With more than 7,000 tropical islands in the archipelago, there are beaches to suit everybody in the Philippines. However, it’s not all about the laid-back lifestyle: you’ll also find bustling megacities, colonial architecture and simmering volcanoes.
Flights to the Philippines are most popular during the dry season, which falls between November and April. During the wetter months some of the more remote areas of the country can be hard to reach.
Temperatures begin to rise around the middle of March, and can be sweltering by April, so the cooler, dry months of November to February are generally considered the best time to visit.
Later in the year, from May onwards, the rainy season still offers long periods of sunshine, but these are interspersed with short and intense downpours. Accommodation and flights are generally cheaper at this time of year.
Try and be flexible when searching, using our ‘Nearby airports’ and ‘My dates are flexible’ options to see what’s available and convenient. You might find it’s possible to find great bargains if you can travel to or from a different airport or fly on a different day of the week.
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The biggest and busiest airport in the Philippines is Ninoy Aquino, commonly known as Manila International. It’s located around five miles to the south of the downtown area of the capital and is the main international gateway for visitors coming to the Philippines. It handles around 42 million passengers a year and is well linked to the city by bus, rail and Jeepney.
The other main international airports include Mactan-Cebu, Clark International and Francisco Bangoy. Mactan-Cebu is the second busiest in the country serving the Central Visayas region, with more than 10 million passengers a year coming through its doors. Francisco Bangoy is smaller, with limited international flights, and Clark offers only around 20 international flights each day.
A number of the major US and international carriers offer Cheap Flights to the Philippines.
As an archipelago of around 7,000 islands, one of the easiest ways to move between them is by plane. Cebu Pacific and other airlines operate comprehensive domestic services linking the capital of Manila with most other major cities and towns, as well as the main holiday resorts such as Palawan.
Philippine National Railways operate overnight intercity services. In general train travel is slower than buses, although it is the more comfortable option. Road networks are for the most part centered around major cities and can vary greatly in quality from modern expressways to dirt tracks in more remote areas.
In the city, buses and taxis are cheap and regular but no trip to the Philippines is complete without a ride in a Jeepney. These colorful, remodeled former World War II Jeeps are an iconic symbol of the Philippines.
Bustling with Jeepneys, covered in graffiti and crammed full with passengers, Manila may not sound like fun but this is truly one of the world’s great megacities.
Home of the spectacular Banaue rice terraces, this Unesco World Heritage Site is a marvel of communal engineering. Over generations, entire mountain sides have been sculpted to from layered rice paddies.
This tropical island is surrounded by white sandy beaches and clear blue waters. It’s just an hour’s flight from Manila or Cebu, and justly popular with tourists in search of an island paradise.
The Philippines is 12 hours ahead of Washington DC, which runs on EDT. If you are planning on entering the Philippines for a period of less than 30 days, then US citizens do not need a visa.
Transport schedules are notoriously unreliable: make sure that you have a contingency in place for onward travel if using public transport or be prepared to be very patient.