The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,000 lush, tropical islands of great natural beauty, fascinating colonial remnants and some of the best beaches and diving in Asia. The Philippines features jade-colored rice fields, long, pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, active volcanoes and rainforest-covered mountains. As one of the most diverse nations in Asia, the Philippines boasts fascinating tribal people in the more remote areas of northern Luzon, and in Mindanao, the southern Philippines, where few tourists ever venture.

Europeans first encountered the Philippines during Magellan's voyage to circumnavigate the globe in the early 1500s, when the archipelago was a disparate collection of tribal kingdoms. Subsequent Spanish missions succeeded in uniting the kingdoms under the Spanish flag, naming the country "Las Filipinas" after King Philip II. Colonized by Spain for over 300 years, then by the United States for another 40, the Philippines was a major Pacific theater of World War II, as the Allies sought to overturn the Japanese occupation. In 1946, the Philippines finally became an independent republic. Centuries of Western colonization have deeply influenced the culture, creating a unique amalgam of traditional Eastern practices and modern Western sensibilities. 

Despite centuries of colonial rule, Filipinos are exceedingly friendly and outgoing and very welcoming to visitors. About 80 percent of its 94-million-strong population is Roman Catholic, and the Philippines is one of the largest English speaking nations in the world.

Philippines Regions

Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below.

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Seasonality & Festivals

Browse a month-by-month breakdown of suggested itineraries, seasonal activities, climate considerations and festivals.

When to Go
When to Go

Weather in Philippines

Throughout most of the archipelago, the best time to visit The Philippines is in the summer between December and February, when the weather is dry.

  • The climate is mostly tropical and tempered by constant sea breezes. There are three distinct seasons: the rainy season (June to September), the cool and dry (October to February), and the hot and mainly dry (March to May). In the lowlands, temperatures remain fairly high throughout the year, while mountainous areas tend to be cooler.
  • The central and northern islands have a tropical monsoon climate, similar to that of Indochina, with a single season of heavy rain.
  • Rainfall is particularly heavy from August to October, when much of it comes from typhoons in the South China Sea. The most severe of these typhoons produce very high wind speeds and torrential rain. Most of them develop east of the Philippines and move westward into the South China Sea, where they deepen and intensify.
  • In the dry season, the weather is sunnier and more pleasant
  • The southernmost islands have an almost equatorial climate with significant rain year round.

Multi-Country Specialists

Philippines Goes Well With


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