared to March and April. 

February is one of the best months to visit the Philippines because it’s in the shoulder season before the summer, there aren’t any major holidays, and the humidity won’t make you feel like you stepped out of the shower every time you go outside. What more could you ask for?

Pros | few crowds, mild(er) weather, + great for water sports

Cons | none!

 


 

The Philippines Weather In March

MAX Temperature | 88 F (31 C)

MIN Temperature | 81 F (27 C)

March rings the welcoming bell for the official Summer months of the Philippines, and, as you can probably guess, this month is a scorcher. Temperatures tend to stay in the lower 30s (Celcius) or mid-90s (Fahrenheit), so lightweight clothing is going to be an absolute must during these months, and a quality sunscreen that protects the reefs and has broad-spectrum protection. The crowds here will multiply as they celebrate Holy Week, so make sure you book your accommodations in far in advance since they tend to sell out quickly in the summertime! I made this mistake during my trip and almost didn’t have a place to stay in Siargao!

I visited The Philippines in March and the heat was too brutal to be alive at some points. March is one of the hottest months of the year, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip. I recommend pushing your trip back to February if you plan on visiting this time of year. In addition to the hot weather, the crowds are almost at an all-time high. It’s not the best time to visit The Philippines. 

Pros | hot weather (could be a con though)

Cons | busy + higher prices

 


 

The Philippines Weather In April

MAX Temperature | 90 F (32 C)

MIN Temperature | 83 F (28 C)

April brings peak dive season, record high temperatures, and poppin’ humidity. April is a popular time to visit El Nido, Cebu, Siargao, and Bohol, and Holy Week may sometimes fall during a week this month, so prices may be inflated accordingly. This is the final month of the dry season, but that doesn’t mean that islands will be immune to occasional rainfall. However, as all islands do, most rainfall in this month will last a few hours and end to reveal another sunny day. Temperatures will continue to stay in the lower thirties and be paired with 80-90% humidity.

If you can manage, I recommend pushing your trip forward to around February to early March to help ease the temperatures and crowds because April is really busy. April is the summer season for the Philippines so you’ll find tons of locals exploring their own country as well as all the other travelers flocking to the islands, which means lots o’ people. Lots. April isn’t awful, but if you want to avoid crowds and heat, it’s not ideal. 

Pros | great weather

Cons | really busy, higher prices, + holy week

 


 

The Philippines Weather In May

MAX Temperature | 92 F (33 C)

MIN Temperature | 85 F (29 C)

If you dare thought May would bring cooler temperatures, think again because the stats are going to continue to rise into May, but there will be in a heavy increase in rainfall as the wet season begins. May is a shoulder season, so you’ll see cheaper prices and somewhat fewer crowds with the temperature gauge rising above 90. There is a chance that the monsoon can come early and you’ll experience heavier rainfall, but the weather is so unpredictable that there is no way to know 100%. If you travel at the beginning of the month, you’ll probably be fine while the end of the month has a higher chance of showers.

On the bright side of things, May is a shoulder season, so the crowds are going to thin out a lot, this month. In fact, I would dare to say that May is a better month to visit than April! This month hosts the Flores De Mayo celebration which involves thousands of colorful flowers throughout all the regions of the Philippines! The shoulder season is always a great time to visit most countries, so don’t let the ‘wet season’ title scare you away from visiting this month!

Pros | fewer crowds + cheaper prices

Cons | beginning of wet season

 


 

 

The Philippines Weather In June

MAX Temperature | 92 F (33 C)

MIN Temperature | 85 F (29 C)

June is well into the rainy season, so expect plentiful showers during this month. For all my fellow beach bums, you can still manage to lay out and get a tan in the Southern Visayas like Cebu since they will stay drier during this month but still expect some light rainfall here and there. Rainfall will be its heaviest in the Northern regions of Luzon. The temperature is going to fall and stay around the upper 80’s, but the cooler rainfall will help bring some relief to the hotter weather.  

As unfavorable as this month might seem, the rain brings a sweep of greenery through the Chocolate Hills and the Rice Terraces of Banaue, so if you have some trekking on your mind, you may find that June is a fine time to visit! I’ve honestly always loved how photogenic and moody rainy weather is, so if you have photography etched into your Philippines itinerary, consider June, but bring your rain gear!

Pros | fewer crowds + cheaper prices

Cons | heavy rain

 


 

The Philippines Weather In July

MAX Temperature | 90 F (32 C)

MIN Temperature | 83 F (28 C)

While Luzon and other regions in the north experience heavy, heavy rainfall from the Southwest Monsoon, Cebu, Siargao, and Bohol steer clear of the heaviest rain, but they still experience showers. The number of rainfall days increases to around three weeks out of this month with temperatures staying consistently near the upper 80’s. July is in the heart of the wet season, so honestly, it’s not really an ideal month to visit since even trekking in the Northern regions isn’t advised and there’s going to be rain everywhere.

