Though the Philippines may be known for its sunny—and sometimes searing-hot—climate, the months of June, July, and August bring upon it a seasonal onslaught of rain. On the upside, this means the weather’s cooler, and residents and tourists alike can worry less about incurring sunburn, heat exhaustion, or stroke. But rain, strong wind, and thunderstorms might also mean more time cooped up indoors, and less time spent on the beaches, hike sites, or heritage spots that the country is known for.
But this shouldn’t be the case for the creative traveler! On the contrary, some nature-based outdoor activities may be more fun (as well as more affordable) during the rainy season. If you’re the type to play it safe all the same, you still have a lot of indoor options to enjoy by yourself, with a partner, or with family and friends. There’s a lot of variety you can achieve during a rainy-day vacation—they don’t say it’s more fun in the Philippines for nothing!
From seaside ventures to indoor luxury experiences, here are the eight best holiday ideas to while away the Philippines’ rainy season!
- Scuba diving. Yes, so long as the weather permits and the head of your diving tour says so, it’s okay to go scuba diving during the rainy season. You’re also likely to score a discounted rate from a diving or beach resort in Batangas or related accommodation site if you book during the off-season. Take the opportunity to complete a diving course, get your diving license, or go on a diving excursion to spot beautiful flora and fauna underwater.
- The surf may be up as well at your favorite surfing hotspots. Beginners can drive or commute up north to famous surf beaches in Zambales, La Union, or Baler; the more adventurous can seek out Cloud 9 in the surfers’ mecca Siargao. You may be in for stronger and higher waves than normal, so listen to your surfing instructor about when to safely venture out.
- White water rafting. Another water sport that’s more exciting during the monsoon season is white water rafting. Paddlers can expect a powerful river current and exceptionally frothy water. White water rafting is a popular team-building activity, so if you have the time and resources to spare for a post-summer outing with your officemates, you can arrange for a trip to Cagayan de Oro or Davao City
- Spending time in an indoor pool, hot spring, or water spa. If high-octane water sports aren’t your thing, but you still want to take a dip somewhere relaxing, then you can make your way to an indoor pool, hot spring, or spa facility. You can go as far as Pansol or Los Baños in Laguna to rent a pool villa, or you can look for a hotel or spa in the city that offers a sauna, a Japanese-style bath, or pool jets. Top off the experience with a good meal or a massage, and you’ll forget that there was ever anything wrong with the rainy season.
- Museum hopping. If anything, in recent times the country has seen a rebirth in its museum culture. There are well-curated and nicely maintained museums in a number of Philippine localities—both public and private, in the city and in the country. Pick out an exhibit you’re interested in (on local art, photography, artifacts, natural history, and the like) and drive out to a museum, where you can meditate on the scenery.
- Indoor sports or art classes. For those who don’t want to travel too far but still want to experience something new, you have the option of visiting an indoor gym, workshop, or clinic nearby. Since many go back to class or a regular work schedule in June, it may also be easier to enroll in classes at these facilities. Sports aficionados can choose between futsal, archery, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, wall climbing, yoga, or dance; the more artistic types can go for painting, cooking, creative writing, acting, or craft workshops.
- Food crawl. It’s always a good time to explore the culinary heritage of a place, but rainy season may mean that there are less people on the road, and therefore more leeway for you and your friends to drive to local restaurants, bars, holes-in-the-wall, food fairs, or night markets. Indulge in a hot bowl of soup, some piping-hot barbecue, or whatever your appetite calls for when it’s chilly outside.
- A good old-fashioned staycation. When in doubt—and unwilling to travel very far at all—you can always spend your free time in the cozy nook of your choice, taking it easy with your loved ones. You can scour the Internet for discounted hotel rates, or even book a guesthouse or unit through Airbnb. Once you’ve done that, you can while away the hours by playing board games, watching a movie in a home theater setup, or having a nightcap with your fellow adults.
One last note on your wellbeing: regardless of the activity you choose, you should always defer to the resort, tour group, or institution you’re visiting when it comes to matters of availability, accessibility, and safety. No one would want to experience getting injured, locked out, or stranded during rainy season.
Rain or shine, there’s a wealth of things to do in the Philippines if you’re on vacation here! Have fun, and stay safe always!
Thank you for reading!
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