The Best Time to Visit the Philippines

Climate in the Philippines

The Philippines is an island nation in Southeast Asia. There are more than 7,100 associated islands located in the western Pacific. In the Philippines there is bascially a tropical climate. Temperatures are high throughout the year and they average around 26 to 27 degrees Celsius. Due to the size of the republic, there are regional differences in climate. For example, on the southern islands of the archipelago an Equatorial climate prevails. The northern and the centre, on the other hand, have a more tropical climate. The year is divided into a dry season and rainy season. The locals call these phases of the year the hot-season and rainy-season. A division of the seasons, as we know them in Europe, does not exist in the Philippines. The dry season in the Philippines prevails from mid-January to March. The so-called hot-season starts in March and lasts until May. Here the temperatures on the thermometer can climb up to 40 degrees Celsius. The rainy season starts in June and lasts until November. During the rainy season, the danger of being hit by typhoons is at its greatest. But the Philippines can be hit by tropical cyclones throughout the year. Find out more information on the best time to visit this amazing country for yourself just below!

Climate Data for the Philippines (Manila)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 30 30 32 33 33 32 31 30 31 31 31 30
Min. Temperature in °C 22 22 24 25 26 25 25 24 25 24 24 23
Hours of Sunshine per day 6 7 7 9 7 5 4 4 4 5 5 5
Water temperature in °C 27 27 27 28 30 30 29 29 29 29 29 28
Rainy days per month 4 2 3 3 10 16 22 22 20 18 14 9

Overview

Best Time to Visit the Philippines

The best time to travel to the Philippines is the dry season and the so-called “hot season”. Explicity these are the months January to May. The dry season prevails in January, February and March. These months aren’t really as hot as the other. However, you have to keep in mind regional differences in terms of the maximum temperatures. On some Philippine islands, it may be hotter during the dry season than on other islands and vice versa. Furthermore, the humidity does not feel as high as in the rainy season. As the month draws to a close, the hot season in the Philippines begins. Here the temperatures rise to 40 degrees Celsius. For one holidaymaker, these temperatures are perfect, other tourists, however, might not be able to cope with these temperatures. Nevertheless, the dry season and the hot season are the most popular times to visit for holidaymakers.

Monthly Overview – Best Time to Visit the Philippines:

  • from mid-January: 30°C, 6h of Sunshine, 27°C Water Temp., 4 Rainy Days
  • February: 30°C, 7h of Sunshine, 27°C Water Temp., 2 Rainy Days
  • March: 32°C, 7h of Sunshine, 27°C Water Temp., 3 Rainy Days
  • April: 33°C, 9h of Sunshine, 28°C Water Temp., 3 Rainy Days
  • May: 33°C, 7h of Sunshine, 30°C Water Temp., 10 Rainy Days

June is the beginning of the rainy season in the Phillippines. It lasts until October, and in some year until November. These months are characterized by an increased probability of rain. For Manila in July, the capital of the republic on the island of Luzo, there are around 22 rainy days. Which essentially means it rains for almost the entire month. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains for the whole day.As a rule, during the so-called rainy-season, there are always heavy showers. In most cases, it rains in the afternoon or in the night. After some heavy downpours, the sun tends to come out again. So, the rain and the increased rain probability are not the main reason why many holidaymakers decide against the rainy season as a travel time. It is, in fact, the higher chance of the tropical cyclones and typhoons that rage all year but are especially present in the rainy season in the Philippines.

Typhoons in the Philippines

Typhoons are tropical cyclones that are a risk to the Philippines throughout the year. The cyclones are created in the Pacific and can move in the direction of the Philippine islands. Many of the typhoons do not develop a lot of strength and stay away from the islands. Other typhoons develop tremendous power and speed. These tropical cyclones post a tremendous threat to the Philippines. They often bring heavy rains that cause heavy flooding. One of the strongest and most devastating hurricanes in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. The islands of the Visayas Group in the centre of the Philippines were hit hardest. Unfortunately, there were numerous deaths. Especially in the rainy season in the Philippines, the danger of being caught in a typhoon is much higher.  For this reason, I do not recommend travelling to the Philippines during the months of June, July, August, September, October and November. Especially not if it’s your first trip to the island nation.

Weather in the Philippines – regional differences

Although there is basically a tropical climate in the Philippines and the temperatures are consistently high, there are regional differences in the climate in the island state. As far as typhoons are concerned, the northern and eastern islands of the state are hit hardest in the months of July to September. The islands of the other regions can be hit by tropical cyclones throughout the year. Further regional differences apply to precipitation. In Boracay, for example, it rains least in the months of December to May.  The driest time in Palawan is, however, from November to April and thus slightly shorter. If it goes to the higher regions, the temperatures drop sharply in the cooler season. On the mountain Pulag, it can even experience some snowfall. The Philippine Islands are divided into four types of air. They differ in the division of the year in the dry and rainy season and the amount of precipitation. As an example, climate type 1 divides the year into a dry and wet season and determines the main precipitation period from June to September. In climate type 2, there is no division into the dry and wet season. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, but mainly from December to February.

My Conclusion on the Best Time to Visit the Philippines

Due to the tropical climate that prevails throughout the year in the Philippines, the island nation is a year-round destination. Nevertheless, I recommend the months January to May as the best travel time for the inexperienced traveller. Then the dry season begins.  The temperatures are high, but its drier than in the months of the rainy season. If you want to soak up a lot of sunshine and want to avoid the risk of storms and typhoons, you should travel to the Philippines in the dry season. Experienced holidaymakers, who have been to the Philippines a few times before, should also travel to the island nation during the rainy season from June to November. They are more familiar with the climatic conditions and know how to handle them. Furthermore, the prices during the rainy season are cheaper than during the peak season in the dry months. In any case, you should pay attention to the weather forecasts before your trip to the Philippines, so as not to experience any nasty surprises when you arrive.