Pros | fewer crowds + cheaper prices

Cons | heavy rain

 


 

The Philippines Weather In August

MAX Temperature | 90 F (32 C)

MIN Temperature | 83 F (28 C)

Hello, typhoon season! Although it is the typhoon season, you can still experience some high UV indexes throughout the month, and really every month in the Philippines, so bring extra sunscreen with your rain gear, ironically! Cebu and other islands in the Visayas aren’t safe from a heavy downpour, so it’s best to avoid traveling to those areas in these months, that is, unless you enjoy “pina coladas and getting caught in the rain”.  

August isn’t ideal. It’s just wet. Everywhere is wet, along with the likelihood of a typhoon to hit, so I don’t recommend visiting this month. If you can, push your trip back to maybe even October so you can pass through the heaviest part of the wet season. 

Pros | zero crowds

Cons | high UV index +  heaviest rainfall

 


 

 

The Philippines Weather In September

MAX Temperature | 90 F (32 C)

MIN Temperature | 83 F (28 C)

The height of the typhoon season kicks off in September, so expect rain, rain, and even more rain. There is heavy rain throughout the entire country which makes is not optimal at all for snorkeling, swimming, or diving. If you must travel here during this month, it would be best to dive into some cultural antics rather than a sun-bum vacation and indulge in a ton of incredible local food shops, gain a few pounds in the process, and maybe see some days of sunshine.  

The chances of a typhoon hitting in September grow higher than in August, so if you want to avoid a tropical storm, try pushing your trip back even a month or two. If you are pursuing September as your desired month, however, you can find sunshine in some areas of the Visayas like Bohol, Cebu, and my beloved Siargao! Overall, September isn’t a favorable month to visit, but you can still find some sunshine somewhere. There are over 7,000 islands, after all!

Pros | few crowds + cheaper prices

Cons | heavy rain

 


 

The Philippines Weather In October

MAX Temperature | 88 F (31 C)

MIN Temperature | 83 F (28 C)

Typhoon season slowly moves its way out of the region making late October a good time to visit after all the rain in August and September. There are still slight chances of rainfall, but they are more dispersed and not as intense as the middle of typhoon season. I mean, that’s pretty obvious, but you get the idea! Late October can actually be a mildly favorable time to visit if you want low crowds and cheap prices! 

Although a typhoon can still be likely, the chances of it hitting the southern Visayas is pretty low compared to the Northern regions. During this month, the humidity levels start to level out and the temperatures also start to cool down quite a bit so, although October is incredibly overlooked, it’s a nice time to visit! It’s also a shoulder season, which is a favorite time for travelers looking for that sweet spot for planning their trip!

Pros | shoulder season, few crowds, cheaper prices

Cons | some rain

 


 

The Philippines Weather In November

MAX Temperature | 88 F (31 C)

MIN Temperature | 81 F (27 C)

November welcomes the first month of the dry season, but it’s recommended to travel in the latter half of the month for optimal weather. November brings “cooler” weather and a lower percentage of humidity, which makes it a really nice time to visit. Occasional showers are likely, but the majority of days will be sun-filled. The best location to visit during this month would be Palawan and Coron since they have the best weather while other destinations like Cebu and Siargao will have moderately favorable weather but still some rain to look out for.

The Philippines in November is the shoulder season, so you can expect cheaper prices, although they’re already cheap to begin with, and very few crowds. If you don’t mind the chances of some rainfall, then this is a great time to visit! The moody weather sometimes makes for some great photos, so don’t let it steer you away! Swimming in the ocean while it’s raining is one of my favorite feelings!

Pros | end of wet season, few crowds, cheaper prices

Cons | occasional rainfall

 


 

The Philippines Weather In December

MAX Temperature | 90 F (32 C)

MIN Temperature | 79 F (26 C)

As we head into the dry season, and the holiday season, temperatures and humidity are going to drop slightly, but they’re still going to leave you jumping in the ocean to cool down. December is another popular time to visit the Philippines, so expect the tourism to pick back up from typhoon season. Water sports, like diving, pick back up as the waters clear and begin getting warmer, and you’re able to bank on there being perfect sunny days with lower humidity.

If you’re looking for a warm and cheap place to visit for your holiday, then The Philippines is an awesome choice. They celebrate Christmas throughout the entire month and if you can sneak yourself into an epic Filippino Christmas party, then you’ll be in for huge treat and FEAST! You won’t have to worry about lingering effects of typhoon season in December, so if you want to avoid showers and spend all the time on the beach, then December is a great time to visit!

Pros | dry season

Cons | increasing crowds

 


Do you chase the best weather when you travel? Share with me in the comments below!

Aaren

 

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Discover the best time to visit the Philippines with this month-by-month weather guide that gives you all the 411 on when exactly to visit these beautiful islands! Whether you’re island hopping, surfing off of Siargao, or trekking through Northern Luzon, you’ll find the most optimal month for your trip! #philippines #besttimetovisitthephilippines #travelphilippines

Discover the best time to visit the Philippines with this month-by-month weather guide that gives you all the 411 on when exactly to visit these beautiful islands! Whether you’re island hopping, surfing off of Siargao, or trekking through Northern Luzon, you’ll find the most optimal month for your trip! #philippines #besttimetovisitthephilippines #travelphilippines

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