Seasons

January

It’s peak holiday period, so we suggest booking early. If you’re in Boracay, you might want to stay for the Ati-Atihan Festival that’s held in nearby Kalibo and is usually in late January. Dating back to the 13th Century, this weeklong, raucous festival is a street party that’s touted to be similar to the Brazilian Mardi Gras.

February

Wreck-diving enthusiasts can look forward to possibly the best visibility for wreck diving in Subic. The USS New York is the most impressive of wrecks though you will need an experienced guide to explore this huge ship.

March

In early March, the Northeast winds can make the seas quite choppy but most dive centres have alternative dive spots so you won’t miss out. The winds quiet down in late March and the sea becomes a calm and brilliant blue – so expect great dive visibility. The weather is also pleasant for hikers. We suggest making tracks to one of Philippines’ most photographed sights, the volcanic beauty, Mt Mayon.

April

This is a peak travel period for locals for the Easter holidays. Dive visibility is also at its peak so do book ahead if travelling in April. Head to Apo Reef for almost guaranteed sights of white-tip and black-tip sharks, reef sharks, wrasses, jacks and tuna.

May

The height of dry season, so expect hot weather and beaches packed with vacationing locals. It’s a great time to head for the hills! Highland locations such as the rice terraces of Batad will be at their greenest, while the Chocolate Hills of Bohol will be at their confectionary best during the dry season of December through to May.

June

June marks the start of typhoon season in the north but probably the best time to visit backpacker favourites like Davao. Towering over Davao is the grandfather of all volcanoes, Mt Apo. Standing at 2954m, it’s the highest peak in the Philippines and a real treat for climbing enthusiast. It’s also famed for never having blown its top!

July

It’s still the rainy season in most parts of the Philippines but not in Southeast Luzon. It’s dry here and the best way to beat the heat is to head to the beach. The Caramoan Peninsula with its powdery-sand beaches and stunning views has a lot to offer for those especially interested in island hopping.

August

This is the rainiest month of the year, but savvy travellers know this means the best deals on accommodation. If you’re surfing in Siargao, it’s dry season but typhoon winds will reward you with you big swells. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try a durian – the notoriously stinky fruit will be in season.

September

The winds are starting to calm down in Mindoro with typical tropical weather and afternoon showers. If you’re looking for a calm, quiet beach that’s away from most tourists, make your way to Talipan Beach. It’s flanked by Mt. Talipan to the west and Mt. Malasimbo to the south. Fill your days by trekking in the nearby area, diving in the ocean or enjoying their version of nightlife – dinner and quiet conversation.

October

This month of the year is generally marked by typhoon winds and rain in some regions. But strong winds also mean good swells in the south side of Capones Island in North Luzon. It’s just a three-hour drive from Manila to this hourglass-shaped island.

November

World-class diving attracts most to the beautiful island of Malapascua during this time of the year. The most popular dive spot is the Monad Shoal where divers are often rewarded with views of thresher sharks and manta rays. Speak to a guide or a local for the best areas to see these beautiful creatures.

December

It’s Christmas time and that means peak travel season. Escape the cold winter weather and head to the postcard-perfect beaches of Boracay. Dig your feet into the warm sand as you sip two-for-one cocktails on a beachfront bar. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, the northeast monsoon kicks up a breeze on Boracay from December to March, turning this resort into a kitesurfing and windsurfing paradise.

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