|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 31% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||October||Best time to find cheap flights, 8% potential price drop|
|Average price||$890||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||$434||From Melbourne to Manila|
$628 - $1,388
30 - 34 °C
17 - 381 mm
The best time to visit the Philippines and the northern and central islands is during the dry season when the days are clear and bright and rainfall is minimal.
The south (Davao) has no distinct wet or dry seasons. Weather is constant year-round and temperatures are about 23-32 degrees. There is no bad time to visit this part of the Philippines.
Reasons to fly to the Philippines:
With more than 7,000 islands making up the Philippines, the hardest decision will be which ones to visit. Manila is the capital and the main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The country’s people are warm, hospitable and family-minded; its cuisine is a delicious blend of Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, Indonesian and Indian.
The islands have several international gateways. Ninoy Aquino is the airport at which many flights to the Philippines (and its capital Manila) land. Mactan in Cebu handles flights from Japan, Singapore, and Australia, Davao – regular flights from Indonesia and Singapore.
Manila, on Luzon, boasts one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. Intramuros, the walled city, covering almost 160 acres, was built by the Spanish in 1571. Damaged during the Second World War, restoration work was started by Imelda Marcos, of shoe fame. Manila Cathedral is at the centre and Fort Santiago at the northwestern tip. Its colourful Chinatown is north of the Pasig river.
The islands have some of the best diving. Internationally recognised spots include Tubbataha Reef; Malapascua Island (Cebu); Balicasag Island (Bohol); Anilao, Batangas; and Puerto Galera (Mindoro).
There are numerous flights that go from Australia to the Philippines so flights can range in duration. Travellers planning to visit Manila from Sydney will find quick flights that reach the destination in 8h 05m, as well as flights that are longer at up to 28h 25m. Flights are also available to the Philippines from Melbourne which can range from 8h 20m in length to 16h 30m for longer flights. Other cities that offer Philippines flight deals include Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, and the Gold Coast.
Several nonstop, direct flights are available from Australia to Manila in the Philippines. Direct flights from Sydney are provided by airlines like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, and others. Flights out of Melbourne into Manila are offered by Philippine Airlines, AirAsia X, and Cathay Pacific. Travellers starting their trip in Brisbane can choose flights from Philippine Airlines, Philippines AirAsia, and Air Niugini.
Flying is a popular way to travel in the Philippines with domestic flights by Seair, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific. Flying is an affordable and efficient way to reach various places in the Philippines like North Luzon, South Luzon, Palawan, and Davao. Some places can only be reached by air travel. Many cities and towns offer taxis and there are many private bus companies to use while in the country. Transport in most cities is offered by pedicabs, jeepneys, and tricycles. Philippine National Railways is the only train operator in the country with services across Southern Luzon to Legaspi.
There are many fiestas throughout the year in the Philippines with food and costumed parades. The top options are Dinagyang in Iliono, Sinulog in Cebu City, and Ati-Atihan in Kalibo. Lovers of the outdoors can take a hike up Mount Apo to see the forest, mountain lakes, and waterfalls or enjoy one of the longest ziplines in Asia. Travellers who prefer to stay in Manila can visit Old Manila to get an idea of the history of the country. The Calamian Islands are also a popular destination located north of Palawan. There are numerous shipwrecks there from World War II. Visiting Cebu, the second-largest city, is also popular as the city is known for festivals, guitars, and diving.
When travelling into the Philippines from Australia, a passport is required but it only needs to be valid for the extent of the stay. Those coming in from Australia do not need a visa for business or tourist stays of up to 30 days. Those staying longer will need to have a single-entry visa available. Typically these stays can last up to 59 days but this can vary. In addition to a passport, travellers to this destination will need to have a return ticket ready.
The Philippines have a tropical climate, which varies by region. The dry season runs from November to April, and the wet season from May to October. Northern islands such as Baguio and Luzon, as well as the centre, have temperatures between 16 and 32 degrees during the wet season. The temperature range drops a bit in the dry season, ranging between 13 and 23 degrees. Typhoon season lasts from June to December.
Domestic flights are a good way to get around the Philippines. Charter (helicopter and small-to-medium sized airplanes) flights are also available.
Ferry services connect the islands while cruise liners dock at the port of Manila.
The Metrotren stretches south to Carmona and Cavite and north to Meycauayan, Bulacan. In Metro Manila, the Light Railway Transit runs from Caloocan to Baclaran.
Other ways of getting around the country include taxis, buses, trikes and the jeepney. The jeepney is a classic, inspired by the American World War II army jeeps. When the American soldiers left the Philippines, surplus jeeps were sold or given to local people. The stripped-down jeeps were fitted with seats, decorated with ornaments and painted in bright colours.
The calesa is a rather touristy way of getting around. It is a traditional horse-drawn carriage brightly decorated that was introduced during the years that Spain was ruler.