Are you still confused about the best time to visit Philippines?
The Philippines is a perfect destination for an island getaway with over 7,600 islands. Located in Southeast Asia and the capital city of Manila, the Philippine is a mega-diverse country with lots of places to visit.
From the bustling nightlife in Manila to the steep mountains with exceptional hiking opportunities and many more.
The country is a paradise waiting to be explored with an abundance of beautiful beaches and natural tropical landscapes. The Asian beaches provide scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing opportunities.
Popular Islands like the Boracay, Cebu, and Rajah Sikatuna Park in Bohol are top places to visit in the Philippines. Read on to know the best time to visit Philippines and the top tourist spots you shouldn’t miss on your next vacation in this Island country.
What Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit the Philippines
The Philippines has a tropical climate associated with abundant rainfall, high temperature and high humidity levels. Like countries with tropical weather, the Philippines have two seasons, the dry and the wet season. The dry season in the Philippines lasts from November to April with higher temperatures during March and April. The wet season run through May to October with most islands experiencing rainfall with more chances of typhoons.
However, the best time to visit the Philippines is during the dry season, from December to February with cooler temperatures. You’ll enjoy the best weather to engage in outdoor activities and explore Philippine’s steep mountains. The islands are fully accessible for tourist to enjoy the beach and explore the natural landscape.
Top 15 Best Places To Visit in the Philippines
Manila is the country’s bustling metropolitan capital and one of the most populous in South Asia. It is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines and can be explored within two to three days.
More so, Manila is home to sparkling skyscrapers, quirky dessert museum, modern parks and some of the world’s largest malls. A ride in the colourful jeepneys, the main form of transportation is worth the experience.
Also, the Makati neighborhood offers modern attractions with great shopping and nightlife entertainment. Visit the National Museum of the Philippines for amazing exhibitions on the history of the Philippines. Take a stroll down the Manila Bay walk, explore the Rizal Park, visit the Quiapo Church and get a taste of the best seafood at Passy Seafood Market.
Discover the wonders of Boracay, a small island in Western Visayas and home to some of the famous beaches in the Philippines. The White Beach on the west coast is one of the best in Asia with its powdery white sand, palm trees, perfect sunsets, and blue crystal waters.
Also, the Island provides the best water activities for beach-goers who want to do more than just relaxing on the beach. The best time to experience the Island is from December to May.
Finding a place to stay on the Island shouldn’t be an issue with its many resorts. Go shell picking at the Puka Shell Beach, enjoy a relaxing swim, and explore Mount Luho, Boracay highest peak.
Experience island hopping by boat or better still, ride a Zipline and cable car to enjoy a panoramic view of the Island.
Cebu is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines with its gorgeous beaches and scuba diving spots. It is home to Cebu Island and over 150 surrounding island and islets.
For water lovers, you have the benefit of swimming and diving up-close with whale sharks, sea turtles and coral reefs.
Although dry season is the best time to visit Cebu, January is an excellent time to experience the colorful culture of the Sinulog Festival. Hike the mountains, visit the stunning Kawasan Falls, explore the Island’s waterfalls and appreciate the beautiful landscapes.
Cebu City has several attractions, fascinating history and bustling nightlife for the tourists to explore. From visiting historical landmarks like Fort San Pedro, exploring art galleries and museums to sky diving and shopping at the Alaya Centre Cebu. There are lots of amazing places to explore in Cebu.
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines to immerse yourself in the history of the colonial time. The well-preserved Spanish-colonial town is a UNESCO Heritage site with architectures reelecting the European influence.
The city is filled with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, rustic mansions and heritage museums.
Vigan is a city with many historical attractions to explore. You can experience a blend of Filipino and Spanish culture in its local cuisine.
Take a stroll down the streets of Calle Crisologo dominating the Mestizo district where you’ll find rustic mansions and great restaurants. Visit the Bantay Bell Tower, one of Vigan’s iconic tower, explore the St. Paul Cathedral and don’t leave the city without tasting the delicious Ilocano food!
The Chocolate Hills is one of the top Philippines tourist spots in Bohol. The geological formations consisting of over 1,200 hills is a beautiful sight to see, especially during sunrise or sunset.
Additionally, the hills, covered in green grass resembles chocolate mounds when they turn brown in the dry season. There are other fun attractions and things to do in Bohol, asides seeing the Chocolate Hills.
Explore historic Blood Compact Monument, visit the Hinagdanan Cave, take the Loboc River Cruise and enjoy the gorgeous Panglao Island tours.
You can also enjoy snorkelling at Bohol beaches and possibly stop by the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary to see the world’s smallest primates- tarsiers.
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Siargao Island, with its sought-after surfing waves, is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines. The Island has stunning waterfalls, coral lagoons, rock formations and white sand beaches to explore.
Truly, Siargao is a great place to visit in the Philippines for an island vacation. The surfing seasons runs from July to November when you can catch the waves with the wind condition at its best.
You can plan your trip to meet the Annual Siargao surfing competition, which takes place every September. For non-surfers, March to September is the ideal month to enjoy other fun activities in the Island with less rainfall.
Whenever you visit, Siargo Island hops into Guyam Island or Bucas Grande where you can find stingless jellyfish.
