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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Explore the waterfalls of Estrella Falls, Palawan
Secrets of Palawan - 6 Days

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.

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Philippines
Travel specialist Dan Barmatz
active 10 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...

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Travel specialist Leo Cuesta
active 16 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...

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Travel specialist Cami Sarmiento
active 1 day 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 Yoav Reuveni
active 2 days ago

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...

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The kimkim advantage

Easy messaging with a local specialist to plan and book your dream trip

Customize your trip with the help of a local travel specialist

Kimkim has handpicked the world’s top local travel specialists so you will have peace of mind and an unforgettable trip that meets your exact requirements.

Authentic travel experiences

Kimkim’s local specialists ensure that you will have the best experience based on up-to-date local insights. On top of that, the vast majority of your money will go straight to support and grow local economies.

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Local support during your trip

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Trip Reviews for Philippines

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

El nido, coron, camiguan, cebu, Philippines - Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2019

Traveler: Jasmine A. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Our trip to The Philippines was incredible! We appreciated how much Dan guided us from the very beginning with our price range, desired activities and our other wishes for the trip. He was super responsive, and we loved all of our private tours. The package deal was customized for us, and I have yet to find another company who does this with such attention to detail. While we were on our trip, we received texts (loved that) from Gazle who was also super helpful and responsive. We... read more

Our trip to The Philippines was incredible! We appreciated how much Dan guided us from the very beginning with our price range, desired activities and our other wishes for the trip. He was super responsive, and we loved all of our private tours. The package deal was customized for us, and I have yet to find another company who does this with such attention to detail. While we were on our trip, we received texts (loved that) from Gazle who was also super helpful and responsive. We absolutely loved The Guerrera Resort (Camiguin)! Amarela (Bohol) was a beautiful place, and we could not have been happier with the service and amenities. The snorkeling in Balicasag should not be missed and neither should the boat cruise on the Loboc River (both in Bohol).There is no question that I will use Kimkim again for my future travel plans, and if you are looking for the best specialist for your trip to The Philippines, you have to use Dan Barmatz!

Dan Barmatz profile photo
Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your kind words! It gives us pleasure to find our guests here in the Philippines satisfied.

We are very thankful to have guests like you.

Hope to see you again,
Gazle, Dan and the rest of the team :)

Three days in the philippines, Philippines - Jun 30 - Jul 4, 2019

Traveler: CAROLE L. - Local specialist: Dan Barmatz

Everything was great. Dan was very attentive to our needs. It was a disappointment that the underground cave on Palawan was closed and we had to do another tour. The island Hopping tour was absolutely awful. I would never recommend it to anyone. I understand we had no choice, either that or stay at the hotel where there also was nothing to do but swim in the pool Hotel was fine but lots under construction so although the service was terrific there really was no charm to it. The... read more

Everything was great. Dan was very attentive to our needs. It was a disappointment that the underground cave on Palawan was closed and we had to do another tour. The island Hopping tour was absolutely awful. I would never recommend it to anyone. I understand we had no choice, either that or stay at the hotel where there also was nothing to do but swim in the pool Hotel was fine but lots under construction so although the service was terrific there really was no charm to it. The islands were made for tourists and held no beauty or anything of interest. The swimming was in a restricted area which made it crowded and murky waters, totally unappealing considering the Pacific can be so beautiful. The lunch was like pigs eating at a trough. That last island again was for tourists. Nothing indicative of the Philippines, its beauty or history. Just ugly island with murky water and totally overcrowded.
I've traveled to 150 countries and would never recommend this tour to anyone.

Dan Barmatz profile photo
Dan Barmatz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Carole,

Thank you for your review. I'm very sorry we had to change the tour on the last moment, due to an arbitrary immediate closure of the Underground River National park. It was very unfortunate. I agree with you that the island hopping tour in Puerto Princesa is nothing special. We usually skip it altogether.

It's a shame that your trip here was very short, and therefore we had no room for corrections. Your trip relied almost solely on Puerto Pricesa and the Underground River, so... read more

Hi Carole,

Thank you for your review. I'm very sorry we had to change the tour on the last moment, due to an arbitrary immediate closure of the Underground River National park. It was very unfortunate. I agree with you that the island hopping tour in Puerto Princesa is nothing special. We usually skip it altogether.

It's a shame that your trip here was very short, and therefore we had no room for corrections. Your trip relied almost solely on Puerto Pricesa and the Underground River, so once the park was closed we tried the best that we can to make something out of it.

I hope to see you here again in the future, for a longer time, and we'll be able to show you the true beauty of the Philippine Islands and its people and culture.

Kindly,
Dan

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.

Cami Sarmiento profile photo
Cami Sarmiento, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for your wonderful feedback Jennifer. We are all very happy that you and Cailley had such a great time with us. Thank you for choosing to travel with us. We look forward to adventuring with you again in the future.