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Is there really a best time to visit the Philippines?

From someone who was born and raised in such a beautiful group of islands, I couldn’t help saying you can come anytime you wish. The Philippines has so many things to offer to tourists flexible enough to change their plans and adventurous enough to take chances.

In reality, it is not always the case. While fun is essential in every travel, safety must always be a primary concern. With ample research, you will be able to discern the best time to go to the Philippines based on your personal priorities and preferences.

Local's Guide on the Best Time to Visit the Philippines in 2020
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Things to know before visiting the Philippines:

To know what is the best time to visit the Philippines, these are the factors you must consider, in my opinion:

  • Climate – Knowing which season, weather and temperature you will be travelling to helps you plan your itinerary accordingly. This not only helps you in choosing the right activities but it also directs you to the best tourist spots to visit with regards to climate.
  • Special events and festivals – There are many festivities which are unique to some months. If you know about these things and a few happen to spike your interest, then you might as well consider flying into the country when these events and festivals are happening. 

Best Time to Visit the Philippines: Ati Atihan Festival in Kalibo Philippines
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  • Tourist season – If you are budget-conscious, chances are you wouldn’t want to visit the Philippines during peak season. Hotel accommodations, tours and other services may prove to be at their highest at this point in time. Therefore, it is essential to know when the low season is in order to get the best deals out of your Philippine islands experience.
  • Social weather – There may be some unrest in specific parts of the country, be it political, religious or anything society-related. Sometimes it impales the transport system; at times it barricades one whole province altogether. Stay tuned to the news and get familiar with the important facts you need to consider when travelling to the Philippines.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the seasons in the Philippines?

There are two seasons in the Philippines in general – rainy season and dry season. The different areas of the country receive varying sunlight and rainfall. Four types of seasons are therefore recognized as seen on the Philippine Climate Map. These are as follows:

  • TYPE 1 – Dry from November to April and wet from May to October
  • TYPE 2 – No dry season; pronounced rainfall from November to April; wet from May to October
  • TYPE 3 – Relatively dry from November to April and relatively wet from May to October
  • TYPE 4 – Evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year

When is the rainy season in the Philippines?

Rainy season is brought about by the southwest monsoon. It runs from June to November. During this time, tropical storms frequent the Philippine islands. The most affected parts of the country would have to be north and east Luzon, Bicol island and east Visayas.

Typhoons in the Philippines get destructive at times. While you may be enjoying a great sunny time in one of the islands of the country, there are high chances of delayed flights to and from your destination. 

If you intend to fly to the Philippines anytime from June to November, keep track of the current state of the weather through various legitimate sources such as the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG ASA) website.   

When is the dry season in the Philippines?

Dry season is brought about by the northeast monsoon. It runs from December to May. The first half of this season experiences a cool climate while the other half proves to be hot.

When are the low and high travel seasons in the Philippines?

Low season for travel runs from June to September. Many areas are not crowded – however for obvious weather-related reasons. It is a great time to score some good deals with airlines, hotels and tours. 

Shoulder season includes the months of May and November. 

High season runs from December all the way until April. With the Philippines being a tropical country, a lot of people who would like to experience true summer feels without the scorching heat that comes with it visit the country at these times.

What is the cheapest month to fly to the Philippines?

The cheapest month to fly to the Philippines is in June. It may be the start of the rainy season, but several touristic happenings in the country have just ended – therefore flights are cheaper. If what you have in mind is to explore the natural beauty of the islands, you are not missing out should you fly by June.

Many domestic and international carriers release promotional fares to the Philippines for specific travel periods. Subscribe to Skyscanner their alerts to be in the know. 

When is the best time to visit Manila?

The best time to visit Manila is during the first half of the dry season – December to February. You will get to enjoy a cool climate without the threat of rain altering your itinerary. 

The Best Time to Visit the Philippines in 2020: Manila Cathedral in the Philippines
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While it can prove to be more expensive to travel to the Philippines’ capital city during these times compared to a low season visit, it is nice to keep in mind that the country is an inexpensive place to travel to in general.

BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES

January, February, and March

Weather: The weather is cool and dry.

Highest average temperature: 29.5 degrees Centigrade

Lowest average temperature: 21.6 degrees Centigrade

This quarter is a good time to hit the streets and party with the locals. If you are travelling to the Philippines on January, head over to the Visayas region and catch the world-famous Sinulog Festival. Your itinerary will be filled with joyous celebrations and festive foods, for sure. 

When it comes to nature trips, this  quarter is a popular time for tourists to visit the Philippines. Because of that, expect for the famous tourist spots to be at their most crowded.

April, May, and June

Weather: The weather is hot and dry until May. June is the start of the rainy season.

Highest average temperature: 31.6 degrees Centigrade

Lowest average temperature: 23.5 degrees Centigrade

The Philippines during this quarter is teeming with residents and foreign tourists alike taking advantage of the Holy Week. This religious celebration is observed in honor of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection and is treated as public holidays all throughout the country. If you find yourself near Marinduque during this time, better check out the elaborate Moriones Festival.

People from the metropolis travel to provincial tourist destinations, looking to maximize the long weekend breaks that come rare in the corporate world. Expect to share your choice of tourist spots to many travelers as this is a popular time to visit the Philippines.

The country is at its sunniest during this period. It is the perfect time to hit the beach, do some island hopping and enjoy the outdoor activities connected with nature. Come June, settle for indoor plans as the rainy season is about to commence.   

July, August, and September

Weather: The weather is rainy. Expect several typhoons to enter the country’s area of responsibility.

Highest average temperature: 30.5 degrees Centigrade

Lowest average temperature: 23.3 degrees Centigrade

Typhoons are frequent during these months, but there are some sunny days enveloped between the rainy ones. While there are many outdoor activities that you will find hard to enjoy especially during July and August, there are also awesome destinations that are not greatly affected by the monsoon season.

The key is to shift your focus away from the main city and consider travelling to Visayas and Mindanao. These months are the perfect time to go to the southern side of the Philippines. It doesn’t receive as much rain as in Luzon.

Travelling to the Philippines during these months will give you some of the best rates in the area. It is the low season, so accommodations and other tourism services drop their rates to up to 30%. 

October, November, and December

Weather: The weather is cool and wet until November. Dry season starts in December.

Highest average temperature: 29.7 degrees Centigrade

Lowest average temperature: 22.5 degrees Centigrade

It is the start of the peak season for travellers as it proves to be the same for the rest of the world. 

Don’t be shocked if you see streets and houses donned in festive colors and holiday lights even if it is only October. Christmas comes early in the Philippines and it is truly a much-awaited season in this tropical country. Come December, be sure not to miss the Giant Lantern Festival in Pampanga.

Another way of looking at it is by giving regard to the fact that many Filipinos like me are scattered across the globe, most probably working overseas or have already built their lives in other countries. We are a family-oriented bunch, and when we can, we try to fly back home during Christmas time. With this in mind, December is the best time to travel to the Philippines for us.

best time to visit the philippines
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