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Introducing Philippines

When is the best time to visit?
Weather is most pleasant from December-February. This is the dry season and the high season—with the mild and sunny days, you can expect lots of fellow travelers, especially around Christmas and the New Year. That said, you can escape the throngs by avoiding the most popular tourist areas—ask your specialist for their recommendations. 

March through mid-May is also typically dry, with rising temperatures as the months go by. International travelers are replaced by vacationing locals, with crowds peaking again during Holy Week. The rest of the year is considered the wet season—rainy days are common and typhoons are possible, but this is a good time to avoid crowds and find deals if you feel like taking your chances. Cebu, Bohol, and Palawan tend to be sheltered from big storms, making them good bets for this time of year.

Where should you go?
Made up of a dizzying number of islands—more than 7,000 in all—the Philippines offers its fair share of brilliant beaches along with all the tropical trappings you've been daydreaming about. Palawan is a crowd pleaser, with stretches of untouched coast to laze on, fantastical limestone formations to kayak around, and brilliant reefs with great snorkeling visibility. Divers will head to Visayas, hikers and bikers will revel in the mountainous Cordillera, and Luzon offers luxe resorts and excellent windsurfing on the northern side. 

How many days do you need?
Five days in the Philippines makes for a sweet but very short trip—you'll want to maximize your time by focusing on one region. For example, stick to Palawan and you can snorkel the coral reefs of Ulugan Bay, kayak around limestone formations in El Nido, and explore multiple islands in a very limited timeframe.

With more than a week to spend, you can combine Palawan with time in the Cordillera: see the famous Banaue Rice Terraces, spend a night in Batad, a village within an amphitheater of rice terraces, check out the bizarre hanging coffins of Sagada, and more. If you plan to spend 2 weeks or more in the Philippines, you'll be able to see it all at a relaxed pace and time to spare—if you're feeling bold, why not add a side trip to swim with whale sharks in Donsol?

Philippines Travel Insights

Hidden Lagoon in Coron
Philippine Honeymoon: Boracay, El Nido & Coron - 11 Days

Covering some of the Philippines' most desirable beaches, this 11-day tour offers the perfect romantic getaway for couples. Stay in luxury resorts in exotic locations from private islands to jungle hideaways. Enjoy customized private tours of nearby islands, snorkel shipwrecks, and lounge beachside with a cocktail in hand.

Discover the tropical beauty of Palawan
Palawan: Adventure in Paradise - 6 Days

Palawan's exotic geography and diverse vegetation are exceptional in a country that already has its fair share of awe-inspiring sights. This six-day adventure will have you snorkeling, seeking out wildlife, riding an underground river, and kayaking the El Nido islands. Discover why Palawan is in a league of its own when it comes to tropical destinations.

Beautiful islands of Palawan
The Philippines Highlights: Sand, Sea & Mountains - 15 Days

Discover the best of the Philippines on this all-encompassing tour as you paddle, snorkel, rappel, hike, and fly your way across the country. Begin in Manila, working your way north to the Banaue Rice Terraces before flying south to the islands of Bohol, Cebu, and Mactan. Travel west and end your trip in Puerto Princesa and the ever-popular El Nido.

The Batad rice terraces with local Ifugao men
The Cordillera: Banaue, Batad & Sagada - 6 Days

Trek through the Philippines' Cordillera and marvel at its natural and cultural heritage. Discover famous rice terraces, quaint villages, sacred waterfalls and rivers, extensive cave systems, and the hanging coffins of Echo Valley.

Puka Beach, Boracay
Beaches, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days

This 15-day itinerary offers the perfect combination of adventurous and relaxing activities. You will snorkel shipwrecks and aquamarine lagoons, visit secluded beaches, and climb and rappel slippery trails. Enjoy the Philippines as you island hop your way across the country, ending on the white sandy beaches of Boracay.

Hike through UNESCO protected rice terraces of the Ifugao
Ifugao Village Trek - 5 Days

Immerse yourself in the land and culture of the Ifugao on this five-day itinerary. Trek from Banaue stopping at four different native Ifugao communities along the way. You will hike deep into the Ifugao region to places most tourists don't see, trekking through ancient rice terraces and forested mountains.

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel specialists with a passion for Philippines
Travel specialist Dan Barmatz
active 5 hours ago

Dan Barmatz

Mooving into the travel industdy didn't happen as soon as I finished college, and it took me a while to decide. As many people I chose to pursue a "normal" career. But for a long while I felt the...

read more...
Travel specialist Cami Sarmiento
active 18 hours ago

Cami Sarmiento

I'm the vice president of Uncharted Earth, an adventure travel company that specializes in lesser known and relatively undeveloped travel destinations. We seek out unspoiled nature destinations and...

read more...
Travel specialist Leo Cuesta
active 5 hours ago

Leo Cuesta

I'm the founder and president of Uncharted Earth, an adventure travel company that specializes in lesser known and relatively undeveloped travel destinations. We seek out unspoiled nature...

read more...
Travel specialist Yoav Reuveni

Yoav Reuveni

I'm one of the owners at YGD travel inc, a multinational travel agency focused on bringing tourists to the Philippines and making sure they have an enjoyable and safe vacation. Our approach to...

read more...

