Should you travel to Boracay during the peak or off-peak season? When is the best time to visit the island? Deciding the best travel dates for your holiday in Boracay can be a little tricky. You will have to choose between traveling in the wetter yet less busy months or in the sunnier yet more crowded months. While Boracay can be enjoyed throughout the year, there is still the optimal time for you. Allow this expat’s travel guide to help you wade through your options.
Two primary weather patterns affect the island of Boracay, the Habagat and the Amihan. The Habagat season, which begins in June, has the southwest monsoon entering the area, bringing with it wind and plenty of rain. The Amihan season, which begins around October, brings with it cool wind from the northeast and much less rain.
The best time to visit the popular island destination is between the wet and dry seasons, or the transition months. November is often an ideal month to visit Boracay, as you will be able to enjoy a mild weather while avoiding the rate increases and the packed crowds. With a good amount of planning, this month will prove to be a sweet spot on the calendar.
As you would expect, the driest months in the year are also the time when Boracay is the busiest, as troves of tourists flock to the island to take advantage of the summer weather. The idyllic weather also makes it easy to escape to other islands should Boracay get too busy. Many events coincide on the summer months. Predictably so, as organizers would want to throw parties and festivals on periods when they can draw in bigger crowds. Mother nature is not as predictable though, and may often fall off of the usual pattern. All the same, you can expect the least amount of rain from November to April, and the driest season from February to March.
The island still experiences periodic rainfall on the dry months though, and typhoons can come unexpectedly, dragging on several days with plenty of rain.
Boracay experiences the rainiest months from May to October. Although a little too wet, the rainy season offers benefits to travelers. Not only will you be able to take advantage of fewer people on the beaches, you can also score better deals for your accommodations. People will also be more willing to negotiate prices, making it a great time to try out the myriad of activities on the island. You can venture out into the markets and shops, and give your haggling skills a good exercise. There are several sunny days to catch during the rainy season, although you might have to rely on luck and good timing for this. Expect the months of July to October in Boracay to be especially wet.
The awesome news is that whatever month you visit the island of Boracay, you will never have to worry about dealing with a chilly weather. The average lows on the island are around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the average highs are around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll be surprised to find that the hottest months in Boracay often fall on the wet season. Wandering too far from the coast will have you experiencing the humidity tropical islands are known for. Temperatures on the island often begin to rise in the month of May, remaining hot up until the month of October.
Although most typhoons and tropical storms typically hit the region from July to September or during the Habagat period, they can besiege the island of Boracay anytime. As a matter of fact, the infamous Typhoon Haiyan hit the country in early November. Paying close attention to weather forecasts and relying on a bit of luck may be your best bet when it comes to avoiding the stormy weather.
More than just the weather, you need to take big holidays into account when planning your visit to Boracay. Traveling to Boracay on the busy months will mean sharing the island with throngs of people. You will also have to deal with higher prices and longer queues.
Some of the holidays that draw in crowds are the Chinese New Year, the Holy Week, New Year, and Christmas. Some holidays that are often not met with much fanfare can cause tourists to flock to the island because of the time off offered in their home countries, affording them a chance to book holidays to faraway islands.
Traveling to Boracay during peak season, particularly in the summer months, will give you an unhampered view of Boracay's Station 2 beach area, the coconut trees, and the shoreline. Most hotels in the area are covered with a “wind barrier” during the off-peak months or the habagat season. This is to keep the strong winds from bringing in bits of sand that inconvenience the guests.
All water activities will also be doable if you visit the island in the summer, including paddle boating, banana boating, parasailing, and island hopping. You may not be able to do some of the fun island activities during the rainy season. Worse, the shoreline of Station 2 and 3 are known to get littered by debris when it gets too rainy.
The off-peak season in Boracay comes with numerous advantages that are worth embracing. For one, you get to take advantage of cheaper airfares. After the summer season in the Philippines, you can expect the major airlines in the country to offer enormous discounts for flights to Caticlan and Kalibo (the main airports that lead to Boracay).
The best resort packages are also offered during off-peak months. You can expect lower room rates and more inclusions for your accommodation packages. You might just be able to stay in your favorite Alta Vista de Boracay for longer, even with a limited budget.
And if sweltering heat is not your cup of tea, then you’d definitely do well to avoid the summer months.
One of the things that will determine when the best time to go to Boracay is your own personal preference. Are you up for melting into a packed crowd or partying it up with as many people as possible? Or would you rather just have a relaxing time on a secluded island with as few people as possible. Your personal preference and your personality will determine whether the peak season or the off-peak season will be more fitting for you.
Traveling in the Philippines is never without its share of challenges. And it’s not any different for your visits to the idyllic Boracay. Nevertheless, the right know-how should let you take the fullest advantage of the countless perks this tropical destination offers.