Palawan, the jewel of the Philippines, is an island province located in the country’s southwestern part. It is the country’s largest province with approximately 1,780 km² land area and around 900,000 population. Its blue-green waters, pristine beaches, and exotic wildlife make it a popular destination for Filipino and international tourists.
Several islands connected by small bodies of water make up Palawan. Foreign and local tourists enjoy the beauty and tranquility it has to offer. But the question is, what is the best time to visit this tropical wonderland? What are the things you shouldn’t miss in this go-to destination, and where?
How Seasons Work in the Philippines
There are two main seasons in the Philippines: the wet season (June-October) and the dry season (November-May). The wettest months are usually July and August.
Summertime is usually the busiest and most expensive season, as the dry months are when the warmest temperatures occur. For cheaper prices, you might visit during the wet season as well.
Best Time to Visit Palawan – Climate and Weather
It’s best to visit Palawan in the dry months (November-May). The weather during this time is usually sunny and warm, perfect for exploring the island province.
From March to June, Palawan is particularly gorgeous. It is the perfect time for travelers to explore the beaches and coves throughout the islands. Palawan is most lush and vibrant during these months due to the warm sunshine. This also means there will be more travelers, and it can get crowded.
In summer, temperatures tend to be in the mid-30s (Celsius) if you’re looking for cooler temperatures, head to the mountains, where it’s a bit chillier.
August to October are the wettest months of the year. Even during this time, tourists are treated to abundant sunshine between showers. Some people like visiting during this time because of the lower rates and smaller crowds.
During the rainy season, you must be prepared for the occasional storm. In the chilliest months, such as February, temperatures typically bottom out to an average low of 25℃ (77℉). The temperature also drops at night, so it’s a good idea to carry jackets and sweaters for evenings.
The Philippines resides within the Typhoon Belt, making its location precarious. This means there is an elevated risk of experiencing tropical cyclones or typhoons that will bring heavy rain during July, September, and October. Due to this reality, it is prudent to be especially careful when traveling to the Philippines during these times.
Visiting Palawan During the Dry Season
Immersing in Palawan’s activities is possible between December and May. Go island hopping to witness the breathtaking limestone karsts of El Nido. You get to enjoy the same experience, similar to being in Guilin (China), Ha Long Bay (Vietnam), or Karabi (Thailand).
Exploring the islands during these dry months is a thrilling experience. What’s even better? Booking your own private tour – that way, you can take in each destination unhurriedly and have entire destinations to yourself!
Visiting during the dry season also meant you could explore the lagoons and caves along the way. Aside from that, waterfalls also look their best during this season. Take the opportunity to explore Palawan’s renowned underground river.
For a truly unique experience, you can go scuba diving and witness the rich marine biodiversity! From colorful fish to majestic whale sharks, you can even witness Palawan’s own shipwrecks.
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular sunsets – Palawan has some of the best in the country!
Visiting Palawan During the Wet Season
If you’re not into summertime, you can still enjoy all Palawan offers during the rainy season. During these months, you can still do plenty of things like island hopping, cave exploring, and even scuba diving. However, some places might be closed due to the rainy weather. Do your research first before heading out.
If you are seeking to save a few dollars, off-peak prices are typically discounted – making it the ideal season for bargain hunters. During this time, resorts and hotels offer special promotions or events to entice business during these months, which usually have fewer customers.
Fewer guests also mean that hotel and resort staff have extra time to make your stay memorable. One con is that you may not be able to grab as many Instagram-worthy pictures when the season is wet, but that doesn’t mean the experience won’t be just as enjoyable.
What Not to Miss in Palawan
The province of Palawan has something for everyone. From beaches and coves to exotic wildlife and interesting activities, there’s a lot to keep visitors occupied. Here are some places that you shouldn’t miss out on:
El Nido should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand beaches. It’s an excellent spot to visit, offering a variety of activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Head over to Coron Island for an unforgettable experience. This spot is home to some of the most stunning lagoons and beaches in the Philippines and rich marine life. You can also take part in activities such as trekking, feeding giraffes, ATV rides, and soaking in the hot springs.
Puerto Princesa is a great place to visit, offering plenty of things to do. From exploring the caves and underground rivers to sampling local delicacies, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Don’t miss the woodworm called “tamilok”. If you love oysters, you’re definitely going to want to try this.
San Vicente has the longest white beach in the Philippines, boasting 14 kilometers of pristine shoreline. You can find plenty of activities to do, such as swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. What we especially loved was our trip to Port Barton. This is a quaint beach town. You can book an island hopping tour to check out the nearby islands. The corals here are amazing! They even have resident turtles.
Tips on Visiting Palawan Safely and Comfortably
When visiting Palawan, always obey the local laws and regulations. Be mindful of your safety when engaging in snorkeling, scuba diving, and trekking. Wear proper clothing and bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout the trip.
While the Philippines is among the many countries known for their hospitable locals, it won’t hurt to be aware of travel scams and common tourist traps. Talk to locals and make sure you’re in a safe place before going anywhere. This could involve checking the reviews of the place you’re staying in or asking friends and family for recommendations.
Before heading out, make sure to have a plan in place. Research about the places you’ll be visiting and find out where the closest hospitals and police stations are in case of an emergency.
Lastly, remember always to respect the environment while traveling. Don’t take anything from nature, and avoid disturbing marine life as much as possible.
Wrap-Up – Best Time to Visit Palawan Philippines
May is the ideal time to visit Palawan for the perfect combination of dry and hot weather. This is when you can have the most fun activities outside, such as swimming, hiking, and diving. It’s also the best time to get discounts on accommodation as there are fewer visitors during this time.
However, traveling during the rainy season is also a great option if you’re looking for a more laid-back experience and don’t mind the frequent rains. Hotels usually offer discounts, and the
resort staff have extra time to ensure that your stay will be memorable. With both pros and cons, it’s up to you to decide when is the best time to visit Palawan.
With its stunning beaches and rich culture, it’s no wonder why tourists flock to this destination every year. So, book your tickets now and prepare for a tropical adventure in the Philippines! Palawan will surely give you an unforgettable experience regardless of the season.