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Customize your trip with the help of a local travel specialist

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Seller of Travel Registration number: CST #2136279-40.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Trip Reviews for Philippines

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim
Jennifer

Trip to philippines - 4 days in february/march, Philippines - Feb 27 - Mar 4, 2019

Traveler: Jennifer K. - Local specialist: Cami Sarmiento

I loved my trip to the Philippines—especially the two-day boat trip from Coron around the Calamian Islands. Spending the night on tiny, nearly-deserted Pass Island under a sky full of stars was beyond memorable, and our guide Jhonas planned each day to perfectly avoid the crowds at popular spots. I've never seen coral reefs like the ones I saw there, and we had the opportunity to learn free diving, kayak from the boat in quiet lagoons, etc.

The day tour of Bohol with Scarlett was also very... read more

I loved my trip to the Philippines—especially the two-day boat trip from Coron around the Calamian Islands. Spending the night on tiny, nearly-deserted Pass Island under a sky full of stars was beyond memorable, and our guide Jhonas planned each day to perfectly avoid the crowds at popular spots. I've never seen coral reefs like the ones I saw there, and we had the opportunity to learn free diving, kayak from the boat in quiet lagoons, etc.

The day tour of Bohol with Scarlett was also very interesting, and it was made easy with a seamless airport transfer and made comfortable with an air-conditioned van (it gets HOT there!). A Bohol highlight was the Lomboc River lunch cruise—it sounds touristy and I never would have booked it for myself, but it was actually a total delight. The Butterfly Sanctuary was not for me, though perhaps worth a stop for the homemade ice cream on site (try the Cacao or Durian flavors!).

My one piece of advice to travelers booking with Cami is to be explicitly clear about the type of hotel and transport you want throughout your trip, as this was the only issue we ran into. Get the hotel names and look into them ahead of time to be sure they meet your expectations, and if possible, get on the phone with Cami to confirm everything—she is great at answering questions asked before the trip. In terms of tours, food, activities, etc, you're in fabulous and knowledgable hands.

Explore and family wedding, Philippines - Jan 30 - Feb 13, 2019

Traveler: Chad K. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

It was a pleasure working with the KimKim team on our Philippine adventure!

The trip started with a trip up to Banaue and Batad for a tour of the rice terraces. They were truly spectacular and a highlight of the trip! It’s an 8 hour journey from Manila, but well worth it. We had a great driver, who was able to tell us about the Philippines, make stops and always recommend great local food for us to try along the way.

We hiked with an excellent guide through Batad. We got off the main... read more

It was a pleasure working with the KimKim team on our Philippine adventure!

The trip started with a trip up to Banaue and Batad for a tour of the rice terraces. They were truly spectacular and a highlight of the trip! It’s an 8 hour journey from Manila, but well worth it. We had a great driver, who was able to tell us about the Philippines, make stops and always recommend great local food for us to try along the way.

We hiked with an excellent guide through Batad. We got off the main trails and we’re able to see the rice terraces and village from so many great perspectives! We hiked well ahead of the main tour groups and were able to enjoy swimming at Tappiya Falls on our own. On the way back from Batad to Banaue, we rode on top of the Jeepney.

We stayed at the Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel. It was clean and in a great location, out of the hustle and bustle of the town centre.

Following Banaue, we went back to Manila for a great night at the I’M Hotel, before we flew to Coron. The I’M Hotel pool and rooftop bar are a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the scenery!

Coron was gorgeous. It’s such a chill town that provides amazing opportunity to get out on the water for island hoping. I loved the small town vibe. When I arrived in Coron I was a little surprised that it wasn’t a beach town, given the photos you see online (there’s no beach and the water is pretty dirty), but you’ll soon forget about that when you go out on boating adventures. I particularly enjoyed the coral garden, shipwrecks and Kayangan Lake! We loved the sunset drinks and dinner at La Sirenetta Seafood Restaurant & Bar. The restaurant is setup on the water and has beautiful views.

We stayed at Corto Del Mar and enjoyed the hotel. The hotel has a nice courtyard, pool and restaurant, but it’s not right on the beach.

Following Coron we had a wonderful time in El Nido and enjoyed some quiet time staying on Miniloc Island, where we could easily tour the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Snake Island and Cudugnon Cave. El Nido resorts Miniloc Island offers great island hopping tours. The only disappointing part of our stay was the boating transfers to Miniloc Island. We were first put on a boat that wouldn’t start for about a half an hour, then once it got started this same boat stalled in the middle of our journey and we had to be rescued by a speedboat. The hotel didn’t really acknowledge the situation and I expected a bit more from a 5 star resort.

Following El Nido we had a fantastic time in Borocay for my cousins wedding. We stayed at the Coast Borocay Hotel. This is an amazing boutique hotel, on the beach at Station 2. From the moment we arrived at the airport, this hotel provided the best customer service of any place we stayed in the Philippines. We loved this hotel!

I’m happy about our KimKim experience and was happy to have the team just a What’s App message away from helping keep the trip on track and our tours confirmed, even when they’re running late or on island time. Everything was taken care of and we were able to relax on the trip.

Izabella

Palawan, Philippines - Jan 30 - Feb 12, 2019

Traveler: Izabella L. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Dan planned my whole trip to the Philippines and it was exactly how I wanted it to be. He was very knowledgeable about all the places we talked about and made good suggestions of what we should do if I was unsure about anything. I would highly recommend Kimkim to all my family and friends as they tailor the trip to whatever your needs are. I am very happy. Thank you so much will definitely be booking with KimKim again