Davao City is a populous urban city on the Island of Mindanao, Philippians. The city is home to Mount Apo, one of the highest mountains in the Philippines.
The city has a vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and nightclub and is also a hub for shopping with several large malls. Though the city is full of activity with something for every tourist, it is also a refreshing nature site to explore.
Take a tour around the Philippines eagle center, enjoy the art exhibitions at the People’s Park and get a taste of the Durian Dome fruit. More tourist attractions in the city include Davao Crocodile Park, Eden Nature Park, Samal Island, and the Davao Bay walk.
Donsol is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines for a wildlife adventure. The Island offers the best whale shark interactions, stunning waterfalls, and pristine beaches to explore.
The best time to enjoy the whale shark sighting is from November to June with its peak presence between February and May. Experience the fun swimming with whale sharks and spotting Manta Rays.
Visit the Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center, explore Jovellar Underground River, and go for a firefly watching tour on Donsol River at night.
Coron Island is a tropical island in northern Palawan. The Island is known for the numerous sunken shipwrecks from the Second World War. You’ll find stunning beaches with pristine waters, colorful coral gardens, blue lagoons and lots of marine life on the Island.
The Island is open to lots of activities like diving, snorkeling, jungle trekking, hiking, kayaking and island hopping.
You will discover more of the Island’s natural wonders as you explore further. Top spots to explore include the Barracuda Lake, Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, Malcapuya Beach and the Maquinit Hot Springs.
Located in Northern Mindanao, the Iligan city is surrounded the 24 most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines. The city is known as the Majestic city of waterfalls.
The most famous is the Maria Cristina Falls, a massive twin waterfall that serves as the primary source of electric power in the city. Also, the waterfalls are breathtaking Philippines destinations for swimming and hiking.
When you are done exploring the waterfalls, you can shop and dine at the Gaisano City Mall, and, explore the Hindang Cave. You can also visit the Night Market and try out the city’s mouthwatering Lechon. The city is a place to visit in the Philippines if you are a lover of waterfalls.
Sagada, Mountain Province
There is more to the Philippines than just the Island and beaches. The small town of Sagada, located in the Cordillera Mountains is famous for its historic hanging coffins on limestone cliffs.
The burial tradition dates back to 2,000 years. It is a place to visit in the Philippines to escape the city and enjoy outdoor adventures.
The town’s landscape is a beauty to explore with rice fields, mountain valleys, limestone cliffs, caves and waterfalls. Explore the Sumaguing Cave and Lumiang Cave, visit hanging coffins on the mountain valleys, walk the rice fields and enjoy a dip in one of the many waterfalls.
El Nido, Palawan
Indeed, El Nido is a paradise worth visiting for every tourist wanting to explore the beaches and islands views in the Philippines. El Nido is the gateway to gorgeous Bacuit Archipelago, home to many Island and islets.
It gained tourist’s attention with its stunning limestone cliffs, pristine white sand beaches, vibrant coral gardens, hidden caves and lagoons. Go hiking up the cliff, enjoy a peaceful relaxation at the beach, go scuba diving, and explore the mysterious caves.
Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a city in the forest with incredible limestone caves, white sand beaches, rock islands, natural parks and wildlife reserves. It is an ideal Philippine tourist spot to explore while on a trip to El Nido.
Start by exploring the underground river at Subterranean River National Park. Enjoy the beach scenery and go Island hopping around Honda Bay.
Be sure to take a city tour, do a little shopping, experience nightlife in Puerto Princesa and enjoy tasting fresh seafood.
Batanes is the smallest and northernmost province in the Philippines. It is known as the Home of the Winds having about one-third of the province covered with hills and mountains.
Batanes is made up of 10 luscious islands with only three inhabited. You’ll find rolling hills, quaint lighthouses, wild horses, stone houses and white sand beaches.
The beauty of the natural scenery is enough to leave one captivated. The best time to visit the Batanes is between March and May.
Take up the challenge and hike the Mt. Iraya, relax in Nakubuang Beach and go island hopping to either the Batan Island or Sabtang Island.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaue Rice Terraces is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Philippines. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers impressive views of the emerald green terraces carved into the mountains of Banaue.
The best time to visit is during the rice-growing season between April to May and October to November. Explore the Batad Rice Terraces and Banaue Rice Terraces, Visit the Banaue Museum, and take a dip at Tappiyah Falls.
What Places To Avoid In The Philippines?
As beautiful as the Philippines is with many tourist destinations, there are some unsafe places you should avoid. These areas are either military areas or places with a higher risk of terrorism and kidnapping.
Some provinces in South Mindanao are dangerous with violence, thieves (carry an anti-theft backpack) and terrorist attacks. The areas to avoid in the Philippines include;
- Marawi City, Mindanao
- Jolo Province
- Isabela City
- Sulu Archipelago, Mindanao
- Basilan Province
- Cotabato City, Mindanao
- Zamboanga Airport
- Sarangani Province
Regardless of where you visit in the Philippines, you are sure to get an incredible experience with its fun-filled adventures.
We only listed a few of the best places to visit but I can assure you the beautiful country has more worth exploring.
Although planning your trip is necessary, try not to over-plan, stay flexible and follow the Government’s travel advisory. Book that trip to the Philippines now and prepare for a fun-filled adventure of a lifetime!