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Blog - When is it the Best Time to Visit the Philippines?
How is the climate of the Philippines? Which is the best month to visit the country? Which is the best season? When is the “dry season”? When is the “wet season” in the Philippines? How is it there in the Philippines during August? And how about during winter?
The sky above Manila (by Tropical Experience)
We frequently receive these questions. Oftenly even after a lot of surfing on the Internet it can still be difficult to get hold of a final answer. This is because the climate of a diverse and tropical country like the Philippines cannot be described quickly with few words. To do so here in this post, we would need to simplify. What you are about to read here is not a scientific resume: it comes mainly from our own experience, from what locals say (or at least, say to us) and also from information you can find on standard sources like, for instance, Wikipedia pages dedicated to climate.
Let’s Define the Climate of the Philippines
A “tropical” picture (by Tropical Experience)
The Philippines have a rainforest tropical climate all over the country. This only is already a useful information. But, the country is divided into four climate zones, and only one of them, the North-West of the country, has a clearly defined division between “dry season” and “wet season”. If you want to investigate more, check this map.
A Very Positive Premise: High Temperature
Banaue Rice Terraces (by Tropical Experience)
Whenever your travel time is, you can be sure of this: tropical climate means warm temperature all throughout the year. In the “Climate of the Philippines” Wikipedia page, we can find the monthly average temperature of several cities, including the capital Manila. If you check the tables, you will rarely find temperatures below 23°C (already considered “cold” or “cool” for the country). This, combined with high humidity really gives us hot weather all over the year. So if ever you are going to get some rain in the Philippines, it won’t be a big problem since you will get dry quite fastly.
Temperature can go lower only if we go up on mountains, for instance if you will like to visit Banaue Rice Terraces, but rarely and only at night you can expect a temperature below 15°C. As far as people remember, snow was never seen in the country!
Dry Deason vs Rainy Season
The sea of the Philippines (by Tropical Experience)
Still searching on Google, the clearest thing that you get is that the Philippines has two main seasons: the “dry” season and the “rainy” season. This is true, but we need to stress some points:
There are no strict borders between the two seasons. Clouds will not start to come only exactly at the middle of June and they will not leave exactly when October comes.
Weather conditions cannot be guaranteed in any place on the planet. Obviously, all of us would like to be sure to have a clear and sunny beach holiday and it is true that – statistically – there are better periods for visiting the Philippines. Like in Western countries’ summer season, you could also have some cloudy days during the Filipino dry season. At the same time, however, you could have many sunny days during the rainy season.
As said before, climate relevantly varies in different areas of the country.
The “Dry Season”: from October/November to May/June
Christmas in the Philippines (by Tropical Experience).
What is commonly accepted is that, flattening the climate of the country in one single pattern, the dry season – also for the locals – starts in October/November and ends in May/June. During this period, rain is more rare and it is possible to have months with no precipitations. Anyway, there is still a possibility, depending also on the regions you are in, that you will still encounter some rain (that can help giving you a refreshing break).
The “Wet Season”: from May/June to October/November
Manila (Intramuros), by Tropical Experience
The name itself “Wet Season” , connoting rain, often gives a misleading picture of this time of the year. Of course, if it is named like that, it is because it is more likely to have rain. At the same time, this does not mean it will rain all the time! Usually the climate is characterized by fast and refreshing “rainshowers” alternated to sunny skies. And, it is still possible to have sunny days with no interruption for several weeks.
The Philippines During August
August in Boracay (by Tropical Experience).
More than all the other months, the one that creates more doubts and questions from potential visitors is August. August, in fact, is the month when most of Europeans have their longest holidays. Of course we are not in the perfect and ideal month, but it is still possible to enjoy a beautiful holiday. The climate conditions of the Philippines is generally aligned with other South-East Asia (so, of surrounding countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia etc…), that during August are full of happy European tourists. Plus, being this “low season” for local tourism, it is also possible to take advantage of lower prices, which is not bad at all. So, the country is still open for a visit, even though it is better to take into account this erratic weather while planning a trip (as what we always do): on one hand organizing it with simple transfers, in order to avoid cancellations and other discomforts, on the other visiting areas where the climate is considered homogenous all over the year.
The Philippines is a tropical country and typhoons are a “normal” event, like in many other countries with the same kind of climate. The country faces around twenty typhoon or tropical storms (a lighter version) in one year. Statistically, these events happen more during the wet season, but they can happen all over the year. Aside from exceptional and extreme events, the locals are used to them and prepared. It should also be considered that some areas are less prone to typhoons and that their path is limited (a typhoon does not hit the whole country, but usually only some islands or specific areas). Fortunately, with modern weather monitoring technologies, alerts start some days in advance already, so there is time to move out of the trajectory if there is really need. Said this, in most cases if a typhoon happens during a holiday, unless there are different public instructions, it is enough to spend one day in the hotel while it passes, going on with your program on the following days. Local operators like us are usually willing to help in re-organizing your trip minimizing discomfort and expenditures.
In Conclusion: What Is the Best Time to Visit the Philippines?
Photo by Tropical Experience.
Visit the Philippines whenever you want and whenever you can! If you have the chance, come to the Philippines during the dry season, so you will have a higher probability of sun and less limitations for the choice of your destinations. But, if you have holidays on August or other months, your trip will still be possible and pleasant, especially if you will make some adaptations already while planning it. So, keep calm, and visit Philippines!
To know more about it, visit our page dedicated to the Tourism in the Philippines on our website!
You can also find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TropicalExperiencePhilippines.
(written on March 2015)