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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 Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Beautiful islands of Palawan
Map of The Philippines Highlights: Sand, Sea & Mountains  - 15 Days
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.

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

Puka Beach, Boracay
Map of Philippines Beaches, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days
Philippines 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.

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

El Nido, Palawan
Map of Island Hopping in the Philippines: Manila, Donsol, Cebu & Palawan - 20 Days
Island Hopping in the Philippines: Manila, Donsol, Cebu & Palawan - 20 Days

Spend 20 days island hopping in the Philippines, hitting some of the country's major highlights. You'll begin in Manila, the country's busy capital. Then, you'll swim with whale sharks, and snorkel in Donsol. Next, you'll fly to beautiful Cebu, where you'll swim in pristine waterfalls, see the famous chocolate hills, and look for marine turtles. Finally, you'll arrive in Palawan, the country's largest province. Adventures include visiting shipwrecks, exploring an underground river, and hiking to hidden lakes.

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

Philippines Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip

Our Latest Philippines Content

Discover Palawan's Snake Island at low tide in the dry season
Best Time of Year to Visit the Philippines

The dry season (December to May) is the best time to visit the Philippines as the sun is shining, the sea is calm and clear, and the conditions are perfect for a range of outdoor activities. There are also advantages of traveling in the wet season (June to November), including lower prices and fewer crowds, as well as pockets of the country that remain pretty dry.

Colonial-era building, "the Ruins" in Bacolod (photo courtesy of Brian Kairuz)
The Philippines in October: Travel Tips, Weather & More

October is the end of the rainy season in the Philippines, and although travelers should expect some showers, there's less rain than in the previous few months. This is the shoulder season for travel and is an excellent time to visit if you want to take advantage of lower prices, thinner crowds, and fair weather. There are also many great festivals you can take part in during October. Read on to learn more about travel to the Philippines in October.

Diving buddies scope out the coral gardens of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
The Philippines in December: Travel Tips, Weather & More

December is the peak season for travel to the Philippines: the weather is fine and clear, and so are the seas. Swimming and diving are excellent this month, as are island-hopping itineraries—there are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, after all! Read on to find out more about travel to the Philippines in December.

Philippines Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Philippines map: The Philippines Highlights: Sand, Sea & Mountains  - 15 Days
The Philippines Highlights: Sand, Sea & Mountains - 15 Days
View article
Philippines map: Philippine Honeymoon: Boracay, El Nido & Coron - 11 Days
Philippine Honeymoon: Boracay, El Nido & Coron - 11 Days
View article
Philippines map: Philippines Beaches, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days
Philippines Beaches, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Philippines
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 Cami Sarmiento
active 7 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 Terry Zhang
active 9 hours ago

Terry Zhang

I was lucky enough to grow up around travel, and experience some amazing places, from China to Vietnam to Thailand. Travel is my passion and I’m always dreaming of my next trip. After traveling...

read more...

Why travelers love kimkim

Custom trips for independent travelers who are too busy to plan

Customize your trip with the help of a local travel specialist

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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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Trip Reviews for Philippines

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Our trip was amazing! Cami made everything ea...
Philippines | Jan 2 - Jan 19, 2023

Laura J.
Laura J. S.
Shaw, DC | Reviewed on Jan 23, 2023

Our trip was amazing! Cami made everything easy and was very responsive and easy to reach even during times where we ran into hiccups she was there to help problem solve. Our excursions were fun had the best tour guides. Awesome hotel accommodations I will definitely use Kimkim in the future. Thanks Cami :)

Local specialist: Cami Sarmiento
Cami
Cami Sarmiento
Local specialist in Las Vegas, NV | Reviewed on Jan 23, 2023

Hi Laura
Thank you very much for your wonderful review! I’m very happy you and your family enjoyed your time in the Philippines. It was a pleasure to organize your trip.
Thank you for choosing to travel with us. Looking forward to taking you on another unforgettable trip!
Cami

