The rainy season often puts a dent on our travel plans. Some flights get delayed — or worse, cancelled. But that shouldn’t stop us from exploring our beloved country even during sweater weather. The bed might be extra comfy on rainy days, but there are still a lot of places in the Philippines that we can enjoy during this time of the year. To help you decide where to go during bagyo season, here are some of the local destinations that put on their best faces on rainy days.
1. Banaue, Ifugao
Located in the landlocked province of Ifugao, Banaue is renowned for its millennia-old rice terraces and rich cultural heritage. Arguably, an ideal time to visit this rustic town would be during the wet season (July to September) when its terraced rice paddies create glistening reflection pools. While outdoor activities like hiking and trekking aren’t recommended during this time, sightseeing is still a must on your trip! Conveniently, there are viewing decks like the Banaue View Point that allow for unobstructed views of the rice terraces.
2. Sagada, Mountain Province
For a place that highlights hiking as its main attraction, Sagada might just be the last thing on your list of rainy day local destinations. However, this town in the Mountain Province boasts majestic natural wonders that are best witnessed during the wet season. This includes the Blue Soil Hills, one of Sagada’s best-kept secrets. When the ground is moist after the rain, the colours of these peaks tend to appear brighter, bolder, and more beautiful. Undoubtedly, it is a sight to behold!
Baguio gets extra chilly during the rainy days. So, if you’ve been sweating all through summer, why not take advantage of visiting during the wet season? Visit the famous BenCab Museum, go cafe-hopping, and get your favourite items from the Good Shepherd. There are so many things to do in Baguio even if you’re only planning to stay for a weekend. Our favourite rainy day activity in Baguio? Sipping a cup of tsokolate batirol in front of the fireplace before sleeping.
Are you looking for a place to surf in the Philippines? Head to Baler for some of the best surf breaks in the Philippines. It’s said to be the birthplace of surfing in the country, and it welcomes both beginners and veteran surfers. So, whether you want to spend some time on the beach or learn how to dance with the waves, it’s the perfect place to be. If you’re lucky, you can even watch a surfing competition during your visit, too!
Note: Surfing in the Philippines is ideal during the months of August through November, as it is the best time for typhoon swells and quality surf breaks.
Summer or not, Coron is an ideal place for those who want to stay close to the waters. This paradise in Palawan has caught the attention not just of local but foreign travellers as well. Rightfully so, as it teems with stunning natural gems like Kayangan Lake, Makinit Hot Springs, Twin Lagoons, and the reefs of the Coral Gardens. When on the island, do Mother Nature a favour and travel responsibly, yes?
Adventure seekers don’t need to lie low during the rainy days because you can still go wakeboarding in Nuvali rain or shine. If you’d like to spend some time swimming and relaxing your sore muscles, why not rent a vacation house and take a dip in a hot spring in Laguna to warm you up on chilly days? You can also visit Pagsanjan Falls and buy some buko pie as pasalubong for your loved ones before heading home.
Even if you’re staying in the capital of the Philippines, you still won’t run out of places to discover. Manila is so much more than cafe-hopping and shopping malls. There are museums like the National Museum and National Museum of Natural History which abound in art and history. Why not spend the rainy days learning more about our national heritage while giving yourselves a break from faraway travel destinations?
No matter the weather, it’s impossible for food-lovers to get bored in Pampanga. I mean, didn’t Anthony Bourdain confess his love for sisig after tasting it at Aling Lucing’s? Why not go on a gastronomical adventure with your friends as well and sample authentic Kapampangan dishes?
Do you want to enjoy more of the cold weather without having to travel for so many hours to reach Baguio? A closer alternative would be Tagaytay. It’s just a short distance away from Manila, but you can find a lot of picturesque cafes worth your road trip here, too. Fill your stomachs with some bulalo for lunch, and you’ll surely want to hunker down here for the rest of the rainy season.
While many travellers flock to the enchanting Island of Bohol during the summer months, it is also one among many ideal rainy day local destinations. In fact, witnessing the island’s lush greenery and natural wonders amidst the rain can be a refreshing experience. During this season, vibrant green grass blanket the famous Chocolate Hills, making it appear softer and more delicate. You might even be inclined to explore more of the island’s many urban tourist spots like the iconic Baclayon Church and Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary.
Also read: Bohol Becomes the First UNESCO Global Geopark in the Philippines
Another rain or shine local destination in the Philippines is Cebu. Whatever suits your mood, you’ll find something to do in Cebu. You can enjoy the city vibes or head over to the beaches for down time. You can feast with the best lechon at the Queen City of the South and bring home some of their culinary goodies back to your hometown. From whale-watching to canyoneering, you can get your adrenaline fix here. Even those who want to move on from a broken heart can find space for their solo adventures on Bantayan Island. And maybe, you can start a new chapter of your life where you’ll never be sawi again.
Not many travellers visit Siquijor Island, but we’re telling you: It’s underrated. Siquijor may be one of the smallest islands in the Philippines, but it’s worth a visit, especially if you love waterfalls and are a sucker for breathtakingly beautiful white-sand beaches. Who says you can’t enjoy island life during the rainy season, anyway?
13. Cagayan de Oro
When talking about Cagayan de Oro, it’s almost a sin not to speak about white water rafting, too. And this exhilarating water sport is even more exciting when there’s rain! It’s no wonder this spot in Mindanao makes our list of rainy day local destinations. So, take your bravest friends on an adventure and conquer the water like real-life superheroes. It’s going to be fun for sure! While on your water adventure, don’t miss the majestic Tinago Falls for a refreshing dip.
Siargao is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the Philippines today. It’s the surfing capital of the Philippines after all. A visit to the island would not be complete without visiting Cloud 9, and trying to catch a couple of waves. And whether you’re a surfer or not, you’re bound to enjoy Siargao’s natural beauty with an epic island-hopping adventure.
Hot chocolate and weighted blankets might tempt you to stay in bed this season, but we’re telling you: the traveller in you won’t sleep for too long. So, don’t suppress the urge to wander. Pack your bags and travel to these rainy day local destinations. Don’t let the rain dampen your travel plans!
Featured image credit: Gian Paul Guinto| Unsplash