Personalized trips to Philippines
for independent travelers

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Travelers love kimkim

"Kimkim is the perfect solution for independent travelers who are too busy to plan it all themselves" - Gayle R., traveled with kimkim in October 2019

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

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.

Visit Coron, Palawan for the stunning beaches, shallow reefs, and stellar diving
The Philippines in January: Travel Tips, Weather & More

January is one of the best months to travel to the Philippines: the weather is warm but not too hot and humid, there's little rain, and everything is open and accessible. Crowds and costs will be higher, though, especially around New Year. Whether you want to party with the locals during one of the country's famous festivals, try a new water sport, or relax on a beach in the sun, January is a great time to do so. Read on to find out more about traveling to the Philippines in January.

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 1 day 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 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 Thao Huynh
active 6 days ago

Thao Huynh

Born and raised in Hoi An, I've been working in the travel industry for more than 8 years and found myself deeply rooted in Vietnam's culture and SEA's uniqueness. These days Hoi An is getting back...

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

Will def book again!
Philippines | Aug 9 - Aug 19, 2022

Krista
Krista L.
Bellflower, CA | Reviewed on Aug 24, 2022

Booking this trip through my guide, Cami, was the best decision ever. She took care of everything. I had the piece of mind knowing that all my activities were taken care of. She was always accessible and responded very quickly. I had zero issues during my 2 weeks by myself in the Phillipines. She was even kind enough to give me suggestions for my off days. I wouldn’t go with any other company. 10/10 would recommend to anybody. I’m already planning my next trip and can’t wait to book with Cami again!

Local specialist: Cami Sarmiento
Cami
Cami Sarmiento
Local specialist in Las Vegas, NV | Reviewed on Aug 24, 2022

Hi Krista, thank you for your review. I'm very happy to hear you had such an amazing time in the Philippines. It was a pleasure to help you plan your trip.
Thank you for choosing to travel with us. Looking forward to taking you on another unforgettable trip!
Cami

Overall the trekking was very well organised ...
Philippines | Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2020

D
Dennis S.
Australia | Reviewed on Mar 01, 2020

Overall the trekking was very well organised with excellent commumication leading up to the trek itself. The rice terraces of Ifugao were truly amazing and better that I expected. Loved the villages and the warm welcome we received throughout our journey. Our guide Marvin was very friendly and led us through well, and has a superb knowledge of the local area, the environment, its people and its customs.

We had to make some initial route adjustmenst due the poor weather and track... read more

Overall the trekking was very well organised with excellent commumication leading up to the trek itself. The rice terraces of Ifugao were truly amazing and better that I expected. Loved the villages and the warm welcome we received throughout our journey. Our guide Marvin was very friendly and led us through well, and has a superb knowledge of the local area, the environment, its people and its customs.

We had to make some initial route adjustmenst due the poor weather and track conditions, and the unforeseen eco-tourism shutdown at Sagada was well covered by the alternative day to the Hapao valley and hot springs. Marvin made it all happen without any stress or fuss.

I would also recommend that hikers be made aware of the need to negotiate the many narrow walls in the rice terraces, some of which are quite high and slippery in places. We had one or two close calls!

For adventurous hikers, this area is a must-do

Local specialist: Leo Cuesta
Leo
Leo Cuesta
Local specialist in USA | Reviewed on Mar 01, 2020

Hi Dennis, thank you for your review and I'm glad you had a great adventure! Thank you for choosing to travel with us and we hope to go on another trip with you in the future!

Hiking in Ifugau
Philippines | Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2020

A
Armin U.
Australia | Reviewed on Feb 26, 2020

If you are looking for an adventure then book yourself the Ifugao Villages Trek.
Forget the telephone and fl-yin rescue teams. You depend on your buddies and the locals.
We combined our trip with a trip to Sagada. (8 day tour including travel to and from Manila.
Our tour guide Marvin is a local and answers all questions regarding the Ifugao region.
Unfortunately the day we arrived in Sagada all tourist attractions got shut down due to the covit-19.
Marvin took us back to Banaue where we were... read more

If you are looking for an adventure then book yourself the Ifugao Villages Trek.
Forget the telephone and fl-yin rescue teams. You depend on your buddies and the locals.
We combined our trip with a trip to Sagada. (8 day tour including travel to and from Manila.
Our tour guide Marvin is a local and answers all questions regarding the Ifugao region.
Unfortunately the day we arrived in Sagada all tourist attractions got shut down due to the covit-19.
Marvin took us back to Banaue where we were able to visit the hot springs instead.
Top hike. Highly recommended.
(If you suffer from vertigo, dizzy spells or are not steady on your legs do not book this trip!)

Local specialist: Leo Cuesta
Leo
Leo Cuesta
Local specialist in USA | Reviewed on Feb 26, 2020

Hi Armin, thank you for your review and I'm glad you enjoyed your trip! Thank you for choosing to travel with us and we hope to go on another adventure with you in the future!