Amazing scuba trip to the Philippines
Philippines | Jan 5 - Jan 13, 2023

Candace
Candace O.
Australia | Reviewed on Jan 14, 2023

Cami put together an amazing itinerary for our scuba-loving group. We went to Bohol and Coron, staying in quality resorts with all the amenities we needed. We had a couple older people with us who were catered for brilliantly as well, lots of snorkeling and moderate activities for them so they never felt left out. What's more, Cami continued to be there for us the whole time we were traveling. We had to make a few changes to our schedule and planned activities, and Cami was in constant... read more

Cami put together an amazing itinerary for our scuba-loving group. We went to Bohol and Coron, staying in quality resorts with all the amenities we needed. We had a couple older people with us who were catered for brilliantly as well, lots of snorkeling and moderate activities for them so they never felt left out. What's more, Cami continued to be there for us the whole time we were traveling. We had to make a few changes to our schedule and planned activities, and Cami was in constant contact with us and with the staff on the ground to make sure our changes went smoothly. We always felt secure knowing she was there to help. She is knowledgeable, hands on and proactive, highly recommend.

Local specialist: Cami Sarmiento
Cami
Cami Sarmiento
Local specialist in Las Vegas, NV | Reviewed on Jan 14, 2023

Hi Candace
Thank you for your wonderful review! I'm very happy to hear that you and your family had an amazing time in the Philippines, and that you enjoyed the hotels and activities planned for you.
Thank you for choosing to travel with us. It was a pleasure to organize this trip and I look forward to organizing another unforgettable trip for you in the future!

Amazing Trip in El Nido!
Philippines | Dec 4 - Dec 8, 2022

D
Dorothy C.
Hopatcong Hills, NJ | Reviewed on Dec 09, 2022

My time in El Nido was amazing, and it was all thanks to Leo and the staff at Uncharted Earth! Leo took care of everything and answered all my questions and concerns in such a timely fashion and patient way. I was super anxious about traveling to the Philippines alone for the first time, and because Leo organized everything for me, I was able to enjoy my time there without having to worry about all the little details. El Bacuit Tours was also amazing, and the tour guides who work for the... read more

My time in El Nido was amazing, and it was all thanks to Leo and the staff at Uncharted Earth! Leo took care of everything and answered all my questions and concerns in such a timely fashion and patient way. I was super anxious about traveling to the Philippines alone for the first time, and because Leo organized everything for me, I was able to enjoy my time there without having to worry about all the little details. El Bacuit Tours was also amazing, and the tour guides who work for the company are so friendly and welcoming. People like Jojo and Mike (and the others whose names escape me right now) were excellent, helpful, and just so nice! The islands and the beaches there were pristine, and the views were spectacular. Tour A and Tour C were definitely my favorites, and I had so much fun snorkeling and kayaking in beautiful clear waters! Also, the staff at the Sea Cocoon hotel was excellent. The hotel was clean, and they provide bottled water for every guest in the room. They went above and beyond to make the guests feel welcome. They even packed me a complimentary sandwich the day I left for the airport! All in all, I would highly recommend kimkim and Leo as the local specialist.

Activity Reviews
Island hopping in El Nido - Tour A - group tour
El Nido

The sights were spectacular here!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Island hopping in El Nido - Tour C - group tour
El Nido

As with Tour A, the sights were particularly spectacular. Great snorkeling locations.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Leo Cuesta
Leo
Leo Cuesta
Local specialist in USA | Reviewed on Dec 09, 2022

Hi Dorothy,

Thank you for your wonderful review and I'm glad you had an amazing time in El Nido! It's great to hear that you were happy with all the guides and hotel staff and loved the islands!

Thank you choosing to do this trip with us. It was my pleasure to put it together for you and I look forward to organizing another great vacation for you in the future. My company also specializes in Colombia and the Western US --- please keep us in mind if you ever consider visiting those amazing places!