Be among the first visitors to the remote Mountain Province in the beautiful Philippine Cordillera. This six-day itinerary will have you hiking through centuries-old rice terraces and mountainous landscapes, breaking bread with locals in traditional villages along the way.
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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?
Immerse yourself in the land and culture of the Ifugao region and people 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.
Go deep into the Philippines' "last frontier" to discover beaches, rainforests, and waterfalls that few travelers explore. See endemic cockatoos in their natural habitat, snorkel coral reefs, and meet the indigenous Batak people. This is a unique trip that takes you away from crowds and lets you experience Palawan's nature at its best.
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